Another day, another facelift. Today, it’s the turn of the Audi Q5, Ingolstadt’s answer to the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, and, by all accounts, a pretty good car.
Looks much the same as the old one, though keen eyes may notice the shallower, wider grille, the bigger side air intakes, and the redesigned sills (that give the impression of more ground clearance). The headlights are de rigueur LEDs with new DRLs. At the back, a chrome strip connects the new taillights, and the lower bumper has been restyled.
Ah yes, the taillights. OLED tech allows for a more intricate design, of which there are three to choose from. Each one gets its own lock/unlock animation, and the signature changes if you pop the car into ‘Dynamic’ mode. There’s proximity detection, too—if another car gets within two meters of the Q5 when you’re stopped at a junction, for example, all the rear lights illuminate.
Inside, the infotainment has been swapped for Audi’s latest MMI system. You know what that means: The excellent rotary controller has been ditched in favor of a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Happily, the superb Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster remains.
We’re promised the new setup is “extremely easy to use” thanks to a new ‘flat’ menu structure. And with ten times the computing power of the old system, it can do many more things. It works with Amazon Alexa and, in some cities, can even talk to traffic lights, give you a countdown till red or green, and tell you how fast you’ll need to drive to, in Audi’s words, “surf the green wave.”
Like with the new Golf, a load of settings—from frequent satnav destinations to your driving position—can be uploaded to the cloud for use in other Audis.
The launch engine for the facelifted Q5 is a mild-hybrid 2.0-liter diesel with ‘twin-dosing’ tech to significantly cut NOx emissions. Called the 40 TDI, it makes 201hp and 400Nm for 0-100kph in a respectable 7.6sec. A seven-speed auto drives the front wheels only most of the time, but when the going gets slippy the rears are called into play. Other engines, including four-cylinder petrols, a V6 diesel, and the SQ5, are coming later.
Click here to read our review of the pre-facelift Audi Q5.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.