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The Q5 facelift will launch in the market in the middle of November 2021

The wait for the Audi Q5 facelift has been quite long. The SUV stopped selling in India before the BS6 transition and the pandemic delayed its replacements’ arrival. The year 2021 has seen a strong resurgence from the German brand when it comes it launches across all segments – barring the Q series. This facelift makes up for that gap. The SUV is being assembled at the Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited plant in Aurangabad, Maharashtra and is being offered in two trims – Premium Plus and Technology and it’s the latter, that I got to drive.

Design

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The face gets a new grille, redesigned bumper and new LED headlamps with LED DRLs.

The updated Q5 gets a completely new face here. The single frame grille is now flatter and wider while the bumper also is redesigned, both enhancing the looks of the car. The SUV also gets s brand new set of LED headlamps and sleek looking LED DRLs which adds to the appeal of the car. The air inlets have come slightly above when compared to the pre-facelift car and you get silver skid plates as well. On the profile you get 19-inch double spoke star styled alloys but only on the top trim. The Premium also gets the same size wheels but they’ll look a little different. Overall the car looks quite modern and fits into the urban lifestyle quite easily.

Also read: 2021 Audi Q5 Unveiled In India: What We Know So Far

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Contrary to expectations, the new Q5 misses out on getting OLED tail lights.

On the profile the aluminum roof rails and side skirts also catch your attention. The highlight on the rear are LED combination lamps with dynamic turn indicators which match the size of the car pretty well. The redesigned tailgate along with bulky skid plates with smartly integrated exhaust tips add a dose of freshness to the SUV. In all there are 5 color options to choose from and I spent my time with the Navarra blue. Overall, the look of the SUV is imposing yet subtle and a job well done.

Tech & Interior

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There are 2 interior themes to choose from – Okapi brown and Atlas beige.

Inside the Q5 you find a nice clutter free cabin. The buttons are laid out nicely, there aren’t too many of them and I like it that way. The combination of black on the dash and Okapi brown on the seats looks quite premium, the other option being a much lighter and difficult to maintain Atlas beige. The updated 10.1 Multi Media Interface is as responsive and easy to use as earlier if not more.

Also read: Audi India Begins Local Production Of The New Q5 Facelift

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The updated touchscreen system offers impressive clarity and response.

Audi’s smartphone interface offers features related to my Audi connect in the Q5. And then of course the virtual cockpit plus is always one of the highlights in Audi cars. It is great to look at, offers amazing clarity and is pretty functional as well. Finally, a 3D 19 speaker B&O sound system is being offered on the SUV as well but this and the virtual cockpit are only available on the technology trim.

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The SUV is wide enough to make 3 occupants sit in comfort.

Ergonomics are well in place as there are many storage options around the seats while overall the cabin feels quite spacious. The Q5 also gets power adjustable front seats, ambient lighting with 30 color options, 3-zone climate control and a wireless charger. You also get both type A and type C charging slots. A large panoramic sunroof extends all the way to the second row and adds to the sense of space. The second row itself is a comfortable place to be in even for 3 people notwithstanding the floor tunnel. For added practicality, the new Q5 comes with sensor controlled boot lid opening.

Dynamics

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Unlike earlier, the Q5 will now be offered with just a Petrol engine.

Now we know that Audi is moving towards petrol and electric cars globally which has also meant that the India portfolio is now devoid of any diesel options. The Q5 gets a familiar mill one that does duty on many cars in the huge VW family. This 2.0 liter TFSI engine makes around 247 bhp but even more impressive is the torque figure of 370 Nm which is available from 1600 rpm all the way till 4300 rpm. This means there’s no perceptible lag here. The engine is refined and the setup is quite responsive as well. The 7-speed Stronic dual clutch gearbox keeps things engaging while the sport mode and paddle shifts provide the extra enthusiasm in case you’re looking for that.

Also read: 2021 Audi e-tron GT Launched In India; Prices Start At Rs 1.8 Crore

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Audi is claiming a healthy 17 kmpl on the new Q5.

The Q5 does 0-100 kmph in 6.3 secs and that’s impressive for a car of this shape and size. But what might bring a bigger smile on your face in the times of really high petrol prices is the fuel efficiency figure because Audi is claiming a healthy 17 kmpl here. This is partly because of the 12 volt mild hybrid setup the car comes with. According to Audi, the car reaches a top speed of 237 kmph. And then you also get the quattro all-wheel drive system as standard, so power and more grip is a department that’s now ticked!

Ride & Handling

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Crossover shape of the SUV certainly helps in better dynamics.

Two things really work for the Q5 when it comes to ride and handling. First it’s not a very tall car and is rather wide as well. So, its crossover shape certainly helps in better dynamics. You can throw this car around corners with confidence and it’ll play along really well. Then there’s the suspension with damper control which ensures a smooth ride for all the occupants. I got my share of bad roads during the drive and this feature helped the car in gliding over the bumps and potholes and hardly anything was felt inside the cabin. If you’re investing in a car like the Q5 it makes all the sense to go for the higher technology trim as only this one gets the feature.

Also read: Planning To Buy The Audi Q2? Here Are Few Pros And Cons

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Suspension with damper control which ensures a smooth ride for all the occupants.

You can choose between Comfort, Dynamic, Off-road, Individual and Auto modes on the Q5 and each one ensures that the character of the SUV changes somewhat. They come to your help when you have to take on different kinds of driving situations and varied terrains. The engine and steering response changes to give you a more suited drive. Its very easy to maneuver it in tight situations so going through traffic will not be difficult at all in the Q5. It’s an agile car and you can spend long hours driving it without getting tired.

Safety & Verdict

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A price between ₹ 55 to 60 lakh will really step up the heat in the segment.

The Q5 comes with as many as 8 airbags including rear side airbags. It also gets the Park assist feature for easy parking. Historically almost half of Audis total sales in India have come only from the Q range so the Q5 is a hugely significant product when it comes to the brand regaining its lost ground in India. With all the changes, the car has the potential to do exactly that. But standing in the way are the likes of Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. But we’ll have to see if Audi prices the Q5 competitively when it launches the car mid-November. I feel a price between ₹ 55 to 60 lakh will really step up the heat in the segment.

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