BEHIND THE WHEEL: Audi Q5 Sportback 40 TDI
MONDAY JULY 25, 2022
All about the back. When it comes to a car of such, it’s all about the back. There could only be one reason you would buy one and that is of course for the looks of a ‘coupe’ SUV. I still am not a fan of this monstrosity because it not only pinch space from the rear bench but attracts the kind of crowd you do not want over for dinner. That said, let’s be objective and find out if a Q5 40 TDI is any good.
This has been lightly peppered with metallic paint, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a lighting package, 5-segment grey wheels and blacked out bits on the outside. After an hour of driving, I find that quality has returned to form as neither screen rattles was heard nor wiper catching its windscreen in this Q5. Those aside, ride quality is above average on these 20 inch rubbers. So far, so good.
0-100 km/h: 7.6 s
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Feeling uninspired photographing at the usual spot, I took this thing to Mount Donna Buang hoping to see snow. During my drive, the Q5 Sportback is a comfortable place to be as road and wind noise are well damped. The seats provide sufficient support and that huge sunroof brightens up this black interior. I do miss the head-up display and radar cruise in my own car but I am a complainer so these might not be an issue for most people.
Despite not having as much feedback through the steering wheel, it feels lighter on its feet than an SQ5. The difference of about 100 kilograms does come into play not just in the bends but in roundabouts. It also rides better and is able to do more off-roader stuff. Infotainment is now touchscreen which makes a new one of these a more sensible purchase than a used SQ5.
Is 200 horsepower enough? Pull the gear once to engage sports and it doesn't need more, especially so in a car of this type. So what’s the bad? Very few actually, wireless CarPlay is very battery consuming and I only had an inch or so of headroom in the back bench. There’s actually one perk to having the chopped roofline apart from its unique look. When reverse parked closest to the wall, the tailgate will not catch the wall and you are able to access the boot from the side, something that cannot be done in a Q5 with a conventional back.
What really are issues is in this climate, you can’t have many options ticked or even get one at sticker. So if you want to have the very average speakers upgraded, you have to go for a 45 TFSI which isn’t a diesel. If you still prefer diesel, you can have B&O in the 50 TDI but it is not available in Sportback form. So if you have to have a Sportback, this is your only option.
I threw everything at this Q5 and it averaged 7.5l/100 kilometres which makes petrol SUVs very daft. Diesel still has its place and with the help from a mild hybrid system, lag is nearly non-existent which is unlike a common rail engine you have previously experienced. The rattle from its engine is only audible at lower speeds and pretty much gone afterwards.
My time with the Q5 TDI was very enjoyable and for the first time, I’m reluctant to return a loaner. Even in Sportback guise, it makes an excellent one car by being not overly large in the city and a relaxing cross-continent vehicle. Just give me one with a normal roof.