The Q5 has been Audi’s best selling model ever since it debuted in 2008. After managing to withstand competition from the likes of Jaguar F-Pace and BMW X3, Audi has finally decided to release the 2nd generation of the premium SUV. Although it might not look like it, the new generation has been extensively revised to strengthen its positioning in the tough premium SUV segment. However, the automaker has not made sweeping changes, as that would be detrimental considering the current design has already established a strong customer base. As such, the new model is easily recognizable as the Q5 we are already familiar with. The automaker has upgraded the SUV’s exterior, introduced the latest technologies in the industry as well as hooked it up with a nicely trimmed cabin. The new 2018 Audi Q5 is underpinned by a shorter version of the MLB Evo platform that also underpins the Q7. As a result, the model is very light, which has helped improve its efficiency compared to the predecessor model. Overall, the new model has all it takes to become one of the best models in the premium SUV segment. Read along for more information:
2018 Audi Q5 Exterior
Audi has also revised the dimensions of the Q5; the new model now stretches 4.66 meters long with a width of 1.89 meters and has a height of 1.66meters. At these dimensions, the model is a bit longer and taller than the outgoing model. The wheelbase also grows by 20 mm to 2.82 m, which adds some extra legroom for the rear passengers.
The first new feature that strikes you at the first glance is the new horizontal grille that replaces the outgoing model’s grid-like design. Like the outgoing model, the new Q5 still features LED headlights. The headlights are also integrated with LED DRLs. In addition, the Q5 also comes with fog lights at both the front and rear. Still at the front, the vehicle features new heated windshield nozzles.
On the sides, the vehicle features an aluminum trim on the surrounds of the windows, power adjusted and heated side mirrors integrated with LED turn signals and 19-inch wheels; one can also order the Q5 with 20-inch wheels.
The rear features an upgraded power tailgate, LED taillights along with new fog lights as well as new flat-bottomed dual exhaust outlets that feature polished tips. The Q5 also comes with aluminum roof rails.
2018 Audi Q5 Interior
Sliding inside, you will be met by a nice cabin that has been carefully crafted to provide ultimate convenience and luxury to the entire family. The cabin comfortably accommodates four passengers and still leaves a decent cargo space. With the seats up, the model offers 21.5 cubic feet of cargo space that can be expanded to 54.7 cubic feet by folding the rear bench. In addition, the model features a powered tailgate as standard. I understand that there will be an option to open the boot by waving one’s foot below the bumper.
The dash is dominated by an upgraded “floating” infotainment display that is managed via Audi’s MMI dial, which is placed between the front seats. Buyers can even opt for an 8.3-inch display that adds a touchpad for handwriting gestures. This display can also be split to allow the driver to focus his attention on the road while passengers access other functions.
After the Q4 got it, it was only obvious that the Q5 would also feature it; I am talking about the new Audi Virtual Cockpit, which features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. In addition to displaying digital instruments, the screen also displays information on the vehicle’s navigation system, audio system and other systems. Via the button placed on the steering wheel, one can alter the screen to display one’s menu of preference. As such, it is possible to have a 12.3-inch color map behind the steering wheel and one can always flick back the screen to display the usual large dials.
Engine specs and performance
In Europe, the new Q5 will be motivated by three drive-trains. However, the model will be availed in North America with a single drive-train. VW is still hesitant to introduce diesel mills in the US market after the diesel scandal.
The sole engine is an upgraded, turbocharged 2.0 L, TFSI 4-cylinder mill good for 252 horses and 273 lb-ft of torque. The good thing about this engine is that peak torque is available from only 1600 rpm. It powers the Q5 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission system along with the automaker’s new Quattro ultra AWD system.
The new system employs two clutches to help disengage the rear axle to save more fuel. The system takes only 250 milliseconds to switch back to the AWD system. There are rumors of a hybrid system but the automaker is yet to confirm or deny the rumors.
In addition, Audi’s AG chairman, Rupert Stadler pointed out that the company may still offer a 3.0 L, V-6 TDI in the North American market. This engine pumps out 286 horses and a whole 457 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the engine has a 13% better fuel efficiency than the same engine in predecessor models. If this arrives then it will give the model serious influence in the segment.
Price and release date
Audi is yet to release official U.S. prices for the 2018 Audi Q5. However, in Europe, I understand that the model will start at around $50,592. Although it quite a hefty price tag, it is worth paying for. The model will be delivered to dealer showrooms starting in April 2017 but the automaker will start taking orders from early 2017.
Top rivals of the 2018 Audi Q5 will include the usual suspects from its traditional rivals, Mercedes and BMW in the likes of Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3. These models will also have to watch closely the Jaguar F-Pace, which though an outsider, is quickly building up its reputation as a top premium SUV.