The 2018 Audi Q5 marks a distinct change from its predecessor, one of the most popular models in this segment. The new Q5 is quite similar to the new Q7 in terms of its design with the large hexagonal grille, signature LED headlamps, matte chrome surround and the body creases. From the rear, it looks very similar to the earlier Q5 although the LED tail lamps have a new pattern this time. The Q5 is slightly bigger than the previous version and looks a little sportier and more compact. That is the take-away as far as design is concerned. The headlamp and grille are raked back and look more angular. However, the daytime running light signature is a little unique. There is a crease curving upwards from the wheel arches till the rear. There is a rear under tray that gets faux exhaust tips for added dynamism. The 18-inch alloy wheels are par for the course.
The 35 TDI variant is the one which is available for the Indian market. This gets the four cylinder 2.0 litre diesel engine that dishes out 190 hp and 400 Nm. This engine is the one used for the Audi A4 as well. The new Q5 has the same MLB Evo platform which underpins the Q7. This makes it 90 kg lighter and this reflects in terms of improved fuel economy and overall performance. The car feels quicker and sportier than before and the 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox works well too. The engine is more refined and smoother and of course, Quattro AWD is also available. The car can touch 100 kmph in just 7.9 seconds and this is very good for a big SUV.
However, more than performance, the overall refinement and ride quality are aspects of the new Q5 that buyers will definitely appreciate. There is minimal noise inside and adjustable suspension with dynamic dampers. The Drive Select modes can help in altering the stiffness of the same. Ride quality is pretty good overall and this car should perform well on the highways. The steering is not that responsive but the entire package ensures great driving experiences.
There is 3-zone climate control and a MMI system with a free standing screen. There is excellent quality of materials inside with great witches as well. However, components like the AC vents, door pads and seat controls do not look plush for an SUV at this price point. There is a click wheel and touchpad for the MMI system and there is also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with the Audi Virtual Cockpit. There are electrically powered front seats with memory functions for the driver and a panoramic sunroof. There is a powered tailgate and wireless charging bay along with surround cameras. There is a space saving compartment positioned under the floor of the boot. The 500 litre boot is also high on practicality. Rear comfort is good and so is the space. However, seating more than two people may make it a little tight. The new Q5 is more powerful and refined than before with fantastic ride quality.