Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic S line Review
A Nondescript Bestseller

Text and Photos by James Wong
13 Jul 2021
 

"The Q5 is the sort of car that is quite happy not to be noticed on a street."

You may not have guessed it, but Audi calls the Q5 one of its best-selling cars. The way it quietly goes about its business is perhaps an asset for a car that will likely be used as a family workhorse, but it certainly feels a little under the radar. 

This is actually the 2nd update to the current generation Q5, the last being in 2017. This gives a chance for the Q5 to continue its winning streak with a slight nip and tuck. The S line exterior package now comes as standard for all Singapore-bound Q5s, so you get an attention-grabbing front honeycomb grille and a chrome strip at the back. Rear light clusters also feature a world’s first, being OLED, so they can change their light signatures depending on what drive mode you are in for example. 

But really, the changes are mostly very subtle. It would take an Audi aficionado to notice. You don’t change the winning formula too much I guess.  

Inside

The impeccable interior quality of Audi continues unabated in the new Q5, even though it is based on a slightly older architecture that still relies on more physical controls (a good thing). It’s refreshing that climate controls remain as buttons and are a cinch to use. 

The MMI infotainment system is now powered by MIB3 which is ten times more powerful than before in processing, so menus move very snappily. With the removal of the track pad due to this new MMI, there are even more cubby holes than before; this is a big plus for there is space for just about everything you would carry, whether it is a 1.5L water bottle or valuables.

With the “rear bench seat plus” option coming as standard, you can adjust its position forwards and backwards. At its most forward position, boot space is a generous 610 litres and is a cinch to load as it is a seamless floor. 

The Drive

The Q5 comes equipped with the familiar 2.0 TFSI engine that is good for 249 PS and 370 Nm. It feels strong and amply powerful for the Q5. Paired with the responsive S tronic gearbox that is surprisingly snappy not just for upshifts but also downshifts, it is hard to fault the drivetrain as it is quiet, refined and muscular. It fairs average marks for fuel consumption, achieving 8.5 km/l on my drive which was a mix of 50% highway and 50% city. 

Since the last facelift of the Q5, quattro with ultra technology comes as standard which is an enhancement of the standard system. Being 4kg lighter, it minimises drag losses by being primarily front-wheel drive until traction to the rear is needed. With networked data from several points such as steering angle and engine torque, the system decides in 10 millisecond cycles where to direct power to. In practice, it must be said that its benefits over the standard system could not really be detected, even in the adverse weather conditions we have seen the last few days. Perhaps it is a good thing as it is imperceptibly working in the background. 

The most jarring thing about the otherwise painless Q5 experience is its ride comfort, or lack thereof. The test car’s 21” rims gave the adjustable suspension a very hard time to maintain a decent level of composure no matter drive setting you choose, with undesirable “left right” rocking motions evident over even fairly smooth roads and a crashy ride especially for rear passengers over rough roads. Best keep to the 19” rims that come as standard that hopefully will give a much more cosseting ride. If you must go to 21”, it may be wise to opt for air suspension which is a $4,145 option. 

Our Thoughts

The Q5 is the sort of car that is quite happy not to be noticed on a street. It is competent and delivers a luxury car experience befitting of its price, except for its overly harsh ride. 

In Summary

We Like

Interior quality, overall build and material standards. Drivetrain is fiercely efficient and capable.    

We Don't

Ride that could cause grief to passengers. No standout USPs that make the Q5 in any particular measure.   

Verdict

It’s a fine choice so long as you specify the right rims or suspension…   

Car Loan Calculator - Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S

SGD 266,524 (8 Jul 2021)

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 261bhp @ 5250rpm
Torque 370Nm @ 1600rpm
Power to Weight 148.3 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 240 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7-speed S tronic
Drive Type F4

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4682 x 1893 x 1662) mm
Wheelbase 2820 mm
Turning Circle 11.7 metres
Kerb Weight 1760 kg
Boot Capacity 520 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1520 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs