We break for the border to put the new Audi Q5 SUV to the test in the searing heat of the Baja California Peninsula
WRITER Katie Johnstone
The proof of the pudding – or, as we're in Mexico, perhaps we should say the proof of the Capirotada – is in the eating. Similarly, if a car's success can be measured by how impressively it drives and how well it sells, the first-generation Audi Q5 was without doubt a very big hit.
Launched in 2008, the original Q5 revolutionised the SUV sector with a blend of sleek looks, innovative technology, agile driving manners and premium-quality finish. By the end of 2016, more than 1.5 million of the first-generation models had been sold around the world.
Now, though, it is time to look forwards and try the all-new Q5, which arrives in the UK this spring with prices starting from £37,170. Before I hit the roads of the Baja California Peninsula, I take a stroll around the vehicle. With its sculpturally flared singleframe grille, distinctive curves and strong shoulders, the all-new model offers elegance and athleticism in equal measures.
Naturally the SUV wasn't designed purely to please the eye. The Q5's aerodynamic shape enables it to glide through the air as efficiently as possible. And while the new vehicle has grown in size, it weighs up to 90kg less than its predecessor.
Inside the cabin there is ample space for five, while luggage capacity has increased by 10 litres. All three models – SE, Sport and S line – feature a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel. Factor in Audi's optional Virtual Cockpit and sitting in the Q5 feels more akin to taking the wheel of a sports car than an SUV.
THE ALL-NEW Q5 OFFERS GREATER VERSATILITY, AGILITY, TECHNOLOGY AND EFFICIENCY THAN BEFORE