Q-ing up for new

Audi SUV

Audi Q5, 2017, front, action
Audi Q5, 2017, side
Audi Q5, 2017, rear seats
Audi Q5, 2017, dashboard
Audi Q5, 2017, rear, action
Audi Q5, 2017, boot

DRIVERS have been Q-ing up to buy Audi's popular SUV models ever since the first one took to the road in 2007.

It all started with the Q7 followed by the Q5 - the new generation of which has just been launched - just a year later.

Since then the German luxury car maker has launched the Q3 and recently the Q2, as well as now revealing that there will definitely be a Q4 and a Q8 in the future.

Since its 2008 launch more than 1.6-million Q5 models have been sold, with Audi confident that the latest version will be even more popular.

The new slimmed down Q5 is some 90kg - nearly 200lbs - lighter thanks to the use of more aluminium as well as a steel composite body shell.

Initially there are just two models available, a 2.0-litre, 187bhp diesel - which is expected to be the best seller - at £37,240 - and a 2.0-litre TFSI, 252bhp petrol at £37,990.

And even though externally the changes to the car might not be too obvious there has been plenty going on under the skin and in the cabin.

For starters there's more interior space, with front and rear passengers now getting extra head and shoulder room while luggage space too has been increased by around 10 per cent.

And the new cockpit is more stylish than ever before having taken on an even more up-market look as Audi attempts to out class the opposition.

Standard features now include leather heated front seats, a powered tailgate, Audi drive select - so you can choose your driving mode eg sport or comfort - and satellite navigation. All versions get Audi's seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox.

On the road both diesel and petrol models feel more refined, the handling and responsiveness has been improved and they are certainly much quieter thanks to a lot of work on sound deadening.

The diesel is punchy, quick and very responsive. It will hit 62 miles per hour in 7.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 135 miles per hour while boasting average fuel consumption of more than 56 miles per gallon.

But for even more sporty performance the petrol model takes the crown with a 0-62mph time of just 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 147mph.

And good as the diesel model is the petrol version for me is a more enjoyable drive. It not only feels that much sportier but also far more refined with interior noise levels down even more dramatically.

Moving the gear shift into Sport or better still driving the TFSI manually using the paddles behind the steering wheel really unleashes the devil within and you have to keep a very wary eye on the speedometer.

But for all its sporting prowess this four-wheel-drive performance machine will still achieve more than 40mpg.

After a short time with the car I can't wait to try out the flagship 354bhp SQ5 when it's available in June, although that one will have a price tag of £51,200.

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