Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Life's New Necessities

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Life's New Necessities

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Curry Iain.Curry@scnews.com.au

TRADITIONAL alcohol-fuelled bar chats are often centred on familiar subjects, with a popular one being how your everyday life would change if you won the lotto.

You could look down a restaurant menu and pick the most expensive meal, book that presidential suite at a city hotel and certainly never sit in an economy air fare seat again.

I've discovered another one to add to the list. Having spent the best part of a week with an Audi Q5 2.0-litre diesel, I am sure that should my numbers ever come up, I'd tick every conceivable optional extra when ordering a new car.

We know Audi make stylish, sporty and luxurious machines, so even the base model with no extras ticked will satisfy. But don't we all have the urge to show off sometimes? It's not hard when you've got a climate controlled cup holder or front seats that electronically custom mould to your back's dimensions.

Such things are luxuries rather than necessities: wanted rather than really required. But once you get used to such toys, it's hard to imagine life without them.

Style and substance

Audi's Q5 has been in Australia for more than two years now, but still stands out as one of the best looking small SUVs money can buy. My test Q5 featured Audi's Off-Road Styling Package with 20-inch wheels, including upgrades to the bumpers, side grills, wheel arches, under body and front grille.

Such items do offer a bit more off-road protection while still looking rather flash, but I decided this big-wheeled charmer would look more in place along Hastings Street rather than muddying its flanks on an off-road track. And when you're paying an extra $7300 for such things, you'd be keen not to damage them.

The Q5 with xenon headlights and LED daytime lights ($2283 extra) turned heads. It's certainly a car to be seen in, which is no hardship considering its beautiful cabin.

Yes, many optional extras costs would be hard to justify when it comes to handing the money over, but there is an undeniable joy to these little luxuries.

A Bang & Olufsen sound system is $1390 extra; tri-zone air conditioning $1260; Advanced Key keyless entry and start $1338, and an electric tailgate $1065. …

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