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Driven: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI. Image by Audi.

Driven: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI
The latest version of one of the most proficient mid-sized premium SUVs is even more proficient and premium than ever.


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Audi Q5 2.0 TDI

4 4 4 4 4

Good points: Does everything you'd expect of an Audi Q5 to an exceedingly high standard

Not so good: Still lacks for much in the way of chassis flair, even by class standards

Key Facts

Model tested: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S line 190 S tronic
Price: Q5 range starts from 38,035; 2.0 TDI S line from 41,085, car as tested 44,565
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: all-wheel drive, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic
Body style: five-door SUV
CO2 emissions: 133g/km (200 VED first 12 months, then 450 per annum next five years, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 55.4mpg
Top speed: 135mph
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Power: 190hp at 3,800- to 4,200rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750- to 3,000rpm

Our view:

The second-generation Audi Q5 is the epitome of classy effortlessness. This mid-sized premium SUV - which is such a lucrative product for Audi - has to be one of the easiest-to-use vehicles in the world. You get into a Q5 2.0 TDI S line and, having spent no more than five minutes behind its flat-bottomed wheel, you feel like you've owned it for years. You already know precisely what it is going to do at any given moment in terms of steering, braking, acceleration and body control. You know exactly where all the primary and secondary function switches are. And you know it's a supremely talented vehicle that will always feel relaxing and pleasant to drive in the widest variety of situations.

Yet, if you're sifting through that chunk of mealy-mouthed praise and thinking there's a 'but' coming, then you'd be right. Such openness of full character in such a short space of time leaves you with nothing to learn about the Q5. There's no feeling that an early-evening blast on your favourite back road, when you're on your own and without the family tagging along, will reveal any hidden facets of the Audi's character. There's no chassis adventure to be found here, no higher level of steering feel or additional dimension or finesse of body control. The Audi just doles out the same proficient, if ever-so-slightly staid, driving experience from push-button start to finish; eight-out-of-ten, every single time.

But this is not to criticise the Q5 Mk2. Beyond the double-edged sword of this trait to lay everything it has out before you within moments of making its acquaintance, there's obviously much to like. It wears the Q7-inspired styling better than the Q7 itself, with its sweeping swage lines, Singleframe grille and narrow headlights coming across as more proportional on an SUV which is physically more compact. The flagship S line trim, the top level of three specs in the UK, gives the Q5 additional presence with its subtle body extras and 19-inch alloys.

Inside, the Q5 is marvellous, as you'd expect of an Audi. While not exactly what you'd call showy - even with 250 splurged on Audi's excellent Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster - it is, as was ever and so with an Audi, faultless in terms of fit, finish and general ergonomics. It's spacious too, with a roomy rear bench and a big boot at the rear of the car.

So as a family motor, the Q5 really does have the premium compact SUV sector licked, especially as it has class-leading refinement on the move. The suppression of wind and tyre noise is second-to-none, and that 190hp diesel engine is a pearl. OK, the Q5 2.0 TDI isn't the punchiest of SUVs, but it has more than enough lazily accessible oomph to make it massively likeable, and it even gave us back 45.5mpg across 460 miles, with 52.2mpg shown during a short cruise up and down the A1. The car's ride is excellent too, with only a few of the worst lumps and bumps noticeable courtesy of S line's 19-inch alloys and sports suspension set-up. As a fuss-free family conveyance, you can see why the Q5 is such a massive deal for Audi.

It's a big price tag, though. As tested with options, this 2.0 TDI S line was as near as makes no difference 45,000, which is nearly as much as the entry-level price for the SQ5 performance flagship with the velvety, 354hp 3.0-litre V6 petrol. Is that too much, then, for this most representative of UK Mk2 Q5s? No, it isn't. The Q5 TDI isn't memorable, but is it utterly beguiling within seconds of getting to know it? Oh, undoubtedly so.

And that's why Audi will continue to sell bucketloads of the things, without any concern over whether the Q5 possesses the last word in steering feel and deft handling balance. As we said at the top, effortlessly classy... or was it classy effortlessness?


BMW X3: has just evolved into its third generation, which tells you BMW has being doing this sort of thing for longer than Audi. X3 has the dynamic edge, Q5 has the interior quality - tale as old as time, then.

Mercedes-Benz GLC: considering we never got the cuboid GLK predecessor here, the GLC is a remarkably wonderful all-rounder and probably our preferred SUV of the three Germans.

Volvo XC60: Volvo shrinks the wonder of its XC90 seven-seat SUV into the superb five-seat XC60. Looks particularly good in R-Design trim and matches the Audi for refinement and interior finishing.

Matt Robinson - 3 Nov 2017    - Audi road tests
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2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.

2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI drive. Image by Audi.


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