Facelifted Audi Q5 joins the hybrid charge

Audi has given its best-selling Q5 SUV a light-refresh, and introduced mild-hybrid technology across the whole engine range, as it bids to stave off competition from the likes of the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC.

You would, of course, be excused for thinking the pictures here are of a pre-facelift car. You’ve got to look closely to spot the mild, restrained styling changes.

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Up front there’s a slightly narrower radiator grille, new LED headlamps, and a tweaked front bumper with larger air intakes. And while there’s also a pair of re-profiled side skirts, changes to the rear are limited to a different trim-piece between the car’s new OLED tail lights, plus an updated diffuser.

There are also a number of trim-specific updates. These include a new a chrome grille surround and silver skid plates for the entry-level Sport model; the S line variant, meanwhile, features a honeycomb grille and chrome strip for the rear diffuser. The new Q5 range also includes two new body colours, Ultra Blue and District Green.

There are also tweaks to the Q5’s lighting systems; the latest model gets revised matrix LED headlights, plus optional OLED lighting for the rear. The OLED rear lights change daytime running signature depending on the drive mode, and glow automatically when the car is at a standstill if the car behind gets too close.

Although the width and height of the midsize SUV remain as before at 1.89 metres and 1.66 metres respectively, the Q5 is now 19 millimetres longer at 4.8 metres, primarily due to its new, larger bumpers.The long wheelbase of the updated Q5 ensures there’s plenty of space for occupants, in addition to ample luggage space accessed through the powered tailgate, which is standard across the range. With all five seats in place luggage space measures up to 550-litres, or 1550-litres with the rear bench folded.

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Changes inside the cabin are again restrained. The only noticeable difference is the larger infotainment system, up in size from an 8.3-inch to a 10.1-inch unit. And the previous Q5’s centre console rotary control knob has also been replaced by a storage bin. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit Plus is also included as standard.

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A 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle is available as an optional extra, as it was with its predecessor. So too are a head-up display and an interior ambient lighting package. Audi has also introduced an updated version of the Q5’s digital gauge cluster, with the carmaker saying the new system offers 10 times the computing power of its predecessor.

All engines now have mild hybrid technology as standard; four-cylinder versions get a 12V system, while the sixes gain a 48V system.

The entry-level engines are the 201bhp 2.0-litre diesel (badged 40 TDI) and a 261bhp 2.0-litre petrol (badged 45 TFSI). Quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch auto are standard with both engines. These will be joined later in the year by a revised TFSIe plug-in hybrid and a warm, diesel-powered SQ5.

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From launch buyers will be able to choose from four trim levels — Sport, S Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung — though Edition 1 is only available for a limited period. And while steel springs with adaptive dampers are standard across the range, Vorsprung versions gain adaptive air suspension.

On-sale next month, with first deliveries scheduled for September, prices start at £42,950 for a 40 TDI Sport.

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