Driven: Audi Q5 3.0 TDI
We drive the most powerful Q5 and come out smiling
We love big, powerful soft-roaders. We loved the BMW X3 when we drove the updated one a few months back. Audi too has stepped up the game with the updated Q5, and we’ve driven it. It’s available in three engine options – 2.0 TFSI, 2.0 TDI and 3.0 TDI. What we have here is the biggest and the most powerful of the lot, the 3.0 TDI.
The massive 3-litre V6 oil-burner, that also powers the bigger Q7 and the VW Touareg, has oodles of power and torque in reserve to satisfy even the most enthusiastic driver in you. The output is rated at 245bhp and 580Nm of torque. Not just that, the torque makes its presence felt at as low as 1,400rpm and goes up past 3,200rpm. The engine in the Q5 sounds nicely muted and doesn’t let the V6 rumble seep into the cabin. It’s even vibration free through most of the range.
The engine is coupled to a 7-speed S tronic transmission, like the smaller 2.0 TDI, and transfers power to all four wheels on demand. The shifts are quick and precise and if you shift it in the Sport mode, they get even quicker and gears are held longer.
The 3.0 TDI can go from a naught to 100kph in just 6.5 seconds which is great for the size and weight of this thing. If you’re careful, it’ll return an efficiency of around 9.5kpl on the highway and about 7kpl in the city.
The V6 that does the job in the Q5 has one drawback though – the car feels a bit nose-heavy if you throw it hard around bends. The smaller oil-burner and the petrol feel a lot nimble than this V6. The V6 though, makes up for all of that by sheer power.
The ride is on the softer side and swallows potholes and undulations on the road pretty well, but there is some amount of body roll. In Dynamic Drive mode, the ride gets a bit stiffer but not up to the expectations.
The new Q5 gets an electromechanical steering which sort of robs away the feel. The feedback too is not great. It’s light at low speed, which helps in manoeuvring the Q5 easily through city traffic.
In the new updated Q5, the older headlights have made way for newer, sharper looking ones that run a continuous strip of LEDs through the length. What’s also new is a redesigned bumper, new fog lamps, reshaped grille and blackened tail lamps. The engine hood and the tail gate are made of lighter aluminium to reduce the weight.
Inside, the fit-and-finish is impeccable. The seats come wrapped in Milano leather and are quite comfortable for long journeys. The MMI system is easy to use and supports Bluetooth connectivity. A nice and big screen displays all the information you’d want to know and also doubles up as a screen for the reverse cam. The back seat has decent amount of shoulder and leg space and three people won’t be too much of a tight fit.
2967cc, V6, 245bhp, 580Nm, 7-speed dual-clutch, AWD, 0-100kph – 6.5 seconds (claimed), Rs 48.71 lakh (ex-Delhi)
The Q5 3.0 TDI makes a good case for itself if you’re looking for a powerful soft-roader, which is comfortable for your inter-city trips. Although it misses out on some of the equipment like keyless entry and paddle shifts, it's otherwise nicely specced.