This new iteration of Audi’s vital mid-sized SUV (the Q5 is number three in sales for Australia behind the A3 and Q3) is said to combine the sportiness of a sedan with the cabin flexibility of a crossover, wrapped in an evolutionary body design.
The four-ringed SUV has been completely re-done in order to tackle much newer rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Land Rover Discovery Sport, as well as the BMW X3 and even upper-grade versions of the Volkswagen Tiguan.
Larger than before — 4660mm long, 1890mm wide, 1660mm tall, on a 2820mm wheelbase — the new Audi Q5 is nevertheless up to 90kg lighter than the old model because it leverages the Group’s MLB architecture, shared with the new Audi A4.
The new design is a little more adventurous than before, though it eschews the more bold choices found on the baby sized Q2 crossover.
Audi claims that the new Q3’s aerodynamic rating is just 0.30Cd, bolstering noise suppression and improving fuel economy.
The new Q5’s cabin is also claimed to be much roomier than before, outdoing its rivals. The rear seats fold 40:20:40 and slide/tilt, while the luggage area holds 620 litres expanding to a sizeable 1550L with the rear seats folded.
The cabin takes much from the glamorous A4 and Q7, with a three-spoke steering wheel, high quality materials and simple design.
You can have the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit digital instruments, a head-up display, and MMI Navigation Plus on a 8.3-inch central screen, which also hosts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Higher-end features available include air suspension, rear set entertainment, and a Bang and Olufsen surround sound system.
Active safety includes adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and lane assist, giving the car partial autonomy. There’s also cross-traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring, park assist, road sign recognition and autonomous braking.
Five engines will be offered in Europe from launch in early 2017 — four TDI diesels and one TFSI petrol.
Expect Australia to get the 2.0-litre TDI with 140kW, and 3.0-litre TDI V6 with 210kW/620Nm, plus a 185kW 2.0-litre TFSI petrol. Expect a ramped-up SQ5 to follow.
Entry engines will come with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic, while the 3.0 TDI gets an eight-speed tiptronic.
All automtic transmissions have a fuel-saving freewheel function. Being Audi, quattro all-wheel-drive will also feature.
Under the body are new five-link suspension and electromechanical power steering systems. The Audi Drive Select system also adjusts the damper force. Wheel sizes vary depending on spec from 17 inches to 21 inches.
The new Audi Q5 is manufactured at a newly constructed plant in Mexico.