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Audi's tweaked Q5 is less thirsty

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Q5 receives subtle styling changes and a new range of engines, including a hybrid.

This midlife update to Audi's mid-sized SUV follows the familiar beaten path of subtle styling changes and a batch of upgraded engines that make it more efficient - by up to 15 percent, in fact.

Among those minor visual tweaks, the headlights on all models now incorporate LED daytime running lights, while optional xenon plus lights have LEDs in a curved band surrounding the headlight. Tick this option and you also get taillights with a layout of visually uniform LED bands.

The front bumper is also new and houses a redesigned grille with 'bevelled' upper edges as per other new-age Audis and vertical chrome struts.

35 COMBINATIONS

Inside the cabin, materials, colours and upholstery fabrics have been updated - three new interior colours, three fabric and three leather options and a total of 35 different combinations mean you can make your Q5 very unique inside.

Furthermore, customers can order climate-controlled comfort seats with a ventilation function and three-zone climate control.

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While the local engine line-up will be confirmed closer to launch - which takes place in the fourth quarter of this year - international markets get six engine choices, all force-fed and with direct fuel injection.

The most cutting-edge of these is a hybrid model that mates Audi's 155kW 2-litre TFSI engine to an electric motor to achieve system outputs of 180kW and 480Nm. Combined consumption is rated at 6.9 l/100km.

Petrol choices comprise a 165kW/350Nm 2-litre TFSI and a 3-litre V6 TFSI with 200kW and 400Nm on tap. This one, claims Audi, will dart to 100km/h in just 5.9 seconds.

SENSIBLE DIESELS

There's also a range of more sensible diesels, starting with a 103kW 2-litre that pushes 105kW and 320Nm and for which Audi claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.3 litres per 100km. A 130kW/380Nm version of this engine is available too, as is a 180kW/580Nm 3-litre V6 TDI.

Four cylinder engines are paired with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while the 2.0 TFSI can be ordered with an eight-speed tiptronic 'box. The 3.0 TDI comes standard with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, which is optional on the 130kW 2.0 TDI.

All but the 105kW 2.0 TDI come standard with Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

On the suspension front, the five-link front and trapezoidal-link rear end have been retained, but engineers have honed the springs, shocks and stabilisers. There's a new electro-mechanical power steering system that's said to give better road feel.

Audi's drive select system is available in the new Q5, the system allowing the driver to vary the characteristics of the accelerator, transmission and steering.

A glut of driver assistance systems feature on the options list, including a drowsiness detection system called 'rest recommendation', radar-based adaptive cruise control, active lane assist and side assist.


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