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Audi's Q5 has been given a midlife nip and tuck and the latest model is now available to South Africans, starting at R464 000.
Little has changed on the outside, but if you look close you might notice the new grille with its 'beveled' upper edges and vertical chrome struts. The inner sections of the headlights have also been redesigned and if you opt for the Xenon Plus headlights, a curved band of LEDs (in the front and rear lights) is also part of the deal.
Many subtle modifications adorn the interior and many of its ergonomic aspects, such as controls and switches, have been fine-tuned for easier use.
What's more, an even bigger variety of infotainment systems is on offer for those with deep pockets, including a Bang & Olufsen sound system and MMI navigation plus with 3D colour graphics. Those opting for the Bluetooth car phone package also get internet access via a WLAN hotspot.
The alterations to Audi's mid-sized SUV are far more than skin deep as most of the engines have been upgraded to produce more power and use less fuel.
As before, the 2.0 TFSI base petrol produces 132kW, but the more powerful 2-litre option has been beefed up from 155kW to 165kW. The latter is also available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Topping the petrol range is a new 200kW/400Nm 3-litre supercharged V6 that replaces the previous normally aspirated 3.2. Audi claims this new V6 will run from 0-100km/h in only 5.9 seconds.
Diesel-heads have two upgraded engines to choose from. The 2.0 TDI is now good for 130kW and 380Nm (up from 125kW and 350Nm) and the new 3.0 TDI is good for 180kW and 580Nm - was 176kW/500Nm.
The former is the economy champion of the range, with a claimed combined figure of 6.0 litres per 100km, although the 3.0 is not too far behind with its 6.4 l/100km number.
On the chassis front, Audi has retained the accomplished five-link front and trapezoidal-link rear set-up, but engineers have fine-tuned the springs, shocks and stabilisers and a new electromechanical power steering system, with more direct gearing, is said to provide a better road-feel.
The new Q5 will be available in S and SE grades, and Audi says the level of standard equipment has been significantly improved.
Opt for the S trim and the standard fare includes 17-inch alloys, climate control, cruise control, Concert radio, driver information system with efficiency programme, ESP with hill descent control, interior lighting package and 'leatherette' seat trim, which is a combination of artificial and genuine leather.
SE trim adds the Audi Music Interface, three-zone climate control, colour driver information system as well as front and rear parking sensors. SE V6 models also add 18-inch alloys, Xenon Plus headlights and electric front seats.
2.0T FSI S - R464 000
Q5 2.0 TDI S - R469 000
Q5 2.0 TDI S S tronic - R488 000
Q5 2.0T FSI SE Tiptronic - R528 000
Q5 3.0T FSI SE Tiptronic - R599 000
Q5 3.0 TDI SE S tronic - R616 000