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Audi’s new Q5 35 TDI joins the company’s local line-up at a crucial time. Fuel prices are sky-high so, in light of that, any potential savings a vehicle may yield in its day-to-day operation only serve to further bolster its appeal more than anything else at the moment.
The limited edition Q5 35 TDI is, Audi reckons, the most fuel-efficient diesel SUV on offer in the Australian market with a combined fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km and a theoretical driving range of more than 1400km – but, as always, we prefer to real-word test any car makers’ claims for ourselves, rather than merely take them at face value.
So, what’s the new Q5 like?
|Audi Q5 2022: 35 TDI Mhev Limited Edition|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
The 2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition is the entry-level spec in the Q5 line-up and has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $68,350, which excludes on-road costs.
Our test vehicle was $69,881 because its exterior was Manhattan grey metallic paint, which costs an extra $1531.
The standard features list is extensive and includes, but is certainly mot limited to, 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen (with wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, and sat nav), heated and power-adjustable front seats, leather-appointed seat upholstery, three-zone deluxe airconditioning, LED headlights with daytime running lights, all-weather lights, and LED rear lights, colour ambient interior lighting, an electric rear tailgate with gesture control, and 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels in 10-Y-spoke design.
Driver-assist tech includes AEB (with pedestrian detection), Audi’s parking system plus with front and rear parking sensors, active lane assist, light and rain sensor with rear view camera and high beam assist.
Obviously there is a lot more going on in this new Q5 than just those features but, in the interest of keeping this yarn moving along, I’ll spare you all of those.
Find out for yourself.
The Q5 is 4682mm long (with a 2823mm-long wheelbase), 2140mm wide and 1637mm high.
Audi has seemingly mastered the art of fine-tuning the look of an urban-focussed SUV and packaged it in this neat and tidy vehicle.
This mid-size luxury SUV is easy enough on the eye to me but, as always, make up your own mind about what you like and don’t like in terms of styling.
I spend a lot of my time in large 4WDs, so it’s unusual for me to climb into something like the Q5 but I like to think I bring a fresh perspective to objectively critiquing the kinds of vehicles that inhabit this slice of the market.
In that spirit of frankness, here goes…
With leather all over the shop and soft-touch surfaces in abundance, this is definitely a premium space and though the interior feels like it shrink-wraps around you, it still manages to feel somewhat roomy and functional.
There are five seats: driver (power-adjustable and heated with four-way electric lumbar support) and front passenger (power-adjustable and heated), and a second row of seats in a 40:20:40 split-fold configuration.
There are floor mats, front and rear, to cop the dirt and debris of everyday life.
The driver gets a leather steering wheel with controls and paddle-shifters, and access to storage places aplenty, including cupholders in the centre console and door pockets, and two USB outlets in front, with charging and connectivity functions.
The touchscreen multimedia unit is easy enough to use and I didn’t have any problems pairing my phone to the system.
Second-row passengers get a fold-down armrest with cupholders, as well as two USB outlets, aircon temp and fan controls (and a digital display), and storage spaces back there include door pockets.
Cargo volume is listed as 520 litres in the rear (with the second row in use), and 1520 litres if the second row is stowed away.
Comfortable, refined and composed.
It has a kerb weight of 1740kg (unladen), a turning circle of 11.7m and feels nimble enough with its not ungainly size and weight.
There is plenty to like about this vehicle – not the least of which is rather sharp steering and an engine and auto combination that produces seamless changes at the right times and reliably smooth delivery of torque from low revs – but look elsewhere if you’re chasing a particularly thrilling drive experience. There’s a bit of lag about its general performance and it needs to be really coaxed into action to yield the goods when it comes time to get energetic on the road.
The Q5 drives well enough and offers safe, predictable handling but it should feel more lively than it does.
Having said that, it is quiet inside and cocoons you for extended drives. There’s no need to ‘send it’ (as the kids say) via heavy throttle because when driving something like this, smooth and steady is the best way.
It is reliably surefooted and stable on somewhat traction-compromised surfaces (i.e. rain-slick blacktop and the like).
Ride is generally quite firm and those 20-inch alloys don’t help.
A niggle: the Q5 has a collapsible space-saver spare tyre, as a lot of these city-based SUVs do, and that’s far from ideal if you’re ranging away from metropolitan areas.
Ground clearance is listed as 175mm so you don’t have a lot of room for error when traversing any bumpy terrain, and the 245/40 R20 tyres are road-biased so they’re not suited to the rigours of dirt driving.
If you’re keen to use your Q5 as a towing vehicle, please note that its listed capacities are 750kg (unbraked) and 2000kg (braked).
Otherwise, the Q5 is a rather pleasant SUV for daily driving duties.
Official fuel consumption is listed as 4.8L/100km (combined).
Actual fuel consumption on test, measured at the pump, was 4.2L/100km. Very impressive.
The Q5 has a 70-litre fuel tank so, going by that as-tested fuel-consumption figure, you can reasonably expect a driving range of approximately 1616km from a full tank, factoring in a safe-distance buffer of 50km.
It has a 24-litre AdBlue tank.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
It has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing in 2017.
It has eight airbags (front airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags for front and rear passengers, head level curtain airbag for front and rear), and there are two ISOFIX child seat-mounting points in the rear seat.
Driver-assist tech includes AEB (with pedestrian detection), lane change warning (blind-spot warning), front and rear parking sensors, active lane assist, tyre pressure loss indicator, light and rain sensor with rear view camera and high beam assist.
The Q5 has a five-year / unlimited km warranty, plus a five-year warranty on the paint, and a 12-year manufacturer warranty for bodywork against corrosion perforation.
Servicing appointments are scheduled at 15,000 km or 12 months, whichever comes first.
Owners of new Audis can buy five-year service plans at any time during the first 12 months of their ownership – the cost is $3140 on all Q5s.
In a bustling mid-size luxury SUV market, Audi has managed to achieve the ultimate in perfect timing: launch what they claim is Australia’s most fuel-efficient diesel SUV when fuel prices are weighing heavily on everyone’s minds.
But while its fuel consumption is impressive, the Q5 has more to offer than that: it’s comfortable, controlled and refined, and exhibits the expected Audi levels of luxury.
It’s not the liveliest of drives, but the Q5 is a package likely to please Audi fans and perhaps even attract a few more buyers away from its rivals.
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