Winter has arrived and the amount of standing water on the roads is considerable. In a parallel universe there would be an extra ësmug modeí added to the Q5ís Drive Select system which, when activated, would allow owners to glide gracefully over the large expanses of surface water and the many slippery fallen leaves that coat the roads.
Back to reality and I guess Iíll have to make do with Audiís quattro system, which has been doing a great job of boosting stability at speed and ensuring that I donít get tripped up by the wrong sort of leaves on the road. Sure, dedicated winter tyres would probably cope with most of the stuff Iíve described, but so far temperatures havenít plunged to the wintery depths that would normally give winter rubber its traditional advantage.
Still, as an all-weather conveyance the Q5 has more than earned its stripes. Critics will complain that such cars are overkill, but Iíd bet good money that theyíd change their tune when driving one during the wet and cold months. And as much as Iím a massive fan of estate cars, even I can appreciate the versatility of what is essentially a high-rise family hatchback. From airport shuttle to removals van, home shopping delivery wagon and people carrier, the Q5 has done it all during its time with me.
And itís this time of the year when the Q5ís LED headlights come into their own. Oh my, they are bright. Bright enough to give you the confidence you need when navigating dark country roads. And sufficiently powerful to ënudgeí motorway middle lane hoggers to do the right thing. Naturally I canít see the Q5ís fancy animated indicator flash, but Iíve followed enough cars to form an opinion. Itís, um, different, but Iím not convinced that itís effective. I still think a traditional blinking indicator catches the eye more effectively than an illuminated orange strip slowly crawling from one side to the other. It does add a bit of visual theatre though, if you like that sort of thing.
What has made me smile though, has been regular sightings of fellow new Q5 owners. Land Roverís Discovery Sport is a more common sight where I live, yet the Q5 cuts a more refined dash on the road. Those Disco Sports are often cleaner than ëmyí Q5, suggesting that they lead a pampered suburban life. And itís only when you encounter a previous generation Q5 that you appreciate the design changes Audi has made. Subtle is the key word here, yet the changes do much to flatter the carís size and closely align it with the rest of Audiís recently refreshed cars.
Iím very much a creature of habit and can understand why Audiís gone for incremental improvements over a ëbig bangí design revolution with this updated Q5. Despite my preference for estate cars, this Q5 couldnít be further from the bulky and clunky-looking SUV stereotype.
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Date arrived 10th April 2018
Fuel economy 55.4mpg (combined) 38.1mpg (on test)
The Q5’s basic LED headlights offer an abundance of light and make night driving safer and more relaxing.
A cool trick to some, I find the Q5’s animated indicator light more of a gimmick and less distinctive in operation.