Is Audi’s Q5 Sportback the pick of the bunch?
AUDI has recently updated its popular Q5 range with a few cosmetic enhancements. The most noticeable of the tweaks is the introduction of an all-new model, the Audi Q5 Sportback. I headed to the Western Cape to sample the newcomer as well as the updated Q5 model line-up. The Q5 has become a popular offering for the German carmaker since its introduction in 2008. In fact, 249 149 units have been sold this year alone. The latest model offers refreshed styling and a completely new body style in the form of the Sportback. There is no denying the fact that Audi is late to the CUV party with this one, as both the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe are in their second-generation offerings which have both been facelifted. I like the design, in particular the rear end. The roof line tapers down into the rear in true Sportback style. The subtle boot-lid spoiler just below the rear glass adds to the sporty character. The rear lights are also different to those offered on the standard SUV. On the Sportback, they are elongated and, if so requested, will make use of OLED technology, a first in the segment. The Q5 Sportback offers an animated rear light signature which includes a dynamic coming and leaving home-lighting scenario. An additional sporty graphic is displayed in the rear light cluster when “dynamic” mode is chosen in the Audi drive select system. The front of the Q5 range has also been given a refresh and features revised headlights with LED technology. This is further complemented by a redesigned single frame grille with larger octagonal structures. The Audi Q5 can be had in a variety of colours and trim options, but if you want maximum street cred then the SQ5 is the one to go for. It gains sportier bumpers, larger wheels with red brake-calipers and those iconic four-tailpipes at the rear, although the latter are fake, the actual pipes can be found behind the bumper. The interiors of the SUV and CUV feature the same facia design with the only difference being the roofline. Highlights include the digital instrument cluster and a new, larger 10.1 inch touch screen infotainment system. The system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The standard Q5 SUV offers a luggage capacity of 520-litres which can be extended to 1 520l. Some might think the Sportback will offer much less due to its design. In reality, it suffers from only a 10-litre deficit with the rear seats up and 40l with the rears folded down. Powering the updated Audi Q5 range are two petrol motors and a diesel. The latter can be had in the form of a 2.0 TDI that delivers 140kW and 400Nm of torque. It makes use of a 7-speed S Tronic gearbox as well as quattro all-wheel drive. The equivalent petrol motor comes in the form of the brand’s tried-andtested 2.0 TFSI which delivers a healthy 183kW and 370Nm of torque. It shares the same gearbox as the diesel model. It also benefits from A 12V mild hybrid system which increases the efficiency. For the power hungry out there, the SQ5 should fulfil your appetite with its 3.0-litre, 260kW/500Nm motor. It will hit 0-100km in just under 5 seconds and features a sublime 8-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. The Q5 offers a compliant driving experience, enhanced by the suspensions on offer: standard, sports as well as adaptive air suspension. The latter, on the SQ5 at the media launch, returned a comfortable ride, even in dynamic mode. Audi Q5 Pricing 45 TDI – R852 000 45 TDI Advanced – R871 000 45 TDI S line – R897 000 45 TFSI S line – R947 000 SQ5 – R1 208 000 Audi Q5 Sportback 40 TDI Advanced – R960 000 40 TDI S line – R1 000 000 45 TFSI S line – R1 050 000 SQ5 – R1 355 000