2017 Audi Q5 – The 2nd Generation Review
It is 10am and the temperature reached almost thirty five degrees Celsius. In front of me is a giant cactus the size of a four storey-building and right next to it is one of the very first 2nd generation Audi Q5. I’m in Mexico for the very first drive of the fresh premium SUV from the brand with the four rings.
You might wonder why Audi hosts the very first drive of its fresh German SUV in Mexico but the reaction is rather ordinary. After building more than 1.6 million Q5s over the last eight years Audi had to find a fresh location to proceed and extend production of its successful SUV. It developed a totally fresh and hyper-modern factory in Mexico about three hours from Mexico City in Puebla. Besides that Mexico is the fresh birthplace of the 2nd gen Q5 and the Baja California peninsula also offers a varied landscape and good range of roads to test the fresh Q5’s capabilities.
The 2nd generation Audi Q5 comes with five different engine options when it arrives at dealers beginning of next year. There are four different diesel options ranging from the 150hp Two.0 liter four cylinder to the Three.0 liter V6 diesel with 272hp and 620Nm of torque. The only petrol option is a Two.0 liter TFSI engine that produces 252hp and 370Nm of torque. During our very first drive in Mexico we had the chance to test both the petrol engine as well as the most powerful Three.0 liter diesel engine.
Audi introduced a fresh 9-speed gearbox with the Two.0 liter engines, the Trio.0 liter diesel comes with an updated version of the good old 8-speed ZF gearbox – one of the few gearboxes capable of treating the large amounts of torque produced by turbocharged diesel engines. In total Audi clean-shaven up to 90kg of the weight of the Q5 while enlargening spectacle and reducing emissions.
The design of the fresh Audi Q5 is still fairly in line with the looks of the old Q5 but features sharper edges. Albeit the Q5 expanded in size in every dimension (length, height and width) it still has the same proportions that make it look a lot better than its long Q7 brother. Apart from the acute shoulder line along the side of the car I’m fairly pleased with the looks of the fresh Q5 – it is refreshed without losing too much of the strong design of the old Q5. Something most current Q5 owners will appreciate – myself included.
Inwards the concept remains largely the same but everything is updated to the year 2016. The analogue dials have been substituted by Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – a large display directly behind the steering wheel that can display anything from a large navigation map to info about incoming flights at nearby airports. The center console is also totally different from its predecessor. The MMI controls are located behind the automatic gear lever that now works as a palm rest. One of my remarks remains that Audi doesn’t have one set of uniform infotainment controls and logic across all models which makes that I can’t reach the desired button without looking down.
Overall the interior looks very slick and you can order a lot of fresh gadgets as optional extras that weren’t previously available on the Q5 like air conditioned seats, seat rubdown, Apple Carplay (which I personally find futile tho’) and high-speed LTE internet. Above the fresh and very slick looking climate controls is a tablet like screen – a trend that all automotive manufacturers seem to consider a must at the moment – which sadly is not touch screen. I don’t like a touch-only infotainment system but in addition to the MMI controller it could have been a effortless way for a lot of drivers to interact with the system.