AUDI's family SUV, the Q5, has just been given a mid-generation facelift and boasts sharper styling along with a wealth of extra technology.
The five-door, five-seater was originally launched in 2008 and then a second-generation model hit the roads in 2017.
Now the 2020/21 version gains revised light clusters along with a shallower single frame grille and taller air intakes.
Although the width and height remain the same, new Q5 has grown in length by 19mm and it has shed some weight too.
The impressive Matrix headlights that shape the beam for improved illumination and to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, are now standard across the Q5 range. They were previously reserved for the high-end Vorsprung models.
Move inside and the interior is Audi through and through with top quality fixtures and fittings.
Anyone familiar with the model will immediately notice the click wheel dial to access the many on-board systems has been ditched and set-ups are now controlled via the larger 10.1-inch touchscreen.
There is still a completely separate panel for all the climate control functions making it quick and easy to adjust on the move.
There is the familiar 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display behind the steering wheel which is simple to personalise according to taste and can even be filled with a map when following sat nav directions.
In addition, all Q5 versions benefit from Audi connect so they can work closely with the internet and traffic infrastructure with high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth, lane-by-lane traffic flow information and real time traffic forecasts.
The Internet connectivity also adds the cloud-based Alexa voice control system with more than 80,000 additional skills, so you can place a shopping order, stream playlists or even control a smart device at home while on the move.
And there is full smartphone connectivity with a wireless charging pad, along with a pitch perfect Bang & Olufsen sound system that forms part of an optional Comfort and Sound pack.
The new Q5 is on sale in trim levels called Sport, S line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung with prices starting from £42,950.
There are all manner of optional packs to fully personalise the cars and for anyone looking for extra edge, the sportier performance-based SQ5 delivers on all counts.
Customers can also select from cleaner petrol and diesel engines along with mild hybrid versions and plug-in models introduced as part of the German car maker's move towards electrification.
We tried the Q5 in S line trim powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering 265PS and 370Nm of torque. This was matched to a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission and was priced at £44,480 rising to £55,525 with a number of options added.
The car could power its way from 0-62mph in just 6.1 seconds and maxed out at 149.1mph while delivering a combined 32.8mpg with carbon emissions of 197g/km under the stricter WLTP testing.
With a power adjustable steering wheel and seats, getting the perfect driving position takes just seconds and the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated ride height.
All the controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use and, although the touchscreen gets smothered in fingerprints, they can easily be wiped clean.
With excellent grip thanks to the quattro four-wheel-drive system, the Q5 is impressive through corners and the acceleration from the powerful petrol engine is constant. It boasts engaging handing and the S tronic gearbox is perfectly timed for rapid bursts of pace or cruising on motorways.
The steering is nicely weighted with plenty of feedback and the driver can switch through drive modes called Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual that alter the mannerisms and reactions of the car.
The ride is fairly firm and you have to move up to the range-topping Vorsprung models if you want adaptive air suspension. But in Comfort mode, the Q5 is a very easy and relaxing car to drive.
The cabin is bright and spacious with light flooding through the sunroof on our test model which was a Â£1,400 optional extra. The quilted leather seats can be heated and they are embossed with an ‘S' as a gentle reminder that this is no ordinary Q5. The ‘S' badging also features on the steering wheel.
There is ample room for two adults to sit in the back or three if they don't mind rubbing shoulders, and storage options are impressive too with a boot that can swallow 520 litres of kit. Drop the split-folding rear seats and this limit increases to 1,520 litres. There are numerous storage compartments throughout the car too, including a lockable glovebox, deep door bins, a central cubby box and cup holders.
As one would expect, the Q5 is packed with safety kit and driver assist systems to help protect occupants and other road users as well as prevent accidents happening in the first instance.
All in all, Audi has upped the pressure on competitors in the fiercely competitive mid-sized SUV sector with its latest Q5. It picks up where its predecessor left off and raises the bar with added sophistication, elegance, improved technology, sharper handling, cleaner engines and more distinctive styling.