What do you do if you have a car that's selling well, is generally critically liked and consistently churns over big profits? You update it very, very carefully, which is exactly what Audi has done with the Q5.
New grille and bumpers
So, the styling has been very subtly evolved, with a new, flatter, wider grille, bigger air intakes and new headlights. The effect is very gentle, but overall the Q5 looks a little more big-chinned than it did before.
At the back, there's now a connecting bar between the rear lights and there is a new rear diffuser panel. There's also a honeycomb mesh insert for that big grille at the front, on S Line models, and new paint options - district green and ultra blue. You can accentuate all that with the optional black pack, which darkens all of the exterior chrome and brightwork.
Inside, there are no major visual changes other than a new touch-sensitive MMI infotainment screen. The old clickwheel controller is gone, now, and replaced by a storage cubby. The new infotainment system is said to have ten times more computing power than before. Audi says that the menu layout is much easier to use now. Features include Google Earth mapping, lane-by-lane traffic flow info and in-car Amazon Alexa digital assistant. The car-to-x services provided by Audi connect make for even more relaxed driving - helping, for example, to find available roadside parking spots or using traffic-light communication in some cities to "surf the green wave."
OLED brake lights
Outside, and at the back, there is something else new - OLED brake lights. "In addition to perfect contrast, the benefits of digital OLED are a high level of homogeneity and minimal gap between the segments," explains Stephan Berlitz, head of development, light innovation at Audi. "Looking to the future, digital OLED is therefore the perfect technology for executing personalized light design with a high degree of precision and extensive variability. This technology offers all sorts of opportunities for further development."
The lights can pull off a few other tricks too, including changing their light signature when you're in Dynamic mode, and also lighting up when the car detects someone standing too close to you when you're parked. Up front, the standard LED headlights get optional Martix LED lights.
Overall, the Q5 is 19mm longer than it used to be, but don't get excited - it's all just down to reshaped bumpers. Interior space is the same, as is the 550-litre boot.
The updated Q5 is being launched, initially, with a '40 TDI' 2.0-litre mild-hybrid diesel engine, with 204hp and 400Nm of torque. The engine has been significantly updated and has a crankcase that's 20kg lighter than before. The mild-hybrid system allows for greater fuel savings around town and has CO2 emissions of 239-143g/km.
Audi says that it's also a very clean diesel, with double-dosing AdBlue technology that significantly reduces the emissions of NOX. A seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox is standard, as is, for this model, quattro four-wheel drive.
On the suspension front, owners can choose from standard or sport versions on steel springs, or you can have the sports setup with adaptive dampers. There's a final, ultimate, option of air suspension. There's also the Audi Drive Select system, and while there are standard 17-inch wheels, you can fit optional rims of up to 21 inches. The updated Q5 also comes with a comprehensive set of assistance systems.
The Audi pre sense city system comes as standard and helps avoid collisions with road users in front of the vehicle or mitigate their consequences. The optional turn assist, collision avoidance assist and exit warning systems also contribute to overall safety. Adaptive cruise assist can largely relieve the driver of accelerating, braking and lane-keeping maneouvers for long periods, while predictive efficiency assist supports an anticipatory driving style and lowers fuel consumption.
There's also a limited 'Edition One' version for early-bird customers. The exterior design is based on the S line exterior, further enhanced by the black trim package. The specific design elements set sporty accents with a black Audi insignia front and rear as well as on the rear doors, black roof rails and black exterior mirrors as well as carbon door trim. On entering the vehicle, the Audi rings are projected onto the ground by LED lights. The equipment package also includes red brake calipers, 19-inch wheels and sports seats. The exterior paint colours are glacier white and myth black in addition to new shades, district green and ultra blue.