Audi Q5

Just What the Specialists Recommend

Although the PI (Product Improvement) Audi Q5 hasn't changed a lot from its previous model, I urge you to try to catch the differences. Then you can judge for yourself as an Audi specialist! The first Q5 was launched in 2008 and since that date, this handsome vehicle has been among the best-selling within Audi's range.

Driving Impressions
I flew from Beirut to Munich courtesy of Audi Middle East to test that all new refined Audi Q5. Even though it was July, I can still remember the cold in Munich – how awful! Anyway, who cares about the weather because I had the opportunity to lay down my hands on the powerful SQ5.

Many of you are wondering what's new. Let me tell you.

Exterior and Chassis
On the outside, the 2013 Q5 comes with a single-frame grille and a flatter roofline. The hood and wrap-around tailgate are now made of aluminum to salt away weight. Optional xenon headlights incorporate LED daytime running lights that give it a unique look. It now comes with a new electromechanical power steering, Audi drive select driving dynamics system, dynamic steering and suspension active damper control which is available as an option. We can't forget the larger wheels from 17 to 20 inches and up to 21 inches for the SQ5. Audi has also tuned the springs, shock absorbers and stabilizers for an even more balanced chassis.

Interior and Equipments
Inside the cabin, there are three new interior colors and three new leather/fabric upholsteries. It is equipped with driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist. It also includes a very attractive infotainment system such as MMI navigation plus and Bluetooth online car phone for internet services from Audi connect.

Engines and Drivetrain
Two TFSI engines have been introduced for our Middle East region all with direct fuel injection: a 2.0 TFSI and a 3.0 TFSI will be available. Both engines will be combined with an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro permanent four-wheel drive as a standard. Both engines combine direct fuel injection with turbocharging, and a start-stop system is also standard.

The 2.0 TFSI produces 225 hp, and has a combined fuel consumption of just 7.9 L /100 km with the tiptronic transmission. Offering even more performance is the new 3.0 TFSI – this supercharged V6 increases power output to 272 hp with 400 Nm of torque. It completes the sprint to highway speed in 5.9 seconds.

The refined Audi Q5 starts from USD 46,227 and USD 56,847 for the 2.0 TFSI and 3.0 TFSI respectively (GCC) including 5-year service and 3-year roadside assistance.

The generous list of standard features includes: electric tailgate, xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and automatic range adjustment, front fog lights, driver information system with color display, the high-gloss package, roof rack, three-zone automatic air conditioning, Audi music interface, six airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounting, integral head restraint system, electronically adjustable front seats and adjustable rear backrest, cruise control, parking aid plus and the electromechanical parking brake. For the 3.0 TFSI the panoramic glass roof, comfort key, Bang & Olufsen sound system and parking aid plus with reversing camera also come as a standard.

Options for the Q5 come directly from the luxury class. They include among others adaptive light climate comfort seats with ventilation function, dynamic steering, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist or adaptive cruise control. The S line sport package includes sport suspension and the exclusive exterior color Daytona Grey, pearl effect.

Verdict
The Q5's reputation has been spread all across the world; it's no surprise that the refinement is humble in both its aim and outcome. Where will the 2013 Audi Q5 make an impact? Surely in the compact luxury SUV segment. Just as it did when it was first introduced, this refined Q5 will attract buyers who like its practical size, harshly tailored interior and clean, if unmemorable, design. It's at ease and that's what most of the customers in the segment seem to desire.

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