Jessica Being a gym bunny of the very early morning variety, through necessity rather than choice, it means I experience the full effects of a frosty morning in the pitch dark.
Beware of starting your Audi Q5 by pressing all the buttons available and expecting a quick departure, because it does not want you to leave fast once it is turned on.
Or let put it this way, sometimes an ice scraper is required and all you get is a needy alarm or a switched off engine, not only that the seats are not heated. Gym kit is not ideal for the cold, so I was left with a chilled behind and shivering body before finally venturing out onto the open road.
The car of course in any other setting is pure Audi, crafted carefully to make driving a pleasure and (apart from frosty morning troubles) painless.
Fast with controlled steering, just the right amount of responsiveness on the brakes, you would be happy to drive your family, pets and others about in style and confidence once you had handed over your well earned cash.
Bloody typical! I’ve just had an altercation with a local farmer, head to head down a narrow lane, my Q5 against his poo-covered tractor. Not sure what his problem was but apparently, I’m a city type who doesn’t know the ‘way things work’ in the country’.
Now, was it just because I was driving a posh Audi? Would it have been the same if I had been in my ancient, poo-covered Land Rover I wonder?
Maybe it was the fancy daylights, the ’13’ on the registration plates, or the angry front grille (see earlier post)? Has Audi become the new BMW – the most despised premium brand on the market?
I’ve grown to like the Q5, especially since I found the dynamic drive button. It’s also fairly inoffensive, unless you are an angry farmer.
I’m also sure that with privacy glass, bling wheels and sporty bits, it could well be a ‘townie’ car. Especially if you are an angry farmer in Gloucestershire…
Cars never used to have the benefit of different driving modes – the Q5 has a discreet button called Drive Select that turns a school run-mobile into a seriously quick motor.
It alters the automatic gearbox shift points, the steering and throttle response and the firmness of the suspension. In the old days you bought a car with an engine and gearbox and that was that!
Comfort, auto or dynamic – the latter has the same affect on the Q5 as being stung on the backside by a swarm of very angry bees. Fantastic.
The Q5 comes alive and races to 60mph in 6.3 seconds. All the vagueness of the steering in ‘comfort’ mode disappears and the Q5 is a different car.
So, it all begs the question, why do we need a Drive Select button in the first place? Personally, I think we’ve all become rather lazy when it comes to how we drive our cars these days…
There’s a line from Blackadder, when he threatens to injure Baldrick by making him walk across a very sharp cattle grip wearing a heavy hat.
The modern-day equivalent would be something similar with the front grille of a Q5. The latest Audi look across the range is for a large, deep grille of quite epic proportions.
Front grilles are bigger than ever these days – just take a look at the latest nose of the Mazda6, the next generation Mercedes C-Class, or the Hyundai Santa Fe.
For some reason, it doesn’t work on the Q5. The proportions are all wrong, perhaps because the car is too short, unlike an A6 Avant or Q7, which don’t suffer such problems.
Having a large hooter myself, I can only say I sympathise for the Q5. Maybe the next generation model will get the front end it deserves…
Just look at that dashboard layout – it’s so damn Audi. Minimalist, efficient and just oozing quality. And the Q5 is a family car, not some uber cool coupe. Yet it feels every inch as good in the driver’s seat, when you pop the key in the slot and the whole lot springs to life.
There is a raft of very good SUVs out there for a lot less money – think Kia, Hyundai – but you just know that when a customer sits behind the wheel of a Q5, it’s going to set an impressive benchmark.
It’s all about the details. The feel of the squared off steering wheel in your hand, the precision of the automatic gearbox shift and those buttons and dials, all beautifully tactile and positioned.
I can’t think of how a Q5 would fit in my life because I don’t have kids or grandchildren to ferry around. But I know that if I did, this would probably be the only serious competitor to a Land Rover Freelander that I would consider.
A Q5’s isn’t cheap to buy compared to SUV rivals but as well as Audi quality, you are getting one very big car. I’ve just squeezed a huge lawn mower in the boot and it didn’t eat into rear seat space one bit.
The back seats are massive too. The Q5 really can carry five adults in comfort, with acres of leg space and excellent headroom as well. With or without lawn mower in situ. Lower the back seats and luggage space is almost trebled. You can also spec up the car with a folding front seat.
The cabin itself is a delight. A mix of quality leather and soft plastics which should make any school run a pleasure.
And the high driving position gives excellent, all-round visibility, one reason why people opt for SUVs in the first place. I have to give the sat nav system a mention too – quite possibly the easiest unit I’ve tried in ages. Still can’t my iPhone to synch with the Bluetooth though…
Well, almost but I couldn’t resist the headline… The cream tea capital of the Cotswolds is now my local town! Imagine that – scones, jam and clotted cream whenever I need them in a hurry.
The river across the green has been on the verge of breaking its banks for the last couple of weeks. I was glad to take delivery of the Q5 because extra ground clearance and four-wheel drive ability is a must around these parts at the moment.
I think I’ve surprised myself by liking the Q5 more than I expected. It doesn’t have the aggressive, sinister look of big brother Q7 (Clarkson said the Q7 was a car you could nail to a church wall to fend off evil spirits…) but it’s a typical Audi alright. Well-built, practical and very capable.
The start mechanism is driving me slightly nuts, especially removing the key when the car is switched off. It refuses to come out and I am constantly restarting the car when actually, I just want to get out!
Still, I think it will be tough to find any major issues with the Q5. It’d no looker but another Audi that does exactly what it says on the tin. And that’s a very expensive tin too…
I’m not going to lie – I think the Q5 doesn’t look different enough to distinguish it from the rest of the SUVs out there at the moment. That said, I have always had a strong desire to drive one.
It’s just the sort of car you want to deliver your little ones to classes on time – indeed I’ve seen a couple on the school run through my village, where four-wheel drive is advisable and ice roads the norm.
With no ‘little ones’ to ferry about the place, the back seats have been dropped to make way for my mutt and I can actually enjoy the 245bhp TDI engine to the full.
I always try and ‘guess the price’ of the car when it arrives on my driveway. I guessed at £30,000. In fact, the S-line model is over £39,000! Is it worth it? Find out by joining us this week at carcouture….