A2O39SBR 2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 8 1
2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 8 1

Audi Q5 35 TDI: Long distance love

Riley Riley

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 7

What is it?

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’s 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 it is actually a detuned 2.0-litre diesel and — get this — it’s two-wheel drive. No Quattro to be found 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 for?

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 stick.

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 6

What’s it cost?

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 as 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.

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.

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.

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.

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 1

What’s it go like?

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

The same-size diesel in the Q5 40 TDI develops 150kW/400Nm.

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

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 system).

Add to this a largish 70-litre fuel tank and you’ve got a theoretical range of more than 1400km.

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

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 from 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 tight.

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 consumption.

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 3

What we like?

  • Looks swish
  • Relaxing to drive
  • Good fuel economy
  • Bright responsive touchscreen
  • Bling 20-inch wheels

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 9

What we don’t like?

  • Gloomy cabin
  • Lacks premium feel
  • Low tech instrument cluster
  • Console nooks too small for phones
  • No wireless phone charging
  • Spare tyre setup

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 4

The bottom line?

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, anyhow!

2022 Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition 5


CHECKOUT: Audi RS Q8: Green and bare it

CHECKOUT: Audi SQ2: The devil made me do it


Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition, priced from $68,350
  • Looks - 7/10
  • Performance - 7/10
  • Safety - 7.5/10
  • Thirst - 8/10
  • Practicality - 7.5/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
  • Tech - 7.5/10
  • Value - 7/10

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