The new, 2018 Audi Q5 is here, and in its second generation, Audi’s global big-seller has grown in size, shed some weight, incorporated new features and improved on what always were its core strengths. There are a few downsides too, and we’ll discuss them all in this web oriented review of the new 2018 Audi Q5 35 TDI. Let’s get started.
New 2018 Audi Q5 Video Review
New 2018 Audi Q5 Interior and features
For a luxury car, what generally matters the most for its buyers is its interior and features. The new 2018 Audi Q5 delights on a whole bunch of parameters though it also dampens the spirit on a point of two. To start with, the dashboard has been revamped and is done in a grey- beige shade to augment a sense of airiness and space. The centre console is minimalistic and features an 8.3 inch freestanding screen on the dash.
The HVAC Controls on the new Audi car are all-new and the buttons for the same feel solid, with great feedback. The controls are pretty easy to use too, and make tuning the front two-zones of the three-zone climate control quite easy.
Further below, the new Audi MMI system has been revamped too, and gets the big, wide track-pad with character recognition, pinch to zoom, click to select and upto eight memory points to save stuff such as radio stations or destinations on the sat-nav.
The buttons around the big, wide, yacht inspired, classy looking drive selector lever have also been reduced in number and size to de-clutter the layout and make the system more minimalistic and intuitive to use. The three-zone climate control would go a long way battling the horrible summers we face in India.
There is sufficient space under the front arm rest and it also gets a wireless charging platform along with Audi’s phone box, which uses the car’s antenna to strengthen the cellular signal received by your phone and improve voice quality. There are two USB sockets and an aux-in too.
Moving towards the steering, it’s a new three spoke unit, which feels nice and chunky to hold, with intuitive controls for audio and other functions. Look through that wheel and you’ll see the all-digital, hi-definition, Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3 inch screen size.
You can customize it to a fair extent, and choose between views where you can either see the digital display in traditional speedo-tacho format shown prominently, or make that duo go small and have the sat-nav occupy the majority of the space. In between all this you can toggle between a lot of useful information which include range, efficiency, tyre pressure and a whole load of useful data.
The seats up front are very comfortable with good side bolsters and ample thigh support. They are electrically adjustable for the driver with two-slot memory function. The front passenger seat, however, is not electrically adjustable and that’s really a grave omission for a car this class.
The fit and finish inside the cabin is as impeccable as ever with fine wood inlays, chrome lining on the dash and leather wrapping the seats. We missed the leather on the inner door handles though, which would feel plasticky to the front passenger – another detail that would dampen the front passenger experience somewhat.
The key on the new Q5 now features a smart function which automatically remembers up to 5 settings from the last time you turned the car off. So the next time you get into the car, it’ll automatically adjust the seats, ORVMs, music source, drive mode and A/C temperature to the setting you left it at. Cool trick, that!
There’s ample space in the door panels and the glove box, and the overall sense of space and comfort is fabulous.
Moving towards the backseats, the knee room is abundant, with headroom thrown-in in generous measure too. Even guys taller than six feet should not have any problem at the backseat. The seats themselves are very comfortable, can be moved fore and aft and can be reclined too. The big, wide panoramic sunroof lets tons of natural light come in and along with the light coloured interior, makes the cabin feel very open and spacious. There isn’t enough space for a third passenger in the backseat though, thanks to the wide transmission tunnel and the raised central portion of the car.
There is a big, wide armrest to drop down between the rear passenger, though, which has the space to let two big, fat arms without brushing. There’s also a pair of cupholders here, though the size could have been a little bigger. On the side windows you get blinds to counter the sun.
At the very back of the car, the boot is now bigger, at 550 litres and comes with a powered tail-gate, bungee cords and fasteners for added convenience. The loading lip is also pretty low as compared to the loading bay, and allows sliding the luggage rather than having to lift it up. The rear seats are 40:20:40 split and can be easily tumbled down using levers positioned in the boot area. Under the boot loading bay, you get a space saver spare. Overall, the cabin of the new Audi Q5 is very spacious, well-built, airy, comfortable, and lends itself well for use by families of 4. Our only real gripe here is the lack of electrical adjustment for the front seat.
Engine, drive and performance
The new Audi Q5 in its 35 TDI version, which by the way is only variant on offer at this point incorporates the latest iteration of the 2.0 litre TDI diesel engine which now produces 190 hp at 3800-4200 rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 1750 – 3000 rpm. Those numbers are as good as they get for the class and along with an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of more than 17 kmpl, spell great economy too.
The new TDI unit is very refined, and an ideal template for what a two-litre diesel engine should be like. It’s quite linear, and starts pulling perceptibly from the bottom of the revs, even at 1100 rpm, a gentle dab of the pedal will see the car moving forward with reasonable reassurance, and the pull keeps increasing linearly with the revs with a solid step in power above 2000 revs, without any pronounced ‘kick’. The new engine packs a reasonable amount of punch with tons of refinement.
The new seven speed S-tronic transmission plays the perfect foil here. The S-Tronic has always been quick, and on the Q5, it has been further tweaked to make those shifts even more smooth and imperceptible. You also get paddle shifters which move along with the steering and allow you to use the auto transmission as a lightening quick manual too. The fabled quattro all wheel drive system distributes drive to all four wheels and endows the Q5 with great grip around corners as well as a fair bit of off-roading capability.
For numbers, the Audi Q5 would haul its near 2-ton weight from nought to hundred in a quick 7.9 seconds, and will go all the way to its top speed of 218 km/h. The fuel tank capacity here is 70 litres and that should offer the car a range of a minimum of 800 km, even when driven enthusiastically.
The new Q5 comes with adaptive dampers which allow the suspension to be softened or stiffened. There are five driving modes to choose from which tune thee suspension as well, along with the aggressiveness of the transmission, shift points and steering weight. You get to choose from Comfort, Off-Road, Dynamic, Auto and Individual modes. The off-road mode is the softest here, with very relaxed throttle response, lightest steering and early shifts to allow for maximum traction. The quattro AWD is also at its most active state here to pull you out of any boggy, rutty or slithery conditions you may find yourselves in.
Comfort mode is again, soft, though we found it very mildly on the firmer side while handling the broken roads on our way to Pushkar from Kishangarh. The steering is soft here, though, and the up-shifts come pretty quick too. Then there’s the dynamic mode, which tightens things up – suspension goes taut, steering goes stiffer (though still on the lighter side, relatively) and the transmission would hold on to revs for much longer. Auto mode tries to choose all the settings by itself based on the road conditions and your driving style, though we suggest you choose your one of the other preset modes or choose your settings individually, from, well, Individual mode, which allows you to tune all the parameters manually, based on the kind of mood you are in, or the kind of conditions you’re driving in.
The Q5, as you’d expect, is solid from behind the wheel. There’s tons of grip from those tyres, aided by the quattro AWD, and at no point, is the Q5 lacking in terms of grip, balance or control. The steering, however, is quite light, which is an advantage while you’re driving within the city, though while going faster on open highways, or attacking corners, we’d have appreciated a bit (actually, a lot) more weight on the wheel.
As mentioned before, though, the Q5 is dynamically a sorted product with an able set of four wheels, plenty of grip, finely balanced chassis and a fairly precise, if not feel-some steering. It maintains its line through corners fairly well, with all-four tyres, along with a complex electronic brain participating in the act of managing traction and keeping things in control even at the limit.
The noise insulation inside the cabin is laudable, and you hardly get to hear and wind or road noise, even as things get a little rough. What’s more, we experienced the appreciable off-roading qualities of the new Q5 as we drove aimlessly through the broken mountain roads of Pushkar, losing light quickly and not being able to find a suitable spot to shoot. The Q5 made its way through loose sand, some pretty nasty stones, unpaved terrain, even fields strewn with thorns to give us the confidence to venture out and explore. Some expansive sections of loose sand we conquered would have had a normal 2WD crossover beached, though the Q5 sailed over them without a whimper, underlining, why a big, AWD crossover is so suitable for Indian conditions.
Overall, a very comfortable, practical and usable car, which is perfect for use by someone who drives along with family, and lays more emphasis on practicality and convenience than out-and-out sporty character.
New 2018 Audi Q5 Design and Styling
The new Q5 stands at 4.66 meters (15.3 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide and 1.66 meters (5.4 ft) tall, with a 2.82 meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase – compared to the previous model, the new Q5 has grown in nearly all of its dimensions. The weight, however, for the 2.0 litre TDI version has come down by 65kg, which, along with a drag coefficient of 0.30cd improves performance, as well as fuel efficiency of the car. With a kerb weight of 1990 kg, the new Q5 is also claimed to be the lightest in its segment.
The car gets LED headlights with dynamic turn lights at rear. There’s a new 3-D single frame grille on the car with six horizontal slats which, along with the sharply styled DRL’s make the front look way more angular and edgy than its predecessor. It’s more a nod to the direction that the Q7 took, with its angular ways.
The car gets 18″ alloys with 60 profile tyres to aid ride quality, wrapped with Michelin rubber. The exterior mirror on the car comes with electric folding function, is heated, and gets a kerb function too which lowers them when you are reversing.
Now, while the Q5 may have grown in size, and may have been given a new face, it still is every bit a Q5 in proportions and its design philosophy. It’s very identifiably a Q5, and is more of an evolutionary than revolutionary design for the brand. It’s got cues like those subtly flared wheel arches, plastic under-cladding and a muscular demeanour to accentuate its go-anywhere capability, while still being subtle enough to be a family car. And that fusion, by all means would be advantageous for the car, especially in the Indian market.
New 2018 Audi Q5 Safety features
The Q5 doesn’t skimp on active and passive safety features and comes pretty loaded with all that’s needed to keep the occupants safe. Is a Euro NCAP Five Star rated car, and the list of all the driver aids and safety features it incorporates is provided below
-Hill descent assist
-Rear View Camera, front and rear parking sensors
-Electromechanical Parking Brake
-ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake distribution), ESC (Electronic Stabilisation
-quattro all-wheel drive
The new Q5 is tough to fault. It’s got the creamiest engine-transmission combo, which packs a fair amount of spunk and can deliver am impressive fuel efficiency number as well. It’s big and spacious, packed with safety featurs, drives very well and with its capable quattro AWD can soft-road a fair bit too. It’s one of the most balanced crossovers, and that’s why every one in three quattros sold worldwide is a Q3. Handsome looking, very practical, very modern and very friendly, the Q5, as things stand is one of the strongest contenders in the mid-size premium SUV segment. Don’t miss a test drive of this one if you’re looking for a premium machine which can do almost anything in the demanding Indian conditions.
New 2018 Audi Q5 35TDI India Price
The new Audi Q5 35 TDI has been launched at an ex-showroom price of Rs 53,25,000 onwards ex-showroom.
New 2018 Audi Q5 35TDI Tech Specs
Displacement in cc
Max Output in hp/kW at rpm
Max. torque in Nm at rpm
Kerb Weight in Kg
Gross vehicle weight in Kg
Fuel tank capacity, approx in I.
Top Speed in Km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h in s
Fuel Consumption’ in km/l ARAI Certified
190/140@ 3800 – 4000
400 @ 1750-3000
permanent all-wheel drive
45.72 (18″) Cast Aluminum Alloy Wheels
7-speed S tronic