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Audi Q5 2.0 TDI

Driven May 2011

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI

The Q5 has been doing well on the sales charts and in a bid to grab some more market share, Audi has now plonked a smaller 2.0-litre TDI diesel into the bay. We drove the Q5 TDI in Jaipur as part of the Audi Q-Drive experience, on and off the road. By now, you know what the Q5 looks like, so we’ll leave that alone, but there are some finer details that separate it from the regular 3.0 TDI.

Start up the little 1968cc diesel and it’s not dramatically different from the regular diesel. It’s refined and doesn’t feel stressed even when revved.  This engine puts out 170bhp and 350Nm of torque. Okay so it’s not going to overwhelm you with horses, but on the road, the 2.0-litre redeems itself to some extent. With a 0-100kph time of 9.9 seconds, it isn’t a slouch.

And the lovely gearbox is sprightly and shifts quickly. It doesn’t have the shove-you-in-the-seat feeling of the 3.0-litre, but it does make good progress once you give it the beans. On its own, the 2.0-litre is a decent engine, the difference in performance only becomes apparent when you compare it to the bigger 3.0-litre.

On our short drive, we couldn’t test fuel efficiency, but expect it to be more frugal. The 2.0 TDI comes Quattro equipped, meaning you can do some trail driving. The limited ground clearance means expensive-sounding scrapes and bangs are annoyingly real when you go off the road. If only it came with the adaptive suspension from the Q7. The Q5 really isn’t meant for off-roading. It will go if you force it to, but it isn’t something that comes naturally to the Q5.

This car belongs on the road and that’s where it really excels. The suspension soaks up bumps easily and it is rock solid at high speeds. The steering feel could have been better, but the Q5 is agile and darts into corners in a manner you wouldn’t expect from a softroader.

The 2.0 TDI does well for every day driving. It will be fuel-efficient and relatively quick too. But if you want top performance, better to shell out the extra and go for the 3.0 TDI. The Q5 2.0 TDI is quite a bargain though. Priced at Rs. 39.05 lakh, the Q5 is over Rs. 5 lakh cheaper than the 3.0 TDI. That’s good value for money if you ask us. And if we were the BMW X3, we’d have a lot to think about.

Manish Sarser

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