The diesel Audi Q5 35 Limited Edition diesel is billed as the most fuel-efficient, diesel SUV
on the Australian market, with a theoretical range of more than 1400km. It also happens to
be the cheapest model in the Q5 mid-sized SUV lineup, priced from $68,000 before on-
road costs.

Sounds too good to be true, but a closer inspection reveals the 2.0-litre diesel has actually
been detuned and, get this — it’s two-wheel drive. No Quattro here.

You can look at it as a cynical marketing exercise or maybe a more practical approach to
the SUV phenomena, given who is buying these vehicles and what they are using them

Reducing power and equipment levels is a sure sign of price cutting as premium brands
strive to woo customers lured by ‘lesser’ brands whose top end models are giving them

Apart from a nip here and a tuck there, Q5 does not look remarkably different from the first
model launched here in 2009.

I remember that launch in the Snowy Mountains. It was a PR nightmare because the
power steering failed on two vehicles within minutes of each other after a section of off-
roading. Never did find out what went wrong, which is not uncommon.

Other than that, the cars performed impeccably and so too did the car we have just
finished testing.

Three models are offered. Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition is priced from $$68,350.Q5 40 TDI
Sport Limited Edition is priced from $77,600 and the petrol Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited
Edition from $79,400.

Our test vehicle was standard apart from metallic paint which adds $1531, bringing the
price as tested to $69,881 plus on-roads.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, daytime driving lights and tail lights
(includes cornering lights and all-weather lights), and an electric tailgate with handsfree
opening (gesture control).

Inside there’s leather-appointed upholstery, three-zone climate air, electric front seats with
heating and four-way lumbar support for driver and passenger, leather steering wheel with
multifunction plus, shift paddles and hands-on detection, auto-dimming mirror and ambient
colour interior lighting.
Q5 is covered by a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals are 12 months or
15,000km. A pre-paid five-year service plan costs $3140.

A standalone 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers MMI navigation plus, eight-
speaker sound, DAB+ digital radio, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity,
plus two USB outlets in front with charging and connectivity functions and another two
USB outlets in rear with charging functions.

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel develops 120kW of power and 370Nm of torque, the latter
between 1500 and 3000 rpm.

It’s actually a 12-volt mild hybrid setup with auto engine stop-start and power to the front
wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Five-star safety comprises eight airbags, pop-up bonnet and pre-sense city with
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) including pedestrian detection (detects impending
collisions at up to 85 km/h and can reduce speed by up to 40km/h).

There’s also pre-sense rear and pre-sense basic, active lane assist, blind-spot warning,
exit warning, rear cross traffic assist and auto high beam.

It also comes with front and rear park sensors and a rear-view camera.

What you don’t get is adaptive cruise control which is part of the optional Assistance pack.

In fact, six safety items are optional extras, including collision avoidance assist and a 360-
degree camera.

Some people take a dim view of charging extra for safety.

Fuel consumption is rated at a measly 4.8L/100km and it’s pretty clean for a diesel,
producing 125g/km of CO2 (thanks to twin catalytic converters and a ‘twin-dosing’ AdBlue

Add to this a largish 70-litre fuel tank and you’ve got a theoretical range of more than

We were getting 5.9L/100km after more than 400km, with 700km to go – excellent fuel
economy but not quite what we were promised.

To put this in perspective, a 5-year-old Kia Sportage puts out more power and torque than
this, with 135kW and 392Nm. The current version puts out even more. Costs less too.
Perhaps it’s one of the reasons this model is not offered in Sportback form. It’s just not
sporty enough?

In fact, it’s the first time a Q5 of any flavour has been offered in Australia without all-wheel

Performance is fine but is not going to set the world on fire, with the dash from 0 to 100
km/h taking 9.0 seconds.

Drive select offers five modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. The
drive experience is smooth, quiet and mainly leisurely.

Inside it’s all a bit doom and gloom with an over-abundance of black and featureless
surfaces broken only by some strips of metal looking plastic. The one relief comes a strip
of ambient blue lighting that splits the dash from side to side.

Despite power adjustment, fore, aft and angle, the seats dig into the back of our thighs and
are not comfortable.

Rear seat passengers get air outlets, but legroom is limited.

The boot offers reasonable storage, with a collapsible space saver spare concealed under
the floor.

You need to inflate it with an onboard 12-volt compressor which you’ll find stored in a
hidey hole to one side of the luggage area.

Sounds like a lot of mucking around and will probably result in an endless stream of calls
to roadside assistance.

A big, bright 10.1-inch responsive touchscreen commands the infotainment system from
the top of the dash.

The instrument cluster is not digital and lacks the pyrotechnics of more recent models, with
two standard analogue style dials that flank a centre information screen where speed and
navigation can be displayed.

The Q5 35 TDI is in its element cruising effortlessly in the slow lane.

If you demand more from the car, you will have to start making specific requests to the
transmission. Either by putting Drive Select in Dynamic mode, or changing gears manually
using the paddle shifts provided.

Drive select is on the far side of the centre stack and is a stretch as the seat belt cinches

Dynamic mode as you might expect locks out 7th gear, keeping engine revs higher than
normal, making the car more responsive to the throttle.

Plonk it off the line or after it has been cruising for a while and the transmission takes a
second or two to work out what you want before the power kicks in.

It could also result in some scrabble from the front tyres as they search for traction.

From there on the transmission understands and responds accordingly, but constant
braking and acceleration can and will confuse it — it is after all a dual clutch setup.
Q5 corners flat and the ride from the 20-inch rubber is surprisingly good.

Corner to corner in manual mode works best in fourth gear where the engine revs hover
around the 4000-rpm mark. Tight corners may require a change down to third. But of
course, if leaving it in Dynamic mode or a lower gear will inevitably drive up fuel

While the Q5’s fuel efficiency is to be applauded, we’re left wondering if that is a major
drawcard for the average Audi buyer?

Perhaps it’s of no real interest at all? Your average Audi driver is looking for style and
performance and can often be seen cutting through traffic — at least where I come from,

Looks: 7
Performance: 7
Safety: 7.5
Thirst: 8
Practicality: 7.5
Comfort: 7.5
Tech: 7.5
Value: 7
Overall: 7.4



Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition (120kW), $68,350
Q5 40 TDI Sport Limited Edition (140kW), $77,600
Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited Edition (185kW), $79,400
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact Audi for
drive-away prices.

Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition, 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder diesel, 7sp DCT, FWD five-seat

Capacity: 2.0 litres
Configuration: 4-cylinder diesel, turbocharged with 12V mild hybrid
Maximum Power: 120 kW @3250-4200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 1500-3000 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Fuel consumption: 4.8 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 125g/km

7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

Length: 4682 mm
Wheelbase: 2819 mm
Width: 1893 mm
Height: 1662 mm
Turning Circle: 11.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 1815 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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