Its an American trend to bring in cars which have more or less the same body structure but downsized engine capacities which produce more or less the same power that the previous iterations did and at the same time, price them lesser. This move by American companies certainly brought them the customers that they so wanted and at the same time gave the customers a very good image about the product that they are buying or going to buy. Seems like the same companies are using these ideas in India as well. BMW did it with their 5 series and now Audi are doing it with their Q5 range. Just ahead of the launch of the 2011 BMW X3, Audi India launched the Q5 with a downsized 2.0 TDI engine. Here is a review of the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI in India.
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Looks like its bigger 3.0 liter engined one or even for that matter the 2.0 TFSI unit. The same wide grille and those LED lamps with the smallest configuration of fog lamps flanking them. The road presence that one looks for from Audi cars is very much there even with this lesser version of the Q5. As for the Q5, it is not only a mirror image of its bigger brother the Q7 but also one for the integration specialists. No change in the wheel size and with only a 2.0 TDI badging at the rear revealing the contents under the hood, the Q5 has got its work cut out. Twin tail pipes define the muscular attitude that this car so ably presents.
Well, we expected drastic cut of equipment and stuff in here, but no. Audi haven’t skimped on the equipment level and one basically gets the Luxury Package which consists of the wonderful new generation MMI system along with a rear camera for the Parking Assist and also the head rests with entertainment screen slots. The seats in the front are like thrones whereas the ones in the rear are a bit tight on the leg space but are good as far as the head room is concerned. The build quality is superb. However, as we have maintained in the past, the excessive use of aluminium for the body means that there would be some rattles down the line and also most of the Indian roads are laid with a certain rockfeld mesh to them, its all the more problematic. The boot space is also adequate for most outhouse parties. Audi’s attention to details cannot be ruled out in here as well. So, inside the cabin, till the time one pushes the starter motor, there is nothing to be discertained with its other brethren.
Ride and Handling
The Quattro package comes with this one as well and there is no distinguishing thing happening here as well. Now, for the ride and handling, one has to start the car and here is where the problem lies. It immediately becomes apparent that Audi have cut out on the NVH factor and there is nothing which would make us believe that we are sitting in a 2.0 liter TFSI or even 3.0 liter TDI engine than the earthly 2.0 TDI. There are far too many vibes coming into the cabin via the accelerator pedal and also, the NVH when driven around is far too much. As for the ride quality, its similar to the others from its stables, reassuring and pliant. The handling is a dream courtesy the Quattro and other electronic aids coming its way. The steering wheel is also a delight to use with its light configuration. For the speedier runs, it didn’t instill too much of confidence due to its slightly thin configuration.
Engine, performance and fuel efficiency
The 1984 cc diesel engine has got an advanced common rail technology going for it which produces 170 Bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque. The torque converter is a 7 speed one and is called the S-tronic system. For an average driver who would prefer to have a top speed of 80 kmph done sedately, the 2.0 TDI Q5 is the best. However for one looking for more performance, well, it definitely feels underpowered. The gearbox is very good and tries to mask the power deficiency of the engine, but only manages upto a certain extent. The 0-100 kmph figure comes up in 10.2 seconds and the top speed we managed to take her was 168 kmph with the engine screaming hoarse and reluctant to go any further on the speedo climb.
Brakes are first rate and inspire confidence. The plethora of safety features provided is also mind boggling and it is always reassuring to know that there is something covering your thorax in the event of a side collision. As for the fuel efficiency, its not much fuel efficient than the 3.0 TDI. It returned an overall 11.2 kmpl.
If you are willing to sacrifice the bragging rights of the 3.0 liter TDI engine, then the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI in India is for you. The same looks, equipment levels, Quattro and what not. However, turn on the engine and the difference in the Rs 10 lakhs price tag becomes apparent. The Audi Q5 2.0 TDI price in India is Rs 35 lakhs, ex-show room, Mumbai. Fantastic value for money product but with a cut in the engine department.