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Audi Q5


Mazda CX-9

Summary

Audi Q5

The mid-size SUV is now a brand's most crucial model. 

Now the defining volume seller of our age, the ever-popular category transcends brand and market position – and Audi is no exception.

To that end, the German brand reminds us that Q5 is its most successful SUV, having sold almost 40,000 units in Australia so far. No pressure on this new one then, which brings some much-needed updates to the current-generation SUV which launched back in 2017.

Has Audi done enough to keep the Q5 sticking it to its (also very good) arch-rivals from Germany and the world for years to come? We sampled the updated car at its Australian launch to find out.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8L/100km
Seating5 seats

Mazda CX-9

The second-generation Mazda CX-9 may have been on sale in Australia for nearly five years now, but it remains the second best-selling large SUV using unibody construction (as opposed to old-school, off-road-focused body-on-frame).

That said, it is getting on a bit, so Mazda’s given it an update with a twist for 2021, hoping to inject a little bit more life into its flagship model.

And when we say twist, we mean it. After all, who would’ve thought there’d ever be a six-seat CX-9? Well, we’ve checked it out to see if it’s the version we needed all along. Read on.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.5L turbo
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8.4L/100km
Seating7 seats

Verdict

Audi Q57.5/10

Audi has worked largely behind the scenes to tweak and change just little details for its facelifted Q5. Ultimately though, these all add up for a significantly more appealing mid-size luxury SUV, even against tough segment competition.

The brand has managed to add some vital tech enhancements, improve value, and breathe life back into its key family tourer which previously looked a little in danger of being left behind.

Our pick of the range is the Sport for having the most impressive equipment at a very reasonable price.


Mazda CX-98/10

The CX-9 is still a great option for families looking for a large SUV, even if it is starting to show its age as new rivals continue to launch with newer technologies.

That said, the availability of a luxury-focused six-seat configuration (Azami LE AWD) for the first time might be enough to convince some buyers to give it further consideration.

But for others who need the versatility of seven seats, this is still the CX-9 we’ve all come to know and love – but just a little bit better – particularly in its best-selling Azami AWD form.

Design

Audi Q57/10

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the updated Q5's design is how closely you have to look to see what's changed. I know Audi's design language tends to move at a glacial pace, but it is unfortunate timing for the Q5 that it misses out on some of the more fun and radical design choices made with more recently launched Audi SUVs, such as the Q3 and Q8.

Regardless, the brand has revised the grille across all grades, tweaked some little features in the face to make it a bit more angular, added some contrast in the alloy wheel designs, and removed the chintzier plastic cladding from the base model.

They're all subtle changes, but welcome ones that help the Q5 sync up with the rest of the brand's line-up once more. The Q5 is a conservative choice, perhaps for those looking to fly under the radar compared to the shouty chrome of the GLC or exaggerated features of the BMW X3.

Round the back this latest Q5 update gets even more subtle, with the most notable feature being a highlight bar across the bootlid. The rear light clusters are now LED across the range, and have been slightly re-worked, and the lower splitter has a more modern design.

Put simply, if you liked the Q5 before, you'll like it even more now. I hardly think its new look is revolutionary enough to capture a new audience in quite the same way as its smaller Q3 sibling or even the new A1 hatch.

The changes to the Q5's interior design are small but significant, and really help to modernise the space. The standard 10.1-inch multimedia screen pairs nicely with the virtual dash cluster now standard across the range, and the dreadful software from the previous car has been replaced by the slick operating system from more recent Audis.

As things are now easier to use via the touchscreen, the Q5's once-busy centre console has been tidied up. The odd touchpad and dial set-up have been removed and replaced by a pared-back design with useful little storage cutaways.

It certainly looks as high-tech as Audi's "progress through technology" tagline would suggest. Other improvements include improved 'leather accented trim' on the seats, and a revised console box with a slide-away wireless phone-charging bay, a nice touch.

The two cars we tested showed off the choices of interior highlight trim: our diesel car had an open-pore wood look, and the petrol car had a textured aluminium finish. Both felt and looked great.

The Q5's overall interior design is showing its age a bit, with the rest of the quite upright dash remaining the same as it was when this generation launched in 2017. Apart from those nice highlight trims, it's a bit of a single-colour treatment. At least it has all of the comfort touches you might expect from a car in this segment. It's not even to say that Audi has done a poor job of this update, quite the opposite, it's more a credit to the strong design language found on the interiors of its new-generation vehicles that the Q5 misses out on this time around.


Mazda CX-99/10

Given its latest update is relatively minor, the CX-9’s exterior largely looks the same as before, which, depending on your point of view, is a very good thing. As far as we’re concerned, it certainly is.

That said, train-spotters will notice some differences, with the GT SP (new), Azami and Azami LE (new) grades getting a refreshed grille that’s slotted and available in two grade-specific finishes unlike the insert their carryover Sport, Touring and GT siblings still have. 

And aside from the GT SP, Azami and Azami LE’s new sets of 20-inch alloy wheels (again in grade-specific finishes), the only other exterior change is the Azami and Azami LE’s larger-diameter chrome exhaust tailpipe extensions. Sporty!

Inside, the CX-9 has more changes in store, headlined by the new ‘floating’ 10.25-inch central display all but the Sport and Touring get (they stick with 7.0- and 9.0-inch units respectively).

The new set-up is powered by Mazda’s latest multimedia system, which is certainly an improvement over its predecessor, and a much needed one at that.

Worth noting, touch is not an input method, with the rotary controller on the centre console the only option, which is actually great for safety, so we’re all for it.

The Azami and Azami LE also get new quilted Nappa leather upholstery, which looks and feels great, and adds to the overall high-quality theme.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much business as usual, which is great because the CX-9 has always had a well-designed interior. Yep, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Practicality

Audi Q57/10

While the Q5 remains dimensionally identical to its predecessor, practicality has improved for this update, especially with the extra space afforded for front passengers. Small but useful storage cutaways for wallets, phones and keys now appear down the centre console, and the storage box with variable-height lid is nice and deep. The wireless phone-charger is a very nice addition, and it can either cover up the front two cupholders for a flush look, or slide away under the console lid if you need to make use of them.

The bottle holders are large, too, and there are even bigger ones with decent trenches in the door pockets.

The tri-zone climate unit is no-nonsense and practical but minimalist dials still appear near the shift-lever for volume and fine-tuning control.

The seats are quite adjustable, as is the steering column, but this is a true SUV at heart, so don't expect to find the sportiest seating position, as these have a high base and the tall dash precludes most from sitting lower to the floor.

In the back seat I had enough room for my 182cm height, but I was honestly expecting a little more from such a large SUV. There's room for my knees and head, but I'll also note the seat trim felt like it could do with more padding in the base. I wasn't as comfortable here as I was in a relatively recent test of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e, which has softer, more luxurious 'Artico' leather-appointed trim, too. Worth considering.

Rear passengers benefit from a light and airy space thanks to the panoramic sunroof in the Sport grade which we were able to test, and the Q5 continues to offer a very welcome third climate zone with adjustable vents and controls for rear passengers. There are also two USB-A ports and a 12v outlet, for a versatile set of charging options.

Storage-wise, rear passengers get large bottle holders in the doors and flimsy nets on the backs of the front seats, and there's also a drop-down armrest with two smaller bottle-holders.

Another consideration here is the optionally available 'Comfort package' which puts the second row on rails and allows passengers to further adjust the angle of the seat back. This option ($1300 for 40 TDI or $1690 for 45 TFSI) also includes an electric steering column.

Boot space for the Q5 range comes in at 520 litres which is on-par for this luxury mid-size segment, if a little smaller than its key rivals. For reference it easily consumed our CarsGuide demo travel cases with plenty of space to spare. The Q5 also has a collection of elastic nets to go with its multitude of tie-down points.

The addition of a motorised tailgate as standard is a very welcome addition, and the two Q5 Sports we tested had space-saver spares with an inflator kit under the boot floor.


Mazda CX-99/10

Being an SUV that’s 5075mm long, 1969mm wide and 1747mm tall, practicality is arguably the most important thing for the CX-9, and with the option of six seats for the first time with the new Azami LE, it’s even more versatile.

All seven-seat grades have a 60/40 split-fold second row that manually slides and reclines the same as before, with only the Sport missing out on one-touch tumble operation, which makes accessing the 50/50 split-fold third row even easier, even if it’s still not graceful.

But the six-seat Azami LE is configured differently, given its second row has two captain’s chairs instead of a bench. That said, it operates in a very similar manner, just with power adjustment.

I still had around eight centimetres of legroom and four of legroom behind my 184cm (6'0") driving position, while the large transmission tunnel that’s a foot-space issue in seven-seat versions... isn’t.

One key difference with the very roomy and comfortable Azami LE is it only has four top-tether child-seat anchorage points, while all other grades have five thanks to their extra seat. Either way, four ISOFIX child-set anchorage points are split across the second and third rows.

Alternatively, the third row can be used by adults on shorter journeys, although they won’t have a lot of space to enjoy. Again, I'm 184cm tall and it’s tight back there, with no headroom or legroom on offer, but children will, of course, fare much better.

The CX-9’s boot is still pretty usable with all three rows in action, with 230L of cargo capacity available, but you can stow the two rear seats to get 810L in total.

And if you want maximum cargo capacity, the middle seats can also be folded, but not in the Azami LE, annoyingly.

Either way, the CX-9 doesn’t have a load lip but does have a flat floor, so loading bulkier items is a cinch, while two bag hooks and four tie-down points are on hand for securing loose items if they can’t fit in the double map pockets on the front seat backrests.

There are two cupholders in the third row, another two in the second row’s fold-down armrest (seven-seater versions) or large centre console (Azami LE), and another two in the first row’s larger centre console, while the front and rear door bins can also take bottles – and other knick-knacks.

All grades get USB ports in the first row, while the Touring and above also have them in the second row, and the GT and above also feature them in the third row. It’d be nice if there was no differentiation, though.

Price and features

Audi Q58/10

Would you believe me if I told you the new Q5 was a value buy despite a price-hike for this year?

Yes, it's a luxury SUV, but with a boost in equipment and price-tags across the range that range from slightly to significantly below its key rivals, the Q5 impresses from the get-go.

The entry-level variant is now simply called the Q5 (it used to be called the 'Design'). It's available with a choice of either a 2.0-litre diesel (40 TDI) or a 2.0-litre petrol (45 TFSI) engine, and equipment levels have been most significantly boosted here.

Now standard are 19-inch alloy wheels (up from 18s), full paint finish (the brand has elected to dump the plastic-guard look from the previous iteration), LED headlights and taillights (no more xenons!), a new 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen with overhauled software (can't be thankful enough for this one), Audi's signature 'Virtual Cockpit' instrument cluster with further customisable features, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android auto connectivity, a wireless charging bay, auto dimming rear vision mirror, upgraded 'leather appointed' seat trim, and a powered tailgate.

Very nice and almost everything you need, really. The cost? $68,900 before on-roads (MSRP) for the diesel or $69,600 for the petrol. No context for that? All you need to know is it undercuts its two arch-rivals, the entry-level versions of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Next up is the Sport. Again, available with a choice of the same 2.0-litre turbo engines, the Sport adds some primo items like 20-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, auto dimming wing mirrors, adaptive cruise control (can be had as an option on the base car), blacked-out headlining trim, sport seats, some more advanced safety items, and access to some further option packs.

Again, the Sport undercuts its equivalent badges in the X3 and GLC ranges, wearing MSRPs of $74,900 for the 40 TDI, and $76,600 for the 45 TFSI petrol.

Capping off the range will be the S-Line, which will exclusively be available with a 50 TDI 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6. Again, the S-Line will up the visual ante with the brand's new performance-oriented blacked-out features, Sportier bodykit and honeycomb grille.

It comes standard with 20-inch alloys in a different design, an interior LED lighting package, electrically adjustable steering column, and a head-up display, but otherwise shares its primary equipment with the Sport. The 50 TDI S-Line wears an MSRP of $89,600. Again, this is not at the expensive end of the spectrum for a more performance-oriented mid-sizer from a luxury brand.


Mazda CX-98/10

The CX-9 has become more expensive, with some grades up a little, while others are up a lot. The range now starts from $45,990, plus on-road costs, and reaches $73,875 (see pricing table below), but there is more standard equipment now.

Either way, two new grades have joined the now-comprehensive CX-9 line-up, bringing the total to six, with the new GT SP slotting in above the mid-range GT but below the previously flagship Azami, which is now bettered by the new Azami LE.

The entry-level Sport and Touring round out the line-up, with each grade coming with front-wheel drive as standard, although all-wheel drive is an expensive $4000 option for all but the Azami that instead asks for a $4435 premium, and the Azami LE which gets it as standard.

Features-wise, the Sport gets dusk-sensing LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, a 7.0-inch central display, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, digital radio, a six-speaker sound system, a head-up display, three-zone climate control and black cloth upholstery.

While the Touring has the same 18-inch alloy wheels, it steps up with keyless entry, a 9.0-inch central display, paddle-shifters (new), power-adjustable front seats with heating, and black leather upholstery.

The GT goes even further with 20-inch alloy wheels, a hands-free power-operated tailgate, a sunroof, the aforementioned 10.25-inch central display (new), a 12-speaker Bose sound system, a wireless smartphone charger (new) and heated outboard middle seats.

As its name suggests, the new GT SP is the sportier version of the GT, adding a unique black finish to its 20-inch alloy wheels and side-mirror caps as well as burgundy leather upholstery and red stitching for just $500 more.

Meanwhile, the Azami has 20-inch alloy wheels with a bright finish (new) as well as adaptive LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, a 7.0-inch multifunction display, a heated steering wheel and 'Pure White' or 'Walnut Brown' quilted Nappa leather upholstery (new).

And finally, the new Azami LE mimics the Azami but replaces its middle bench with two power-adjustable captain’s chairs with heating and cooling plus a dedicated centre console, so six seats in total instead of the usual seven.

Also of note, the CX-9 has a new metallic paintwork option: 'Polymetal Grey', which helps it stand out from the crowd.

For reference, the CX-9’s rivals include the soon-to-be-replaced Toyota Kluger ($44,850 to $68,574) and the recently launched facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe ($43,990 to $61,660) and new-generation Kia Sorento ($45,850 to $63,070).

 

2021 Mazda CX-9 pricing before on-road costs

Sport FWDautomatic $45,990 (+$70)
Sport AWDautomatic$49,990 (+$70)
Touring FWDautomatic$53,490 (+$180)
Touring AWDautomatic$57,490 (+$180)
GT FWDautomatic$62,990 (+$1270)
GT AWDautomatic$66,990 (+$1270)
GT SP FWDautomatic$63,490 (NEW)
GT SP AWDautomatic$67,490 (NEW)
Azami FWDautomatic$66,190 (+$1297)
Azami AWDautomatic$70,625 (+$1686)
Azami LEautomatic$73,875 (NEW)

 

Engine & trans

Audi Q58/10

Audi has tweaked the Q5 engine line-up for this facelift, introducing some more high-tech touches.

The base car, and the mid-grade sport have a choice of two engines, the 40 TDI 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, and the 45 TFSI 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol.

Both have healthy outputs slightly different from their pre-facelift equivalents of 150kW/400Nm for the 40 TDI (slightly down), and 183kW/370Nm for the 45 TFSI (slightly up).

These are also augmented with a new mild hybrid (MHEV) system which consists of a separate 12-volt lithium-ion battery which helps to boost the starter motor. It is "mild" in the truest sense of the word but allows these engines to have smoother start/stop systems and increase the amount of time the car can coast with the engine off when decelerating. The brand claims this system can save up to 0.3L/100km on the combined fuel cycle.

Those looking for a little more in every department will soon also be able to opt for the 50 TDI S-Line, which trades the four-cylinder engine for a 3.0-litre diesel V6 producing 210kW/620Nm. It also ups the MHEV system to 48-volt. I'm sure we'll be able to share more on this variant when it launches later in the year.

All Q5s wear Audi's signature Quattro all-wheel drive branding, and in this case it has a newer version (launched with this car in 2017) called "Ultra Quattro" in which all four wheels are driven by default via twin clutch-packs on each axle. This is in contrast to some "on-demand" systems which only activate the front axle when a loss of traction is detected. Audi says the Q5 will revert to front-drive mode only in the most ideal of circumstances, like when minimal acceleration is applied, or when the car is coasting at higher speeds. This system is also said to "reduce frictional losses" for a further approximate 0.3L/100km reduction in fuel consumption.

The 40 TDI and 45 TFSI engines are both mated to seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmissions, and the Q5 range can tow 2000kg braked regardless of variant.


Mazda CX-97/10

All CX-9 grades are powered by a carryover 2.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, which produces 170kW of power at 5000rpm and 420Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

A six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission is standard, and again, you get the option of front- or all-wheel drive for all grades but one, the AWD-only Azami LE.

If you’re after a diesel-powered seven-seater, Mazda also has the similarly sized CX-8 in its line-up, but it still doesn’t offer a hybrid option in any of its SUVs, even though many rivals are moving in that direction, including the aforementioned Kluger, Santa Fe and Sorento.

Fuel consumption

Audi Q58/10

The Q5 is big and heavy, but these new more efficient engines have helped to trim fuel use across the board.

The 40 TDI diesel engine option has an impressively low official claimed/combined fuel figure of just 5.4L/100km, while the 45 TFSI has a less impressive (but still good, all things considered) official/combined figure of 8.0L/100km.

We won't give an as-tested figure for our launch drive loops as they wouldn't be a fair representation of a week of combined driving, so we'll save a full judgement for later variant reviews.

You'll need to fill the 45 TFSI with mid-grade 95RON unleaded petrol. The petrol engine gets a large 73-litre fuel tank, while either of the diesel engines have 70-litre tank.


Mazda CX-97/10

According to the official combined fuel consumption figures (ADR 81/02), FWD variants of the CX-9 sip 8.4 litres per 100km, which isn’t too bad for a petrol-powered large SUV that weighs just shy of 1900kg. Claimed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are 197 grams per km.

And given they weigh a whisker more than two tonnes, AWD versions of the CX-9s drink a slightly higher 9.0L/100km and emit 211g/km.

We covered 188km in the Azami AWD and Azami LE AWD at the CX-9’s launch and recorded 11.5L/100km after primarily driving on country roads and highways.

While that figure is nearly 30 per cent higher than Mazda's claim, it’s not outlandish considering the type of vehicle the CX-9 is. Either way, results will vary.

For reference, AWD variants have a slightly large fuel tank (74L) than their FWD counterparts (72L), but they all take more affordable 91RON petrol at minimum.

Driving

Audi Q57/10

Have you driven a Q5 before? For those who have, there will be no big changes here. For everyone else, it's a big heavy SUV with a 2.0-litre engine. The Q5 has always been inoffensive, but perhaps not a riveting experience behind the wheel when it comes to its lesser-powered variants.

We weren't able to test the go-fast 50 TDI S-Line as part of this launch review, but I can report that both updated 2.0-litre turbo options have both been nicely refined to make this big SUV a comfortable and competent family tourer.

Despite Audi going to lengths to point out aggressive 0-100km/h sprint times for both variants, I just couldn't connect with them in that sporty way. I'm sure they're fast in a straight line, but when you need to ask for torque at freeway speed or are really trying to make the most of a curvy road, it's tough to get over this SUV's bulk.

Both engines are quiet though, and even the non-active suspension tune does a remarkable job of being both comfortable and controlled.

The diesel engine is prone to bouts of lag, and although attempts have been made to reduce the impact of the stop-start system, it can leave you without precious torque at times when starting at the lights or at roundabouts and T-junctions. The petrol alternative is much better in this regard, proving slick and responsive on our test loop.

Once up-and-running the dual-clutch was hard to catch out, with ultra-fast shifts and ratios chosen at appropriate times.

The steering suits this car's character really well. It's quite computer-assisted, but in its default mode is pleasantly light, while sport mode tightens up the ratio to bring enough bite and responsiveness to keep the driver engaged enough.

Sport mode does deserve special mention here, as it's an unsually good one. The tightened-up steering is joined by more aggressive accelerator response, and with the excellent adaptive suspension package, a lower firmer ride.

Speaking of the adaptive suspension, we had the opportunity to test it in the 40 TDI, and while it's an expensive option ($3385, ouch!) it removed the sharper moments from the standard ride, added a dollop of dynamism, and quietened down the cabin even more.

Even the stock suspension plays nicely with this car's all-wheel drive system, which no doubt helps with that sturdy road feel and confident traction.

The sum of these parts makes the updated Q5 perhaps what it should be – a comfortable premium family tourer with a hint of something more thrown in. It sits nicely between its key rivals, with the Mercedes-Benz GLC more to the luxury side, and the BMW X3 offering a bit more of a sporty angle.


Mazda CX-98/10

As far as large SUVs go, the CX-9 is one of the better ones to drive. It’s certainly not confused; it knows what it needs to do and does it well.

The engine is properly punchy down low, serving up plenty of initial torque, so much so that you rarely need to chase its top-end power. In that way, it’s very diesel-like, despite being petrol. Needless to say, acceleration is surprisingly brisk. Not bad, then!

And the transmission it’s matched to also does its job well. Gear changes are pleasingly smooth, if not quick, while it's receptive to heavy applications of the accelerator, kicking down a ratio or two with little hesitation. Yep, don’t bother with its Sport mode.

The CX-9 also rides pretty well thanks to its independent suspension set-up, which consists of MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear axles with passive dampers. Indeed, the kids aren’t going to be upset when they’re onboard.

Again, we mainly drove on country roads and highways, but it proved to be comfortable, particularly at high speed. And even during those rare, in-town, low-speed moments, it still impressed, on lower-quality roads or not.

And while the CX-9’s electric power steering is well-weighted, some buyers might be left wishing it was a tad lighter, especially when parking, but that’s more about personal preference than anything else.

What is more universal, though, is the system’s lack of feel. Obviously, we’re not dealing with a sports car here, but a little communication through the wheel wouldn’t go astray, particularly on a twisty road.

Speaking of which, the CX-9 handles its mass pretty confidently around a corner. That said, while it is relatively tied down, it still regularly exhibits a fair degree of body roll to remind you that you’re dealing with a large SUV.

Safety

Audi Q58/10

Just like the bump in cabin tech, Audi has now made the majority of safety items standard across the Q5 range.

On the active safety front, even the base Q5 gets auto emergency braking which works up to 85km/h and detects cyclists and pedestrians, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention alert, auto high-beams, and an exit warning system.

Adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera suite, a more advanced collision avoidance system, and an auto-parking suite are all part of the 'Assistance package' on the base Q5 ($1769 on 40TDI, $2300 on 45 TFSI), but become standard on the mid-grade Sport.

As for the more expected safety items, the Q5 gets the standard suite of electronic assistance items for traction and braking, with eight airbags (dual front, quad side, and dual curtain), and an active bonnet for pedestrian collisions.

The facelifted Q5 will carry over its excellent-at-the-time maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2017.


Mazda CX-98/10

ANCAP awarded the CX-9 its maximum five-star safety rating in 2016, and despite the test occurring nearly five years ago, its results still stand.

Needless to say, the game has moved on, with the Santa Fe and Sorento recently resetting the standard, while the Kluger is soon to follow suit.

The CX-9 does, however, get front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags that cover all three rows, whereas the Santa Fe and Sorento only cover the first and second rows.

All grades of the CX-9 also get front and rear autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, traffic sign recognition, high-beam assist and driver attention alert.

A reversing camera and rear parking sensors are also standard in all grades, but the Touring and above add front parking sensors, while the Azami and Azami LE also get surround-view cameras.

Ownership

Audi Q57/10

Audi persists with a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which is well behind the pace given its primary rival Mercedes-Benz is now offering five years, emerging rival Genesis also offers five years, and Japanese alternative Lexus offers four years. Still, many of its other rivals, including BMW and Range Rover, persist with three-year promises, so the brand is hardly alone here.

Audi does score some major points for having more affordable pre-paid service packages. At the time of writing, a five-year service pack for the 40 TDI comes in at $3160 or $632 a year, and a pack for the 45 TFSI comes in at $2720 or $544 a year. Super affordable for a premium brand.


Mazda CX-98/10

As with all Mazda models, the CX-9 comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty with five years of roadside assistance, both of which are average when compared to Kia’s market-leading seven-year terms with ‘no strings attached’.

Service intervals are 12 months or 10,000km, with the distance on the shorter side, although capped-price servicing is available for the first five visits, costing $2022 in total at the time of the writing, which is very reasonable.