Thursday, February 7, 2013

Audi Q5

The Audi Q5 has drawn in the crowds in terms of sales in India. No doubt, its larger sibling the Q7 commands a solid presence and the smaller Q3 exudes a more chic appeal, but when it comes to a practical product offering in the premium SUV space, the Q5 is second to none. Further, Audi India has steadily and successfully been offering their latest products in India, usually within a few months of their global debut. This has not only provided them with a solid impetus in the market but has also resulted in the company having a rather young fleet in its product offering. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy the latest vehicle that’s out there and judging by the sales figures, this strategy is working well for the company. In the light of that, the Audi Q5 was due for an upgrade and sure enough, the new version is now available right here on Indian shores.

Unlike other mid-life product upgrades, the Q5 has gone through a rather substantial metamorphosis. The exteriors have been treated to offer a sportier and sharper profile compared to the outgoing model. The design ethos, which borrows heavily from the Q7, still exists but the vehicle just looks bolder thanks to the kinked hood design with fine contoured lines and the front bumper which boasts of a trapezoidal design that adds a robust flair. Another significant change that catches your attention right away are the all-new Xenon plus headlights and LED daytime running lights.
While every manufacturer has jumped at the opportunity to offer the LED treatment to their respective products, nobody does LEDs like Audi - after all they started the trend and continue to dominate on that front. Such are the changes on the new Q5 that even our resident photographer couldn’t get enough and while I tried to decipher his take on the vehicle including how captivated he was with the way the light bounced off the contours and made for photographer bliss, I was keeping to my agenda that involved better things than just staring at this machine. It was time to get inside and drive it!

Once firmly seated and buckled up, I found myself in familiar territory. After all, I have had the opportunity to be behind the wheel of just about every Audi vehicle on offer and there is a welcoming sense of familiarity in terms of how all the equipment is laid out and of course the fit and finish of some rather fine material. Now, before I fired up that beast of an engine, I took the time to admire my surroundings. The first change that I realised was already in my grip, namely the new leather covered steering wheel that boasts a 4-spoke design that is specific to the Q model range.