Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI

quattro S tronic

Audi Q5, 2017, front, action
Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro, 2017, front, action
Audi Q5, 2017, front
Audi Q5, 2017, side
Audi Q5, 2017, rear
Audi Q5, 2017, side
Audi Q5, 2017, rear, action
Audi Q5, 2017, boot
Audi Q5, 2017, interior

ON the face of it, this is the sensible option.

Petrol rather than diesel to avoid controversy and likely increases in taxation, and a practical family shape to absorb all the family clutter.

But get behind the neat leather stitched wheel of the Audi Q5 2.0 quattro TFSI and floor the accelerator and it feels spirited and sporty rather than sensible.

With a 60mph dash covered in a mere six seconds or so, the five door high-riding SUV is capable of leaving behind many hot hatches and quite a few roadsters.

Sure, there are faster models in the Q5 line-up - witness the 3.0-litre turbo diesel and the blatantly performance-orientated SQ5 with its 347bhp petrol engine...almost 100 horsepower more than the 2.0 TFSI

But for its price - £40,965 - the inoffensively styled TFSI offers buckets of power accompanied by modest fuel costs.

The unbroadcast mantra of the Audi is efficiency and refinement. With little wind noise and one of the quietest four-cylinder engines on the market, it emits barely a murmur at cruising speeds. Even under full acceleration noise levels are lower than most prestige saloons, let alone SUVs.

Neither of its two diesel sisters can compete with the TFSI's silent progress.

Coupled to a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox, which self-changes smoothly and almost imperceptibly, progress is rapid and relaxed.

Quattro four wheel drive is standard on this model and allows all the power to be put down on the Tarmac without sign of unseemly tyre-scrabbling.

Obviously it really comes into its own on slippery or greasy road surfaces but in normal day-to-day driving owners benefit from the all-paw adhesion both during enthusiastic cornering and getting away sharply from traffic lights.

While torque is less impressive than a diesel, there's remains ample pulling power for most towing requirements.

Cabin design is an Audi strength and the Q5 is beautifully appointed with tactile, heavy-duty plastic mouldings, attractive detailing and easy-to-read dials.

The switchgear and the materials used for the facia and about the cabin are of the highest quality giving the owner a genuine feel-good experience.

The car I drove came with the optional Audi ‘virtual cockpit' which allows you to customise the screen directly in front of the driver, making following the sat nav much easier. There's also a central touchscreen from which many of the functions are operated via a small wheel near the gear selector.

Rear legroom isn't best in class but there's stacks of luggage space - 550 litres to be precise, and 1,550 litres when the rear seats are folded.

The previous Q5 attracted criticism for its joggly ride, but the current version which is noticeably lighter and more taut is far more composed and less affected by poor surfaces. It grips well through bends with little body roll and happily absorbs most bumps and road imperfections.

This aspect could be still better if shod with higher profile rubber and slightly smaller wheels.

While the two-litre diesel is undoubtedly more frugal, the TFSI still manages to notch up around 33mpg with a best in my hands of 39mpg during a gentle cross country run.

FAST FACTS

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic

Price: £40,965

Mechanical: 249bhp, 1.998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed:147mph

0-62mph: 6.3 seconds

Combined MPG:39.8

Insurance Group:30

C02 emissions: 162g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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