ROAD TEST

NIGHT JOURNEY

We put Audi’s all-new Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S line to the test in the wee small hours, when all the world’s asleep and all the roads are clear


WRITER Angus Frazer

They say everything feels better in the day. I’m not so sure about that – most things yes, but not quite everything. For me, the wee small hours can turn a daylight slog through city traffic or a congested country commute into something quite magical and invigorating. The American writer Theodore Roethke sums up the sentiment in his poem Night Journey with the words, ‘I stare into the night, while others take their rest.’

Now, I’ll admit Mr Roethke was letting the train take the strain. Me, I prefer to be a little more in control of my destiny, which is why I am behind the wheel of an all-new Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S line. I may not be running on rails tonight, but there is still a definite

sense of rhythm to my journey, and that is very much down to the Audi Q5.

It’s one of those vehicles that you instantly feel comfortable with and attuned to. While the spacious, versatile cabin accommodates five occupants, Audi’s designers have cleverly sculpted the dashboard around the driver, so it feels more like you are behind the wheel of a sports coupé rather than a family-size SUV.

The beautiful yet subtle illumination of the LED Interior Light Pack lets me appreciate the exquisite detailing of the cabin, while a range of optional features, such as the Audi Virtual Cockpit, high-beam assist and head-up display enhance night driving further.

Audi’s engineers have done their work exceedingly well – a fact which becomes increasingly evident as the night miles serve up a wide variety of driving conditions. Able to surge the SUV to 62mph in 6.3 seconds and return up to 39.8mpg combined*, the smooth-revving, 252PS 2.0 TFSI engine delivers a superb blend of performance, efficiency and refinement.

The seven-speed S tronic transmission is the perfect accompaniment to the engine. As I change gear by using the steering column-mounted paddles, it perfectly illustrates how Audi’s Vorsprung durch Technik ethos is completely integrated into the Q5, with control placed at my fingertips.

When I turn the steering wheel the response is equally crisp, effective and engaging. With its all-new chassis, the Q5 feels truly nimble in sharp, tight bends and superbly composed on long flowing corners. The latest efficiency-enhancing quattro-on-demand system engages all-wheel drive in a fraction of a second for safe, assured roadholding.

As my night journey takes me into more remote terrain, I enjoy the splendid isolation. But of course I’m not really isolated at all, not with MMI Navigation to guide the way and Audi Connect Infotainment Services to keep me in touch with the world.

AUDI Q5 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S LINE

Price from  £42,150 OTR
Engine  2.0 TFSI 252PS
Transmission  seven-speed S tronic
Drivetrain  quattro all-wheel drive
0-62mph  6.3 seconds
Top speed  147mph
Efficiency  39.8mpg combined*,             162g/km CO2*

*Standard EU test figure for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. With 19-inch wheels

755 WATTS

IS THE TOTAL OUTPUT OF THE Q5’S
OPTIONAL BANG & OLUFSEN SOUND
SYSTEM, WHICH DELIVERS CONCERT
HALL ACOUSTICS ON THE GO

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