Week 5 and 6: There are certain foibles, but on balance our long-term 2018 Audi Q5 45 TFSI is a great family car. Just be mindful with that options list…
Before you gleefully point out, let me admit that this report is a week overdue, and as you are probably thinking I have indeed elevated procrastination to an art form. That, and the small matter of my son deciding that having two fully functioning feet was too mainstream, so he decided to fix that by fracturing one of his legs with the aid of a trampoline. Kids these day; such non-conformists. However, it did give me a chance to test the ability of the Q5 to swallow a wheelchair, but more on that later.
Now that we have got that out of the way, allow me to give our long-term 2018 Audi Q5 45 TFSI – to give it its full official designation – a proper send off.
Over the past six weeks or so, I have covered over a 1,000km and the news has generally been positive.
Yes, it is pricey at over AED240K, but it does look and feel like a premium product inside and out. The cabin is wonderfully put together with the use of high-quality trim all around. And while you can generally find cheap materials hidden from sight in most cars – even Ferraris, to be honest – I could not detect a single tacky piece of plastic or shoddy build in the Q5.
As I have pointed out in the past, it also drives quite well. Think of it as a jacked up Volkswagen Golf GTI and you’d be close. The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine makes 252 horsepower but its the 370Nm of torque that really makes all the difference. There is evident turbo-lag in the engine’s softest setting, but you do get pretty decent fuel economy of about 8.0 litres per 100km. You won’t have to make a frequent pit-stop if you have one of these.
Even though Audi’s Virtual Cockpit does look cool, I’m not sure how much it adds in terms of utility; I don’t see anything wrong with good ol’ analog gauges. I would probably avoid the S-line kit as well, even though it noticeably improves the aesthetics of the car. Drop some of the optional extras and the price does down to low two hundred thousands – which is what I would do, because there is plenty of standard kit in there.
However, the Q5’s time at Motormouth Arabia wasn’t entirely devoid of foibles. The infotainment system takes a while to boot up when you start the car, and generally feels a bit tired and in need of a lie down, which is odd considering Audi’s Vorsprung Durch Technik babble.
And, the cargo space with all the seats up, isn’t exactly capacious if you plan to carry semi-large items, like, say, a wheelchair. I had to fold the rear seats down just to accommodate a, er, folded wheelchair. For everyday duties it’s fine, though.
The premium compact crossover market is extremely competitive, but the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a bit limp-wristed and it has an odd dashboard design, which means you thwack your knee every time you get in. The BMW X3 is hideously expensive, and hideous. Which leaves the 2018 Audi Q5 as the only rational choice for sensible, knee conservationists.
Speaking of sensible, next week we get the the UAE’s favourite sensible car for two months. Who’s excited?
2018 Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro — Long-term review
Average fuel economy: 8.3 litres/100km
Lows: Pricey options, lazy sat-nav, not the most practical when it comes to carrying large objects
Highs: Well equipped in standard guise, great driving dynamics,
Costs this week: AED100 (Fuel)