The sports front seats are very supportive but I found the squab to be too long and it extends even further for long-legged people.
The Audi Q5 test car was also fitted with Audi drive Select. It was the full package comprising damper control settings and dynamic steering, which is designed to make driving more agile and precise. I think it was the latter that was somewhat disconcerting and rather like so-called over-centre steering, it has the effect of making the tyres feel like jelly and a little wayward even at slow speeds. Curiously, it does work and, if you overcome the initial uneasy sensation, fast bends can be taken with ease.
Another added extra was the Technology Pack at £1,955. It brings together HDD Satellite navigation, which can also store up to 4,000 music tracks, the Audi Parking System Plus (sound and graphic images), and an electric tailgate.
Inside the Audi Q5, the sumptuous leather softens the technology-laden centre console, which is angled towards the driver. In fact, the word smooth most accurately describes the cabin. In the driver's area, there are many different dials and switches, especially on the broad central tunnel, where the controls for the DIS are situated, but they integrate nicely.
The sports front seats are very supportive but I found the squab to be too long and it extends even further for long-legged people. Apart from that all was well and nobody could complain about cramped conditions.
The three rear passengers in the Audi Q5 test car benefited from the optional Rear bench seat plus, which allows the seat to slide fore and aft in its asymmetric split ratio. When the centre seat is unoccupied, there is a load-through facility and an armrest with pop-out cupholders.
The rear seat backs fold but don't form a flat floor. Nevertheless, operating the fold is easy enough and the load capacity is increased from 540- to a maximum of 1,560-litres.
Despite the niggles, I liked the Audi Q5 and, as advertised, it is an SUV that thinks it is a sports saloon. For sure I could live without the strange steering effect but that could be arranged. As for the rest, the controls are nicely weighted and positioned; the Infotainment system is very good, as is the HDD sat-nav with its 3D effect. There are some SUVs on the market that have a lot more features as standard but what they don't have is Audi's technological know-how or the badge to prove it.22 July 2009
Audi Q5 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Audi Q5 2.0-TFSI Quattro S-Line|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|Transmission||7-speed S-Tronic Automatic|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||38.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 22/07/09)||£32,890|