There is so much difference when you walk into a Food Bazaar and a Nature’s Basket. One offers discount and great offers and there are for the masses, while Godrej’s is making Nature’s Basket more of something for the elite. Both attract different kinds of buyers. It is not even so that Nature Basket’s products aren’t about value for money. Both cater to different kinds of buyers. Something similar has been seen in cars.
For young buyers, SUVs are aspiring. They need something boxy, something that has good presence. A vehicle that makes a statement. No wonder why the Brezza is so popular. It is macho, it has the presence and the Maruti badge amplifies its reach. Then there is also the Bolero in smaller towns that gets the rugged and boxy look. When you look it, both are compact sized vehicles making different statements. One of rugged and the other being premium, yet the base design of both has the boxy look of the SUV, which has been played around with. Just like cars even SUVs have started to loose the boxy-ness in their designs. The Tata Nexon, then there is the Renault Captur and as you process higher, the luxury SUVs have moved on to becoming more of crossovers. Off lately there has been a growth in demand for non-boxy SUVs too.
The new Audi Q5 is an evolution in design, the new bits are majorly shared with the current Q7 especially the front grille.
The entry-level SUVs in luxury have the Q3 as one of the favourites. The Audi Q5 has been priced at Rs 53.25 lakhs (ex-showroom) and it will be made available in two trim levels. The new-generation Q5 has a fascia just like the Q7. Except the headlamps, it is difficult to make out the difference, unless you see the two back-to-back. The twin headlamps are the biggest differentiator. The bonnet has strakes, four to be precise. The outer ones have sharp and prominent.
From the side too not much has changed in the styling of the old Q5. If noticed closely, there are some changes. First the new Q5 has prominent line that runs across like a wave. When you notice this, then is when the styling of the Q5 looks different. The glass area styling is the same like the outgoing version. The tail resembles the older Q5 – so much similarity.
You might not find too many changes outside, but the interiors are fresh. They aren’t exactly like the Q7 but they are modern and stylish.The new-gen Q5 gets black and beige dashboard. It is the first the Q5 for India has got beige as an addition. There is wooden insert too. The MMI screen looks like a tab, with decent quality of materials, but the touch of the screen is very good.
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The three-spoke steering wheel looks sleek and has good leather bolstering to grip. The instrument cluster has an LED display, which can accomodate different parameters. For instance, you can make the dials smaller and add navigation or music or even use it to check the mileage or trip.The centre console has limited buttons. This continues even below where is a touchpad. This is followed by the gear knob that looks straight out from a yacht. The ones on the A8 and the Q7 are more luxurious.
The front seats are the comfortable and there is good enough side and back support on offer. The rear seats have seen an increase in its knee room. The back seats are comfortable for two people due to large central tunnel. There is more than sufficient space at the back. The boot size is large enough. The cabin has seen an increment in space and this has played in the Q5’s favour.
The Q5’s cabin is one of the strong points, especially its space and features.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine churns about 190 horses and it has a whooping torque of 400Nm. This oil burner comes mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. It will come with quattro as standard. We did think we will miss the Q5’s 2.0-litre 211bhp turbo petrol, but this engine had most of the grunt we were looking for. The engine performance was good, even though we didn’t get to drive it more on straight roads and majorly on a shorter trip, we did like what we drove. Things that are worth a mention are good engine insulation, enhanced performance and smooth gear downshifts.
There are five modes on offer – Off Road, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. Off road shows various angles. We haven’t been off road with it and hence cannot comment. The Comfort mode had good and comfortable ride, in auto it adjusts to everything itself. In the Dynamic mode, the gear shifts are quicker as it moves into the sport mode and even the steering feels a lot lively. The moment you go back in the D mode from S on the gear level, the throttle response also changes, but the steering weight is retained.
The ride has seen an improvement. The stiffness is a lot and even the handling hasn’t been affected. The Q5 is known for its handling and that has been retained on this new generation as well. The only thing we miss our the Dunlop SP tyres on the 2.0-litre turbo petrol, which had a lot more grip and were damn soft. The new ones offer good grip, but not as compared to that one. The steering feedback is good. At low speeds, it is absolutely light making it convenient to drive around. On the highway, when you change the steering wheel setting to dynamic. It does weigh up, and if you aren’t a rookie, you will feel the difference instantly.
Now, the question is if you should buy the Q5 or no? The answer isn’t difficult. All the Q5 competition vehicles include the Q5 have a strong proposition. There isn’t anything about them that is absolutely wrong to neglect even one of these. If you need something sporty and quick, the Q5 is a good choice to consider for certain.