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      2021 Audi Q5 First Drive Review

      Abhishek Nigam

      Abhishek Nigam

      Why would I buy it?

      -         Good ride quality

      -         Feature-rich cabin

      Why would I avoid it?

      -         No diesel option

      -         Needs a generation change

      Engine and Performance

      Right Front Three Quarter

      Powering the Q5 is the same 2-litre TFSI petrol engine with no diesel on offer. So you get a very impressive 249bhp and the most torque in its class at 370Nm. The gearbox is a seven-speed twin-clutch that channels power to all 4 wheels via the famed Quattro system. You also get Audi drive select which depending on the mode, changes the throttle response, gear changes, the steering feel and since this car has adaptive damping, the handling and rides quality too.

      Right Rear Three Quarter

      Immediately this is a very refined motor. driven normally it is barely audible in eco and comfort mode. acceleration feels a little subdued in eco mode, but in any other mode, the 370 NM of torque is very noticeable. Sport mode is when the 2-litre motor takes no prisoners. The throttle response is super sharp and it responds to the minutest of throttle inputs. Acceleration is quick too and Audi claims a 0-100 time of 6.1 seconds which is quick. In-gear acceleration is impressive as well with the DSG gearbox keeping the motor in the powerband every time you need the power. Good acceleration needs good brakes too and the Q5 did not disappoint. it sheds speed quicker and the strong brakes give plenty of confidence to push the Q5 harder.

      Left Side View

      The Audi q5 gets an offroad mode as well which we did not get to put to the test but we will soon. the offroad mode along with the combination of Quattro should help the Q5 get out of difficult situations. On the fuel efficiency front, Audi claims 17.1 kmpl which sounds excellent, but something we will verify once we test it later.

      Ride and Handling

      Left Front Three Quarter

      Like I mentioned before, the Q5 now gets suspension with damping control and that is one of its highlights. The adaptive damping works well to iron out the irregularities on the road and it goes about its business silently. Ride quality is just excellent in comfort mode and the Q5 tackles are ravaged roads with ease in comfort mode.

      Right Front Three Quarter

      In sports mode, the suspension firms up, the steering gets heavier. while body roll is experienced in the softest setting, the adaptive dampers minimise to a big extent when in sport mode, which makes the Q5 good fun to chuck around in the corners.

      Exterior

      Right Front Three Quarter

      Now since this is a facelift, the design isn’t a full rework, instead, it gets a bunch of tweaks to match Audi’s current design theme. First up is the new octagonal grille which is now larger and more imposing. It is now equipped with these vertical struts. The bumper has also been redesigned and the upper section of the LED headlamps get a new signature for the DRLs. The grille has a blend of chrome and aluminium which gives it a good blend of sporty and premium.

      Left Side View

      The sides remain more or less identical. You also get these new 19-inch 5 double-spoke star wheels which we think look fantastic. Also, ground clearance goes up a notch thanks to the redesigned sill insert. At the rear, the update includes a new trim element between the light clusters and again re-profiled rear bumpers.

      Overall, the updated Q5 now looks pretty much like a scaled-down Q8. It’s sharper and more aggressive and moves away from Audi’s otherwise subtle design language.

      Right Rear Three Quarter

      Comfort, Convenience, and Features

      Dashboard

      The interior layout remains more or less similar, but just like the exteriors, there are a bunch of changes. First up is the layout. The dashboard is all black with this glossy element in the centre and it's a typical Audi layout. Quality is top-notch and everything feels extremely well put together. But this layout is now starting to look a little dated especially when compared to the new GLC.  But I guess we can expect a major refresh when the next-gen Audi Q5 comes out.

      Front Row Seats

      Now talking about the seats, they're extremely comfortable, you can get to your driving position in no time at all and the high perched seating gives a commanding view of the road. Now let's take a look at the backbench.  Talking about the rear seats, as you can see there is plenty of legroom and headroom but what is lacking is under-thigh support. Also, like in most of its ilk, the centre seating is a compromise so it's a very comfortable 4 seater and a manageable 5 seater. But then again, for those looking at the Q5 as a chauffer driven option, it fits the bill.

      Bootspace

      On the feature front, the Q5 is loaded. So you get electric front seats with 4-way lumbar support, heated ORVM with auto-dimming, park assist, panoramic sunroof, TPMS, 3 zone climate control, Audi Virtual Cockpit, ambient lighting with 30 colour options, wireless charging with a phone box. A special feature of the phone box is that it diverts the network to the phone via the car antenna for better quality reception. you also get a banging  19 speaker bang and Olufsen sound system and more.

      Conclusion

      Right Front Three Quarter

      The Audi Q5 will be available in two variants, Premium Plus and what we are driving here, the top of the line Technology.  We expect the price of the Premium Plus variant to be slightly under 60 lakh, while the Technology variant will breach the 60 lakh barrier. Now, these prices are on par with the competition but is the Q5 on par with the competition as a product?

      Right Rear Three Quarter

      Without doubt. The Q5 looks sharper comes loaded with features and drives very well. Yes, the interiors could have been more stylish but what it lacks in flamboyance it makes up in top-notch quality. The Q5 with this major update now finally has the goodies and the performance to keep up with the competition. Booking for the new Q5 has already commenced with the launch just around the corner. 

      Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

      Audi Q5
      Audi Q5 ₹ 58.93 Lakh Onwards
      Audi | Q5 Facelift | Audi Q5 Facelift

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