Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Refined Revelation

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Refined Revelation

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Duff

BIG things are expected of the new Q5, not least of which is reclaiming the mantle as the most popular mid-size prestige SUV.

First impressions indicate the bigger, better appointed Q5 could pull it off, despite serious opposition from the likes of the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan.

A new chassis and the usual focus on shaving weight make the new car up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor.

The combined effect is to make the Q5 a better-handling and performing vehicle, while cutting claimed fuel use to 5.3L/100km.

The safety suite is also improved, with autonomous emergency braking up to 85kmh, cross-traffic assist, exit warning to prevent "dooring" cyclists, blind-spot warning and semi-automated parking.

The Q5 won't appear in dealerships until late June and there will be a pair of four-cylinder engines at launch.

Starting at $65,900 before on-roads, the 2.0-litre turbo diesel gets a "Design" styling package. Standard kit includes 18-inch wheels, powered tailgate, three-zone aircon, seven-inch infotainment screen with satnav and digital radio and Apple/Android mirroring.

Opt for the Sport line - as Audi expects 70% of buyers to do - and the Q5 TDI rises to $70,700, adding adaptive LED headlamps, sports front seats, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, 8.3-inch screen, DVD player, 10-speaker audio, 20-inchers and Audi's acclaimed digital display.

Initially, the 2.0-litre petrol engine will be the headline act and is priced from $73,500. With 185kW/370Nm, it propels the Q5 to 100km/h in a lively 6.3 seconds.

Sports line is standard on the petrol variant. An SQ5 will arrive soon after launch.

On the road

The Audi is quite the revelation. On coarse-chip roads a whisper of wind noise at highway pace; a muted murmur from the 285mm wide tyres.

The subdued auditory experience is matched by a studiously neutral drive. …

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