Audi Q5 35TDI 2022 Review

This new luxury SUV has a mind-boggling stat that very few cars for sale today can match and it won’t break the bank.

Launching a new diesel-powered luxury car in 2022 is like throwing a barbecue in front of a vegan convention.

But Audi’s latest competitor suggests there’s plenty of sizzle left in this sausage.

Priced at $68,350 plus highway costs, around $76,000 by car, the new Audi Q5 35TDI is the most affordable option in Audi’s midsize SUV lineup.

It costs half as much as the all-electric Audi e-tron and offers at least three times the range.

Road travelers may be drawn to a machine that combines an economical 4.8l/100km fuel usage with a generous 70-litre tank to theoretically offer more than 1,400km of driving between fill-ups. And the thrifty will appreciate the nearly $5,000 savings offered by the two-wheel drive diesel model over its more powerful all-wheel drive cousin.

The new Q5 35TDI is powered by a detuned 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine generating 120kW and 370Nm, which is 30kW and 30Nm less than the existing Q5 40TDI Quattro.

The result is a car that doesn’t match the commanding traction and easy progress of its four-wheel drive cousin, requiring even nine seconds to dispatch a 100km/h sprint normally completed in 7.6 seconds.

It also misses out on desirable features like a digital dash and Quattro all-wheel drive. Take a closer look and you’ll also find technologies like adaptive cruise control, multi-mode suspension and wireless phone charging missing.

But it looks cool with 20-inch multi-spoke wheels that are joined by updated bumpers and LED headlights.

And you get a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, plus a leather-wrapped cabin with heated seats, smart keys, ambient lighting, tri-zone climate control, and a power liftgate.

Driver touchpoints are lovely: the soft-touch leather steering wheel and gear selector are well placed, and the metal buttons for engine start and electric parking brake feel premium.

Running changes on this second-gen Q5 included the selection of a physical controller for its multimedia system, though we’re pleased to report that there are dedicated knobs and buttons for climate controls, stereo volume and driving modes, unlike the less intuitive. touchscreens in newer Audis.

The interior is spacious front and rear, with plenty of USB points and cup holders to keep occupants happy.

A 7-inch full-color driver’s display nestled between conventional gauges is useful, but it’s hard to see it as anything less than a cheap substitute for the widescreen “virtual cockpit” found in more expensive models.

Safety is provided by eight airbags, front and rear automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Other touches include a smart link between the Q5’s roof racks and an electronic stability control system that automatically renders a higher center of gravity when carrying a load.

While we didn’t have time to test the roof racks, this doesn’t feel like the kind of car that enjoys heavily loaded trips.

It’s the slowest member of the Q5 family, one that responds to throttle inputs with noticeable lag as the turbo takes a moment to kick in. The front wheels occasionally struggle for traction under a heavy right foot, though that can be handled with a degree of finesse.

It’s quiet on the open road, with less wind and tire noise than most high-riding crossovers.

The steel springs and regular shock absorbers on this entry-level Q5 make easy work of rounded-edged road elements like speed bumps and road dips, but there’s a degree of roughness over the rougher imperfections. high pitches you wouldn’t expect from a luxury brand.

Diesel engines may sound and feel rough, but Audi’s expertise with technology results in an impressively refined engine.

One that suggests the diesel still has a place in premium showrooms.

VERDICT 4/5

Cheaper to buy and run than the regular Q5, the new entry-level model makes a good case for the diesel engine.

AUDI Q5 35TDI VITAL

PRICE Around $76,000 in car

ENGINE 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbodiesel, 120kw and 370Nm

WARRANTY SERVICE Five years, unlimited km / $3,140 for 5 years

SAFETY Eight airbags, front and rear automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert

THIRST 4.8l/100km

BURDEN 520 liters

REPLACEMENT Retrench of space

Originally published as 2022 Audi Q5 35TDI review

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