When you first enter the new Q5, it reminds you of older Audi’s than the new ones. You get a conventional dash layout with a well-defined centre console and missing are the distinctive vents that expand across the width of the dashboard like in the new Q7 and A4. What is thoroughly modern though is the Virtual Cockpit system which we have come to love in all newer Audi’s. It high-res instrumentation screen is crisp, easy to use on the move and gives you information like navigation, trip data and phone notification right in front of your eyes. The MMI system is quick and easy to get use to but not as intuitive as the BMW’s i-Drive system. There’s a touchpad, too, which we used mostly for inputting addresses on the navigation or to search contacts which makes your life easier when you’re on the move.
As you would come to expect, quality is top drawer in this Audi. Right from the knurled finished air-con controls, to the beautifully textured dash top, everything just feels right on the money. Thankfully Audi hasn’t fallen for the minimalistic design approach like some of its rivals and have sensibly kept separate buttons and switches for the air-con, drive modes and so on. It does look less fancy as compared to a Volvo but when it comes to functionality, it surely gets our approval.
You sit high up in the new Q5 and the low dash and slim pillars give you a clear view of your surroundings. The large front seat is well bolstered and there is loads of space up front. At the rear you get more kneeroom and the bench itself is comfortable and it can be reclined according to your comfort. The 510 boot is large and well-shaped. You can also slide the rear seat forward to add space and you also get 40:20:40 split folding function which adds to the Q5’s practicality.
In terms of equipment the Q5 we had on test was well-equipped. It came with panoramic sunroof, electric leather seats, parking assist with rear camera, three-zone climate control, electric boot opening, cruise control with a speed limiter, 8 airbags, LED lighting, Matrix Beam headlamps, and the Virtual cockpit instrumentation. A glaring omission though is the keyless door opening which is present even in cars that cost less than Rs 10 lakh.