crankandpiston.com welcomes Audi back to the long term fleet, courtesy of the 2014 Audi Q5[Not a valid template]
|Date Acquired:||August 2014|
|Kilometres this month:|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||N/A|
Anyone who’s paid even vague attention to the Middle East will be aware of its SUV-heavy population. Indeed, in the last year, our long term Management Fleet has boasted both the Lexus LX 570 and the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. And given the kilometres of sandy off-road playground at our disposal, having a 4×4 in the garage is quite helpful. There is though more to it than that. On-road and off, having a family-friendly model that packs decent power, a strong ‘presence’, and is tough enough to withstand a battering from kids, weekly groceries, Ikea furniture and the family pet (be it a large dog or a lion) are formidable selling points.
Which brings us to the Audi Q5.
Granted, adjectives like ‘power’ and ‘presence’ at first glance seem a little redundant when referring to the middle child in Audi’s SUV family. Surely, one could argue, its bigger brother – the Q7 – offers practicality by the shedload courtesy of seven seats and a whacking great supercharged V6 under the bonnet. Likewise the Q3, with a shorter wheelbase and a surprisingly good (and low) centre of gravity offers a nimbleness few would expect from an SUV and an aggressive, yet characterful, mug that’s difficult not to like. So, why then have we opted for piggy in the middle?
In short, the happy medium. As we’ve previously discovered on crankandpiston.com, the Q5 brings with it a big boot, fold-down rear seats, and a high roof, allowing even the stoutest of camera equipment (and, in one peculiar instance, a ladder) to be loaded in with ease. Many’s the time a shoot at the C&P Oval Office has been delayed as the digital team folds itself around the camera equipment in our on-loan saloon or hatchback. For the next three months at least, these contortionist impressions will no longer be required.
Then there’s the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 under the bonnet that produces a not unreasonable 272hp. Couple that with 295lb ft of torque, and you’ll find this 1840kg SUV will hit 100kph from standstill in 5.9 seconds. To put that into perspective, Audi’s SUV would hit the ton faster than the Opel Astra OPC we tested a few months ago.
And, of course, there’s that all-important ‘presence’, and once again, our new long term Audi ticks the necessary boxes. In the cavernous cabin we find the finest of leathers, brushed aluminium trim and three-spoke multifunction steering wheel that comes with the S-Line package, the build quality of which our digital crew will no doubt put to the test during our next project. On the outside meanwhile we have those traditional sweeping Audi headlights, hexagonal grille and 20-inch five-spoke ‘S Line’ alloys. The curvaceous bodylines mean the Q5 may have the same ‘angry’ look of its Q3 sibling, but it’s certainly a natty looking brute we’re confident will turn heads. We’ll let you know our verdict on the Teak Brown paint finish in three months time.
So the, practicality, check; power, check; durability…well, there’s only one way to find out…
|Engine:||V6 / 2995cc|
|Power:||272hp @ 4780-6500rpm|
|Torque:||295lb-ft @ 2150-4780rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-Speed tiptronic / Quattro all-wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Independent double wishbones with high-mount upper arms / coil springs / self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers / stabilizer bar|
|Rear suspension:||Independent multilink / coil springs / self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers / stabilizer bar|
|Brakes:||13.2-inch ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers (front) / 12.2-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers (rear)|
|Wheels:||2.5J x 20 front and rear|
|Tyres:||225/45 R20 front and rear|