2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition (Vehicle Review)
Often times, a car doesn’t legitimately impress for something as simple as fuel economy. But the 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition did just that, managing 5.2 liters per 100 kilometers versus 4.8 litres. Frugal, quiet and elegant, it has a lot to offer.
When we chose this car, we thought we’d be doing something different, in the form of tight, economical driving. We wanted to see if the popular five-seat Q5 from the four-ringed brand could actually reach that fuel economy figure.
Car brands often seem to pluck magical characters out of thin air when it comes to these things, and they’re impossible to replicate. That is, unless it’s 17 degrees, the wind is blowing from the east, and you’ll have to drive 1,000 kilometers on a dead flat road from a rolling start on Tuesday.
Well, it’s not that bad, but you know what we mean. The car never quite does what the automaker claims it’s capable of, and more often than not, we can’t even get close to it, but on a 500km idle test, we were certainly tickled by it.
Our route took us from Sydney to Port Macquarie and back to the NSW Central Coast – for a short weekend break, which began with a complete reset of the trip meters and fuel numbers. Since we were staying in the city, we were also able to walk most places.
This means we did minimal local driving in the first half of the loan period, putting it outside of what would be a normal usage scenario. Aside from that, this thing is very frugal, especially since this isn’t a hybrid, it’s a diesel.
Even our all-local drive for the remainder of our testing saw 5.8 litres, which is still impressive. If nothing else, he gave a small chuckle that it was actually possible to make it very close to Audi’s claim, and how economical it was.
It’s not just the fuel economy that impresses about the Q5, it’s extremely courteous on the road. The front-wheel drive 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 120kW and 370Nm, through a 7-speed S-tronic transmission.
On twisty and windy roads, there is minimal body roll, providing a relatively plush driving experience. Sure, it won’t win the Sandown 500, but this isn’t that kind of car. It accelerates to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds. There are four driving modes.
These include Comfort, Automotive, Dynamic, and Individual. We spent most of our time in second, calling on Dynamic when we needed a few extra hits. No matter which mode you use, gear changes and acceleration are extremely smooth.
Externally, you’ll find (in the case of our test car) Manhattan Gray metallic paint, and 20-inch Audi Sport aluminum-alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design. There are LED headlights, daytime running lights, all-weather lights, and taillights, in a good looking car.
Inside, the first thing you’ll notice is that you can’t hear the diesel engine, so much so that you’ll sometimes wonder if it’s running. Audi has done a great job of suppressing the outside world for a proper luxury experience.
Considered as the base model, with what could be described as an entry-level price of $69,881 plus off-road, the 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition is incredibly impressive, with a long list of standard features.
These features include keyless entry and ignition, a power liftgate with gesture control, leather and heated front seats, three-zone climate control (with real controls), a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles and a hands-free display.
Ambient lighting also features, alongside the analogue instruments, a 7.0-inch digital display, as well as a 10.1-inch infotainment system with navigation, DAB+ digital radio, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
On the safety front, there’s Audi’s Pre-Sense city setup, with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, front and rear parking sensors, active lane assist (which is pretty decent and non-intrusive), and high-beam assist.
There’s a very good rear-view camera, as well as plenty of storage space, with two cup holders hidden by a sliding storage compartment. The door bins are spacious and will fit a decent sized water bottle as well. Boot space is an impressive 520 liters with the seats up.
This expands to 1,520 liters when the second row, which has plenty of legroom and headroom, is folded flat. If there’s anything missing, it’s some of the “expected” safety technology, which has found its way into the optional assistance package.
This includes adaptive cruise control with stop/go (the passive version is included as standard), automatic parking assist, automatic side mirrors, a 360-degree parking camera and turn assist. For peace of mind, we’ll buy this add-on.
Backed by a 5-year unlimited warranty, and some optional care plans, there is still a fairly hefty servicing cost, and although that stings a bit, this car offers great value for money, given its market position.
Up against the likes of BMW’s X3 and Volvo’s
It’s hard to go wrong with a car that will get you around 1200km from a 70-litre diesel tank. If you’re looking for an economical SUV that looks good and delivers a fun driving experience done right, check out the 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition.
You can build your own car on the Audi Australia website, although it’s best to chat to a dealer to make sure you get the limited edition. If you’re keen to get one and need financing, talk to CreditOne.
Our test car was provided by Audi Australia. To learn more about the 2023 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition, contact your local Audi dealer. Images (except provided) courtesy of Imogen Holgate.