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All about the stunning Rs 38.70 lakh Audi Q5

Last updated on: December 27, 2010 08:44 IST

All about the stunning Rs 38.70 lakh Audi Q5

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Audi - the car manufacturing giant is named after its founder August Horch.

After establishing A Horch & Cie in 1899 August Horch established his own company in 1909.

This company was later amalgamated with three independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: DKW, Horch and Wanderer in 1932.

However, due to infringement complications Horch could not use his own name to register the company.

His son, who was studying Latin at that time, suggested the word 'audi'.

Audi is a Latin word for the German word 'horch', which when translated into English means 'hear' or 'listen'.

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Image: Audi Q5.

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And that is just what the Audi guys in India are doing - listening.

They're listening to those who loved the Q7 but felt the colossal SUV pinch where it hurt most.

So they brought the Q5 along. The Q5 is a crossover SUV which offers all the pleasures of the Q7 for not all that much money.

The Audi Q5 is a compact SUV designed on Volkswagen's new Modular Longitudinal platform (MLP).

It has a longitudinally-mounted engine and the transmission is mounted further rearwards.

The mid-sized SUV was unveiled at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show. It went on sale in Europe from October 2008 and early 2009 in the North American continent.

The Audi Q5 landed on Indian shores in June 2009. Does it carry the Q badge as well as the Q7?

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All about the stunning Rs 38.70 lakh Audi Q5

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Design

The Q5's design is as elegant as it is robust.

It is styled after Audi's current theme, which is a mix of Q7's gigantic structure and the Avant range's graceful lines.

The Q5 boasts of a co-efficient of drag of 0.33, which Audi claims is best-in-class.

The front end of the Q5 mimics the A4 albeit a few variations are made in the daytime running LED cluster, which sport the Down-the Road Graphics (DRG).

The silhouette of the Q5 looks sporty and aggressive thanks to the shallow greenhouse area and large wheels.

The flared wheel arches along with the long wheelbase of 2807mm make the Q5 look muscular.

The rear end is inspired from the Q7, with a similar tailgate, tail lamp design and reflectors housed in the bumper.

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Image: The front grille.

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The hood and the tailgate of the Audi Q5 are made of lightweight aluminum to cut down the flab.

The body of the Q5 is made up of high-strength steel components that not only reduce the weight but even increase the rigidity of the body during a crash.

For the passengers' safety, the Audi Q5 comes with front airbags and side airbags for both rows.

The Audi Q5 scored a maximum of all five stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests.

This compact SUV excelled in occupant and child protection; however it didn't do quite well in pedestrian safety.

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Interiors

On the inside, the Q5 experience gets even better. Some interior bits are picked up straight from the A4.

The interior plastic quality and overall fit and finish of the Q5 are just as good as any automobile that fashions the Audi label.

The Q5 gets plush Milano leather upholstery with different colours to choose from - cardamom, beige, black and pale grey.

The colour of the interiors is co-ordinated with the chosen body shade.

Our press demonstrator had black leather upholstery with black seats - an ambience like that of an expensive lounge sans the clinking of glasses.

The 2.0 TFSI gets a standard four-spoke steering wheel. However, if you choose paddle shifts as an option you will get a three-spoke steering wheel.

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The twin dial instrument cluster on the Q5 too resembles the A4's.

It has the same white-on-black readouts, with chrome surrounds on the dials. The Q5 has Audi's MMI as a standard feature.

But you could opt for the MMI High System which comes with a hard drive, DVD drive and a Bluetooth phone preparation.

For better music output, you could throw in a Bang & Olufsen sound system which has a spectacular audio playback and is easily the best audio system we have come across.

The panoramic sun roof is available as an option as well.

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Image: The instrument cluster.

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The Audi Q5 offers ample space for five adults to sit comfortably.

The front row seats are electrically adjustable and telescopic steering adjustment helps the driver to fine tune the driving position, though the steering adjustment isn't electric.

Cruise control further assists the driver.

And if all that driving makes feel like you need a break and rest.

Just flip the seats down and you can have a nap right there in the Q5's boot as it makes for 1560 litres space.

With seats upright the boot offers 540 litres worth luggage space, enough to pack in a suitcase or two with some shopping.

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Powertrain
Engine:

In India, the Q5 in India has two engine variants - the 2.0 TFSI and the 3.0 TDI.

We tested the 2.0 TFSI which has the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

This engine is part of Volkswagen engines and produces 211bhp thanks to Audi's Valvelift system.

Even in the presence of a turbocharger, this engine gets a high compression ratio of 9.6:1.

The engine is highly responsive and has a good low and mid-range.

It behaves like any other modern turbocharged diesel engine as the peak torque comes in as early as 1500rpm and overall torque has enough grunt to muscle its way through.

In our performance run, the Audi Q5 completed the quarter mile in 16.9 seconds and scorched to 100kph in 9.5 seconds, both under damp conditions). 

Some tech info for the enthusiasts: This 2.0-litre TFSI injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber at a pressure of 150bar and the intake flaps induce it in a specific swirl pattern. The small cam operates at low engine speeds and the larger cam operates at higher speeds. All this is a part of the Audi Valvelift system.

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Transmission

Both the engine options available on the Q5 power all the four wheels through a seven-speed S-tronic transmission.

This is a dual clutch transmission (also called as DSG by Volkswagen) which reduces the shifting time and makes it smoother.

The 3.0 TDI engine Q5 comes with flappy paddles and it's optional on the 2.0TFSI.

The Q5 gets Audi's quattro systemwhich is Audi's all wheel drive system.

Like any other Audi, the engine is placed longitudinally and distributes power 40:60 between the front and rear wheels.

The quattro can transfer upto 65 per cent of power to the front wheels and upto 95 per cent to the rear wheels on detecting slip.

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Fuel efficiency

The Audi Q5 2.0TFSI runs best on 95RON fuel.

However, Audi advised us to stick to the regular 91RON fuel as 95RON isn't easily available.

On the highway we got 8.5kpl and we achieved the worst figure of 5.42kpl during our performance test.

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Driving dynamics

The Audi Q5 gets aluminum five-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link independent rear suspension along with anti-roll bar.

The Audi Q5's suspension is a good compromise between ride and handling.

The ride quality on the Q5 is good at all speeds as the dampers are neither too soft nor too stiff.

The handling ability of the Audi Q5 is quite commendable. Dive into a tight corner and the SUV takes it all.

Due to the quattro system, the Q5 does not over steer or under steer, and if the Q5 ever happens to lose control, the ESP kicks in for immediate assistance.

The Q5 comes with parking sensors as standard and a reverse camera is available as an option.

The steering wheel is light at low speeds allowing for easy maneuvering and parking.

We feared the steering might feel artificial at higher speeds like many other modern cars.

But to our surprise, the steering weighed up well even at a higher speed.

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The 200mm of ground clearance of the Q5 and the 25 degree angle of approach and departure make it easier to move over rough terrains (with off-road tyres that is).

The hill descent assist comes as a standard feature on the Q5.

The Audi Q5 comes with 235/65R17 tyres.

Our press demonstrator had the Dunlop SP Sport 01 - ultra-high performance tyres which offer loads of grip.

If you wish to go for larger tyres, 19-inch tyres are available as an option.

All the four disc brakes on the Audi Q5 have a good feel at the pedal and they bite progressively.

In our braking test, the Audi Q5 covered 38.9 metres before it came to complete halt from 80kph under extremely wet conditions. In dry conditions, the distance would have reduced drastically.

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Overall evaluation

In the same segment, Audi Q5 has a new entrant as competition - Volvo's XC60.

But right now, at Rs 38.70lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI makes quite a deal.

You get a package with a style statement and an Audi badge.

The Audi Q5 is an elegantly designed SUV for someone who wishes to be seated a bit higher while driving and wishes to enjoy all the frills of a luxury sedan.

The 2.0TFSI engine will never let you go slow and the lounge-like interiors will always make you feel special.

As long as you don't take it for a serious off-roader, you're in great and safe hands with Audi's Q5.

This one's for taking the good, the bad and the ugly of all things roads - head on.

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