Audi Q5 Sportback packs power
For the past couple years, SUVs have been the crave of buyers, given that they handle like a car, with the ground clearance of a van. Recently, automakers have been pushing the design envelope, with the coupe-type design. It’s basically where the top of a vehicle is truncated to give it an overall sleek and stylish look.
Since the Audi Q5 has been a hit for Audi, the brand decided to give it a ‘coupe’ remake, calling this version the Q5 Sportback. From the jump, it looks sleeker and has a bigger ‘wow’ effect than the regular Q5, partly due to the Navarre Blue Metallic paint.
The front fascia is outfitted with two huge air inlets that are outlined with chrome accents, to show that, along with style, speed is also a priority. Between them is an encompassing octagonal radiator grille, adorned with the Audi emblem. On either side of this are the Audi Matrix Led Headlamps, which are automatically activated whenever the time gets dark.
The look, like the roof line, begins to taper off into elegance, as the view shifts to the side. The character lines are sharp and evoke confidence, while the chrome outline of the window wells represents opulence.
On the lower half of the vehicle, are 20” rims which help to give the vehicle an elevated ride height. There are also Red Brake Calipers to distinguish it as a S-Line package.
Interior of comfort
Audi tries its best to separate itself with a plush interior that showcases the best of luxury and precision design. The electronically controlled seats are flanked with fine Nappa leather that has diamond stitchings running through the centre. There is also the option to extend the base, to improve thigh support.
Audi’s MMI Touch Screen Interface remains impressive, as it works seamlessly with the multi-functional buttons on the leather-wrapped steering wheel. This is also the same for the virtual cockpit which displays the speedometer, vehicle information and a peculiar rev counter.
The climate is controlled by toggles that are equipped with proximity sensors, which magnify your selection, once your finger is close to it. These unique touches of refinement, such as the hot and cold cup holders, are depleted throughout the vehicle. The previously mentioned feature is very utilitarian and has been popular with other vehicles such as the Toyota Prado, so I was happy to see it in the Sport Back.
Covering these cup holders is a wireless charging pad that proves to be very convenient, especially when playing music from a cell phone via Bluetooth. In cases like this, the battery can run down easily if the phone is not charging.
There is also three-way climate control, with the rear-seat passengers having the ability to adjust the temperature to their own liking. And completing the overall aura of elegance is the panoramic glass roof, which comes with a retractable canopy and can be opened and tilted.
I got a chance to review the 2-litre petrol engine in the Q5 a while back, and it performed admirably while churning out 252 horsepower. However, the 2-litre turbo-diesel engine in the Sportback easily outperforms it. The turbo kicks in very impressively, as the seven-speed transmission searches to find the ideal gear for performance. At one point, while driving down a hill, the vehicle adjusted to the appropriate gear, which relied on the compression of the engine to slow down the vehicle. This was quite impressive, as I didn’t have to ride my brakes.
The Sportback uses Audi’s all-wheel-drive technology, with an inkling to send most of the power to the front wheels. In typically Audi fashion there are five driving modes: off-road, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. Dynamic is the most fun, as the vehicle is geared towards performance and the responsiveness is increased.
Even though there was no body roll, the height of the vehicle made me reluctant to approach corners at high speed. The overall handling feels refined and the suspension is smooth and very adaptive to the road conditions.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the Sportback, as it has everything you expect in a luxury vehicle, and then some. As it pertains to its competitors, it might get a slight edge when it comes on to creature comforts and features.
Price of tested model:
Engine: 2.0 Turbo 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 252 Hp
Transmission: 7 Speed S-Tronic Dual Clutch Automatic. All Wheel Drive
Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons or 70 litres
Gas consumption: 8.3 l/100 km, highway
Body Type: Coupe, Compact Luxury SUV
Competition: BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC