Monday, February 18, 2013

[Driven] The new 2013 Audi Q5

The weather was nice last Monday, and we were able to head down to the Dead Sea and spare some free time. And we all know what that the best kind of vehicle for such trips, and could get us the closest to the lowest point on earth.

We were looking for an SUV, and while Audi have released the new version of the Q5 with a great 2.0T TFSI engine, we thought it'd be a great option for a long trip, a comfortable ride, and still be good on gas!
So we grabbed our cameras, picked up the car and headed down Na'our, and down to the Dead Sea.

The first Audi Q5 was introduced back in 2008 and started selling in 2009, and till 2012 where Audi have introduced the facelift with some minor changes on the exterior, along with updated engines to increase economy and higher output of the car's performance.

The 2013 Audi Q5 we tested has a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, that can produce 211 horsepower, and 258 lb-ft of torque. Although it's the smallest engine built for this car, but it still gave a really good impression. And after all, the new updated 2.0 TFSI engine is the successor to the engine that was selected "Engine of the Year" five years in a row.

As we were on our way down, the roads were mostly empty and as it was all downhill, we had no resistance and no need for much throttle. We put it in automatic mode for full comfort, and thanks to cruise control we were able to stay under speed limit and have no complications, if you know what I mean. 

The car is set up with a an Audi Quattro drivetrain system (All-Wheel drive), An automatic 8-Speed automatic or a 6-speed tiptronic manual shifting.

The shifting was very responsive when switched to manual, changing gears didn't take much time as it would like in other same leveled SUVs that we've tested. when going on a straight road, just put it in Manual, downshift, and watch the quattro system do its magic.

Although it's an SUV, but still, the car packed some power and it was really nice for its size and weight.

The 2.0T Q5 can go from 0-60 in around 7 seconds, and has the top speed of 222 km/h.

Ok we know its an SUV, and it's not a sport car to be talking about how fast it was or whatever, but you know? The handling was sporty, and It did quiet well on high speeds and corners which really gave a good impression about the weight distribution of the car, and how the ride's height and suspension did well together.

And now, from on-road, to off the road.

A Quattro drivetrain, and a good suspension is all what you need for going off the road.

We went over sand, gravel, rocks, and back to asphalt. It was pretty comfortable, and we had no difficulties, but we were a bit annoyed there weren't any knobs to control the suspension system whether we needed a higher ride, a softer suspension or to even control the diff.

But still, we kept in mind that the car was not strictly built for offroading.

As we have learned after some researches, that the springs are supported directly on the wheel carriers and are mounted independent of the compressed gas shock absorbers, so that they can respond with high sensitivity.

As we mentioned, we went on different terrains at moderate speeds and the suspension system has reacted well with the changes. A bit hard, but it tried its best to adapt.

Exterior wise, the new 2013 Q5 has the optional xenon, and the headlights have a continuous strip of LED daytime running lights around the edge, similar to the tail lights at the rear, which look really cool when the sun goes down. A wider front and a bit lower than before, standard rims come from 17 to 20 inch rims.

But when you order the S-line trim, well that's when you get all the sporty looking exterior and interior features along with the 20 inch alloy wheels, different headlights, grill, and the S-Line badging on the side.

As for ride safety, standard on every 2013 Q5 are anti-lock disc brakes, stability and traction control, and side curtain airbags. Rear side passenger airbags are optional for all trims.

Euro NCAP has given the Q5 a 5 out of 5 stars mark at safety ratings for crash tests. And got a 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick. So that must be something to tell you how safe the car is.

The interior! everything was reachable, it has an electronic E-Brake, so Audi has saved some space from putting a handbrake in the middle console, or have an additional 3rd foot pedal.

The basic interior settings were there, A good audio system, well designed buttons and keys, cupholders, and electric windows. Many other options come as additional options, such as as electric operated seats, leather upholstery, steering controlled media interface, and more.

Cargo space behind the second row is 29.1 cubic feet, and if you fold the rear seats, the space expands to 57.3 cubes.

So the new 2.0 TFSI engine is as great as it was before, and now even better. It's better on economy, it's a luxurious yet functional SUV, and the price is reasonable.

It's not huge as a Q7 nor compact as the Q3, it's in the middle with both personalities. And to give you a small piece of information, The Q5 will also serve as the platform for the upcoming Porsche Macan. Is that sporty enough for you? lol

Check it out at the Nuqul Automotive - Audi center, and they can help you out with anything else. And maybe even hook yourself up with a test drive!

Photography credits: Estabraq Kamal & Abdulla Ja'afari

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