A sweeter spot

| | in Automobile
A sweeter spot

How do you improve the perfect bowl of porridge? Well, Audi has somehow managed to make the Q5 even better and Goldilocks will be happier

The Audi Q5, the first generation Q5 was almost like the perfect Sports Utility Vehicle, the perfect porridge for Goldilocks. It was neither too big or too small, with standard trim it had all the modern conveniences and even the standard two-litre diesel it was sold with had the right amount of power for the city and enough for the highway. There was a sporty version internationally, the SQ5 but even that wasn’t an ‘off the charts’ sort of car. So how do you improve the perfect bowl of porridge? It was such a good bowl of porridge that Audi sold 1.6 million Q5’s in the first generation and in 2014, one in every three Audi’s that featured the Quattro all-wheel drive system were Q5’s.

Well, the second generation Q5 is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model, although when you look at it, you will not be able to tell. The new car shares the design language we first noticed on the second-generation Q7, so it actually looks sleeker, almost like an Estate. Inside the car, these changes make it seem larger and at the back, it is certainly more comfortable. The infotainment screen is now raised, to be in line-of-sight, but on the face of it, the overall layout of the Q5 is more or less the same. That said, it now has Audi’s ‘Command Centre’ display on the instrument panel. So everything feels updated rather than being massively different, and that is a good thing as Audi’s overall driver and cabin ergonomics are very good. The Q5, at least in launch specification in india will come with a touch panel, something which is a slightly pointless idea in right-hand drive markets because you need to operate these panels with your left hand, and unless you’re a southpaw or train yourself to become ambidextrous, they’re a bit pointless, as they are on modern Mercedes’ cars as well. Especially if you have voice-activated controls.

Anyhow, despite being slightly larger, the second-generation Q5 is 65 kilograms lighter. The engine, while being the same two-litre diesel is now tuned to deliver 190 horsepower and thanks to a combination of lower weight and better overall stance, Audi claims that this car is far more economical. And the work Audi have put in making this car feel a lot more driver friendly shows, in Dynamic drive mode, the car feels almost fun to drive, nothing excessive, but it can put a smile on your face. The hills surrounding Pushkar were a great place to drive this car, it wasn’t a sporty sedan by any stretch of imagination but it keeps you engaged.

Honestly, the best compliment you can pay the Q5 is that if it was porridge in the Goldilocks fairy tale, it is better than before. With honey and nuts, the perfect porridge is better now. Better in terms of space, economy and power. But the problem the Q5 will face now is that the segment is a lot more crowded with new competitors, there is the new Volvo XC60 and new BMW X3. But the Audi Q5 has great brand heritage on its side and the second-generation car ticks all the boxes and is sure to be a best-seller. 

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