Cars & Gadgets
The Luxury Compact SUV of Your Dreams Has Arrived
The second-generation Audi Q5 is now in the Philippines and it is bigger, bolder, lighter, and more tech-laden than the outgoing model.

Taking over from a model that consistently topped sales in the luxury compact SUV segment both here and overseas, the all-new Q5 plays a critical role in the Audi lineup. The first-generation Q5 was such a runaway success that it had outsold the quintessential Audi, the A4, in many markets. Even late in its life cycle, the Q5 was still among the fastest-moving models on Audi showroom floors. This could very well explain the extended nine-year production run of the Q5. Furthermore, the Audi engineers and designers had to make sure that the second-generation Q5 continued the previous model’s winning formula.   

“This car is setting the bar higher for SUVs in its class,” said Audi Philippines head Benedicto Coyiuto. “I believe it will continue to be the best-selling luxury compact SUV here in the Philippines.”

Quite understandably, the all-new Q5 carries over much of the previous Q5’s exterior styling cues. The two generations of Q5s have very similar taillights, side profiles, and overall shapes that the new Q5 could easily be mistaken as a mere mid-cycle facelift instead of a full model change. The one area where the second-gen Q5 departs from its predecessor’s styling is in the front-end, which now sports an eye-catching hexagonal grille and headlights reminiscent of those on the Audi Q7 flagship SUV.

The Q5 has practically grown in all dimensions, but thanks to extensive use of high-tensile steel and aluminum, some variants with the lighter engines weigh up to 90kg less than the previous Q5. This should help with fuel consumption and driving dynamics. The new Q5 is underpinned by the same MLB Evo platform the A4 and A5 are based on.

Sophisticated powertrain

Audi Philippines offers the new Q5 in base Design, mid-level Premium, and range-topping S line variants that all come with two engine choices: a 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel engine and a 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged direct-injection gas engine. Both engines are mated to a seven-speed S Tronic transmission. The TDI engine developing 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque gets the Q5 from 0 to 100kph in 7.9 seconds and on to a 217kph top speed. With its 250hp and 350Nm of torque, a TFSI-equipped Q5 is quicker from nil to 100 kph at 7.2 sec and tops out at 222kph.

The big story, however, is in the quattro all-wheel drive system with ultra technology. Unlike past quattro systems that sent power to all four wheels full-time, the new Q5’s quattro system with ultra technology drives only the front wheels by default. Torque is sent to the rear wheels seamlessly within milliseconds only when the system detects loss of traction, when the vehicle takes a corner aggressively, or when towing a trailer. Audi’s switch to part-time all-wheel drive is meant to help save fuel and cut emissions.


Complementing the quattro system is a new adaptive air suspension that allows the driver to adjust ride height to suit various driving conditions.

The inside story

One of the most notable changes to the interior is the fully digital instrument panel that Audi calls a “virtual cockpit.” This instrument panel does away with any mechanical analog gauges and instead gets a 12.3-inch screen that can be configured to display a map, speedometer, tachometer, and other vehicle information. The driver can choose from two display modes: a conventional mode dominated by large tachometer and speedometer dials or a navigation mode in which a map dominates.

Whether it is the driver or front passenger configuring the Bang & Olufsen audio system, the smartphone interface, the adaptive air suspension, or the ambient lighting, getting the right setting should be a breeze. The standard multi-function infotainment system with haptic feedback comes with an 8.3-inch display mounted on the dashboard, a touchpad that recognizes common digital device touchscreen inputs using fingers, and a rotary dial.  

Audi says that the Bang & Olufsen audio system creates a 3D sound experience via an additional spatial dimension of height. With the rear seat backrests folded, cargo space has increased slightly to 610 liters, courtesy of the increase in exterior dimensions.

The new Audi Q5 was given a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program).

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Eric S. Soriano
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