2009 Audi Q5

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 by

It’s incredibly important, when buying new clothes, to pay close attention to the label.

There’s little that’s more frustrating than carefully choosing a new jumper, bringing it home and washing it, only for it to emerge Action Man-sized.

So clearly Audi must feel rather foolish, having put its Q7 SUV through on a hot wash and shrunk it.

The result is the Q5 and it wins absolutely no marks for design originality. There’s plenty to be said for keeping a family resemblance through a brand’s range, but the Q5 is really, really similar to the Q7. But where the Q7 uses its considerable bulk to establish its presence, the Q5 doesn’t have that luxury, and as a result looks, well, a bit boring.

2009 Audi Q5Yes, it has Audi’s trademark big grille and some vaguely interesting rear lights, but other than that – yawnsville. It’s an Audi compact SUV, exactly as you’d imagine it would look.

Inside, it’s a similar story. If you’ve been inside an Audi – any Audi – you’ll know what to expect. Of course, that’s not a bad thing in itself. Build quality and material feel is very, very good and teh design is pleasant in an understated, tidy way. But there’s nothing to raise the pulse or even the eyebrows. It doesn’t even seat seven – five people in this only please.

So far, so entirely unremarkable, but let’s face it, no one buys an Audi for the thrill unless their car of choice has the letters R and/or S at the beginning of the name badge. Generally, Audi stands for sensible styling, sensible comfort, sensible driving dynamics and a nice, quiet sit down.

2009 Audi Q5

And so the Q5 proves. Once you accept the fact that the Q5 isn’t trying to excite you, it’s very good to drive. Stable. Predictable. And not very SUV-like, which is a good thing. You get the slightly superior feeling of sitting high up, but the driving experience is much more like a normal car. This isn’t all that surprising, as underneath the bodywork lurks the same platform as the Audi A4. The Q5 corners well, the bulk of the car well restrained by suspension that isn’t too harsh but not wallowy either. The steering, if we’re being picky, could do with a bit more feel, but is nicely weighted and the wheel feels great – angled nicely, not too big, not too chunky and adjustable for both reach and rake.

 

 

Power comes from a choice of two engines. We tried the less powerful of the two, a 2.0-litre TFSI unit with 208bhp, which isn’t quite enough for the job. It’s a fine engine, don’t get us wrong, but in a car this size it left us wanting more power. A 3.2-litre V6 version is also available, and we reckon that would be much better. The power goes to the wheels via Audi’s twin-clutch S-tronic gearbox and Quattro permanent four-wheel drive.

2009 Audi Q5Features include tri-zone climate control and the rather useful blind spot indication system, which flashes a light on the wing mirror if there’s a car that you might not see when changing lanes.

Aside from the slightly boring design, if we had to be picky about the Q5 we’d point out that there could be a trifle more room available for back seat passengers, although it’s far from cramped and it’s very comfortable. And the boot isn’t as massive as you might hope, but again, far from small.

Will the Q5 go off road? Well, maybe, but it’s not really designed for dune bashing. If you’re looking to spend your weekends carving up the sand, look elsewhere. The Q5 is designed for the tarmac and aside from the niggles mentioned above, it’s hard to find anything wrong with it.

Don’t be put off by the unremarkable first impression that the Q5 creates. When you get to know it you’ll find quality across the board. With the right engine, we suspect that it’ll be one of the best small SUVs available at the moment.

Price (AED): 163,000 – 199,000

Engine: 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder

Max power (bhp): 211

Max torque (Nm): 350

Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive

Trim levels: N/A – several equipment packages available as options on base model

Standard safety features: ESP with roof rack detection, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake pad wear indicator, adaptive front airbags, front side airbags (rear optional), ISOFIX child seat mountings,

 

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