Premium SUVs are out of the reach of most, but if you are willing to forgo a few luxury items this German family-hauler could be for you.
Here is everything you need to know about the base Audi Q5.
The new Audi Q5 35 TDI is priced from about $75,600 drive-away and is the cheapest way into the brand’s mid-size Q5 SUV range.
This is an enticing price tag that few in the luxury game can match.
Audi has kept prices down by ditching all-wheel drive for front-wheel drive and putting in a less potent, but more frugal diesel engine.
The equipment list isn’t as thick as more expensive versions but there are plenty of nice touches.
It rides on stylish 19-inch alloy wheels, has LED lighting front and back and comes with sparkling aluminium roof rails.
Audi covers its vehicles with a five years/unlimited km warranty and servicing will set owners back more than $3000 for five years if a service plan is bought at time of purchase.
Step inside the Q5 and you are greeted with a spacious interior that offers oodles of head, leg and shoulder room in both the first and second rows.
Leather appointed seats are electronically adjustable and provide ample support. There is plenty of steering wheel reach adjustment and forward vision is excellent.
Audi’s interior quality is on show with top-notch materials used throughout. There is a mixture of soft touch surfaces broken up by matt materials and ambient lighting adds some pop.
There is a 10.1-inch central touchscreen that feels like it was bolted on as an afterthought and the base Q5 misses out on the company’s excellent full digital instrument display.
Connectivity is covered by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio and four USB charging points – two in each row – but there is no wireless device charging pad.
Three zone airconditioning covers all rows and there are easy to use and reach physical controls in the centre dash.
Well sorted suspension makes for a smooth ride as it soaks up bumps and lumps of all sizes. It is also exceptionally quiet on the open road with little to no engine noise and only tyre roar over coarse chip bitumen.
Audi has all the bases covered.
The Q5 will automatically apply the brakes if it detects a potential collision with a car or a pedestrian.
Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert will let you know if a car is lurking in hard to see spaces and lane keep assist will keep you centred in your lane and alert you if you wander too far.
Eight airbags add further peace of mind.
On the road the Q5 35 TDI shows diesel still has a place.
Step into the 35 TDI and you are hit with a sense of satisfaction after seeing the distance to empty reading well over 1000km.
This is achieved by the Q5’s 70-litre fuel tank and claimed fuel use of just 4.8L/100km, which is about the same as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit makes an uninspiring 120kW and 370Nm, which is 30kW and 30Nm less than the Q5 40 TDI.
The 35 TDI is built for comfort, not speed. It goes from zero to 100km/h in a leisurely nine seconds, up from 7.6 seconds in the 40 TDI.
There is a fair bit of lag on take-off, too, where the seven-speed dual clutch auto and turbo engine decide on the best course of action.
The 35 TDI is an absolute star on the open road, it eats up kays with ease and is an accomplished highway cruiser.
Predictable steering makes for an easy and composed drive, but it isn’t the sweetest steering mid-size SUV on the road.
Cheapest member of the Q5 family is surprisingly luxurious and frugal, but isn’t the most engaging drive.
Lexus NX350h 2WD, from about $76,500 drive-away
Extremely well equipped luxury SUV that combines a satisfying drive experience with fuel-sipping hybrid power.
BMW X3 20d, from about $98,500 drive-away
Benchmark mid-size luxury SUV that features a punchy diesel engine, but is almost $25,000 more expensive.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce, from about 90,000
Stand out from the crowd with a good looking and sweet driving SUV, no diesel option and expensive by comparison.
AUDI Q5 35 TDI VITALS
PRICE From about $75,600 drive-away
ENGINE 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, 120kW/370Nm
WARRANTY/SERVICING Five years/unlimited km, $3140 for five years
SAFETY 8 airbags, auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, reversing camera
SPARE Space saver
LUGGAGE 520 litres
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