First drive of 2017 Audi Q5 in Mexico, coming in Q3 2017

By THOMAS HUONG | 24 November 2016

LOS CABOS (Mexico): The new second-generation Audi Q5 has improved driving dynamics, sharper looks and new driving technologies.

The new mid-sized 5 seater premium SUV is expected to arrive in Malaysia by the third quarter of 2017.

The all-new Q5 also offers improved interior space compared to the previous generation, with more rear legroom and shoulder room, as well as increased cargo capacity with the second row seats folded down.

READ MORE: What Audi models are coming to Malaysia in 2017
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It is slightly longer (+34mm) and wheelbase has been extended to 2,820mm. It is also slightly taller and this means more headroom in the cabin. Rear cargo room is a huge 1,550 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Following the “Q-design” of the new Q7, the Q5’s exterior features sportier proportions including sculpted three-dimensional headlights that flow in harmony with the distinctive Singleframe grille.
Compared with its predecessor, the new Q5 is up to 90kg lighter.

Audi recently organised a test-drive of the new Q5 in Los Cabos, Baja California in Mexico - the country of manufacture for the new SUV.

All the test drive cars in Mexico came with adaptive air suspension which in addition to adjusting damper control, is also used to vary the ride height according to five drive modes namely automatic, dynamic, comfort, all-road and off-road.

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We drove the 2.0-litre TFSI sport variant in S Line trim and Navarra blue paintwork , shod with 20-inch rims with Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tyres sized 255/45.

It is powered by a inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct injection delivering 252hp from 5,000 to 6,000rpm and 370Nm from 1,600 to 4,500rpm.

Mated to a 7 speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox, it can do the 0 to 100kph sprint in 6.3 seconds. It also has ACC plus or adaptive cruise control which automatically maintains distance from the vehicle in front, up to speeds of 250kph, with five distance settings.

Using the ACC plus, we let our right foot off the pedals for more than 40km, during which the car accelerated and braked itself. We only steered the car, which simply followed the car in front. This feature works great when you are in a convoy of vehicles heading towards a common destination.

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The Q5 also features a new suite of driver assistance systems including standard Audi pre sense city and available Audi side assist and rear cross traffic assist, designed to help drivers navigate the road and traffic with ease.

We also drove the powerful Q5 with a TDI V6 diesel engine with 620Nm of torque and 268hp, mated to a eight speed tiptronic gearbox. However, it is unlikely the diesel-engined Q5 will make it to Malaysia.

The new Q5 also features a new system of quattro all-wheel drive with ultra technology that is optimised for performance and efficiency. This fuel saving quattro system with ultra technology allows for intelligent, proactive control of the all-wheel drive system to help predictively modify the torque application as the driver demands or the road conditions require.

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Comfort and convenience features such as three-zone automatic air-conditioning, Nappa leather upholstery, Audi sound system and smartphone interface - Apple Carplay and Android, Audi Matrix LED headlights, will underline its position as among the most popular premium SUVs today.

After driving 320km on mostly highway routes, with a 40km dusty, sand-filled off road stretch thrown in, we can conclude that the new Q5 is better than ever, as a quiet, refined, powerful SUV that's marvellous to drive.

It always felt planted in tight road turns, and even when we hit soft sandy areas where many other cars would have floundered and struggled for traction, the new Q5 was a confident and speedy performer which pulled through tricky road situations with ease.




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