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Audi Q5: A cut above the rest

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer

Friday, July 07, 2017

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WHEN the 2018 Audi Q5 made its regional debut in Mexico earlier this year, it did so to rave reviews. Months later we have put it through its paces to confirm its transition on Jamaican soil and the results are the same: it is a finely tuned, luxury, sport utility vehicle wherever it's driven.

Since its introduction internationally and locally, the Audi Q5 has topped the sales charts. For Audi, it's been their best-selling model since its introduction in 2008 with over 1.6 million units sold worldwide. For ATL Automotive, that success was mirrored in their Jamaican showrooms, capturing the title of best-selling luxury SUV. So it's no surprise on the exterior; it's a case of evolution than revolution. The Q5 retains an appearance similar to the outgoing model, but gets several modern updates, the most significant being the revised front grille that now has a more chiselled look courtesy of a 3D aluminium graft. Audi engineering is on the forefront as the headlights and tail lights feature LED technology — LED daytime-running lights plus LED Matrix headlights and LED dynamic turn signals in the rear. that classic sculpted round shape bleeds through everywhere else. Go for the S-Line and the Q5 comes with 19-inch wheels as standard.

On the inside, things aren't so restrained design-wise. Again, the S-line package does its job, offering sport on top of luxury. Leather is ever present, as are soft-touch materials and various metal trimmings. Add in the full-length panoramic sunroof and inside the Q5 is a bright comfortable place to whittle the miles away. Rear passengers will be more than comfortable with their situation enjoying the space and their own climate controls. The powered tailgate opens to a very generous luggage area.

The interior standouts are easily the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the Audi MMI system. Ahead of the stubby transmission shifter, also increasing the sportiness factor, are the controls for the very advanced infotainment system. Matching the clean design feel of the rest of the interior, it has minimal buttons, but maximum intuitiveness as drivers can adjust everything from music to mood lighting with a click of the rotary wheel or a sweep of their fingers on the touchpad. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are available amongst a whole suite of convenience features and technology.

Once on the road, the Audi Q5 shines. The two-litre turbocharged motor makes plenty use of its 252bhp regardless of whichever of the driving modes it's placed in. The seven-speed tiptronic transmission is always willing, and acceleration is further helped by the Quattro all-wheel drive. The modes also change the suspension settings, allowing drivers to relax in COMFORT mode on rough terrain. Should things get rougher, there is OFFROAD, meaning: the Audi Q5 can genuinely handle challenging traction conditions. In EFFICIENCY, Quattro goes into its Ultra mode coasting in two-wheel drive to save fuel. DYANMIC brings out the sporty side of the Audi, allowing it to be hustled along with relative ease.

Starting at $9.95 million, the 2018 Audi Q5 is available with a three-year/90,000km warranty, three-year/60,000 service package, and 12 months of 24-hour roadside assistance.

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