Is it the way it looks?

Bahrain Confidential went to Oman to test drive the new Audi Q5 and SQ5.

Audi claimed that the latest models are a significant improvement on the previous generation. The Q5 is by far, and away, one of Audi’s most successful models other than the A4. The Ingolstadt-based carmaker has built a $1.3 billion factory at San Jose Chiapa, Mexico to produce the new generation of the  Audi Q5.

“The first Audi Q5 was for many years the world’s best-selling SUV in its class. It was no easy task to design its successor, but that is precisely why it is so very exciting,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG.

Evolution, not revolution.

Audi tell us that they have kept to the DNA of the previous model. Many people won’t notice the differences from its predecessor just by looking at it. The Q5 retains its handsome stance and elegant proportions drawing inspiration from its low-slung siblings the A4 and A5. With the new Q5, Audi set the bar a notch higher.

Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damper control, and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems.

The weight was also reduced – depending on the engine – by up to 90 kg over the preceding 1st-generation Audi Q5. Typical with German cars, they evolve over time so there’s not a revolutionary change in its appearance.


Spacious and versatile

The all new Q5 has a new grille, a wider front and bigger wheel arches. Inside, there’s a new dashboard which is flatter and wider. The interior offers a lot of space for 5 persons, and it surpasses the previous model in key dimensions. Audi takes a lot of pride in the new and improved ergonomic design which helps to make driving a much more comfortable experience.

Audi takes a lot of pride in the new and improved ergonomic design which helps to make driving a much more comfortable experience.

Inside the car, it has a phone box for wireless phone charging and has an iPhone friendly interface. Apple will decide which app it shows – for example it won’t show Facebook or YouTube for obvious reasons (and if I need to spell it out, it would be dangerous if you’re driving with those sorts of apps).

There’s a lot of storage space in the cabin; you can get a litre bottle of water in the door compartment which is unusual. Also, the cup holder can heat coffee and cool water which is a nice touch.

Can it handle off-road?

The new Audi Q5 combines the sportiness of an Audi sedan with a versatile character and a highly variable interior. Driving all four wheels is a 252-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a seven-speed automatic. Audi is touting the new model as a vehicle that has the “sporty characteristics of a sedan with the off-road capabilities of an SUV.” We drove off-road in it but it is really designed for normal driving conditions. However, if you want to drive off-road, it can handle the business – we took it out on some pretty rough terrain and it handled everything beautifully. The Q5 comes with an off-road setting, accessible through it Drive Select mode toggle, which locks the drivetrain into all-wheel drive.