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Review

All I Want For Christmas (Audi Q5 3.0 TDI S line long term test month three) car review

15/12/11

CURSE this infernal weather. The one thing you think you can rely on is the irritation of British weather, but even that has been a total let down. All summer long I’ve been dreaming of an entirely white winter in order to maximise the smugness of being behind the wheel of this Q5: four-wheel drive, high driving position, heated seats and even a heated cupholder. Yet in my part of the world at least, the temperature has barely been cold enough to qualify as autumn.

In fact it was only a few weeks ago that the Q5 was pressed into service for family holiday duties, one activity that usually guarantees rain. Yet the sun beat down on the Q5’s grey metallic paintwork and I’ve still yet to vacuum the sand from the back seats. It made for a brilliant holiday vehicle though, as there was not even the need to use the roof rails. All the assorted paraphanalia that two boys under five could muster was easily stuffed into the generous boot. Even mum and dad had the luxury of taking more than one change of clothes.

The run down to the south coast was a cinch too. Barely ticking over at 70mph the 3.0-litre TDI diesel had no problem in achieving 40mpg or more, and yet the inevitable sluggish lorries were despatched with a brief squirt of acceleration. The Q5’s subtle appearance has come in very handy as it rarely attracts the attentions of the boy racer brigade. Yet the 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds leaves most of them trailing in its wake.

I’ve also become far too accustomed to the Q5’s little luxuries. The standard black leather trim is probably hiding a multitude of sins especially due to its black finish, while the Bluetooth connectivity and Audi Music Interface (iPhone or iPod connector to you and me) means I can listen to my awful music collection and make calls on the move, before arriving at my destination with a fully-charged phone. And I’m not ashamed to admit I have used the climate cupholders on several occasions, even though it feels like an outrageous piece of technology.

I’ve not even had a chance to try out the Q5’s towing pack, though if I have my way the heavens will truly open and I’ll be towing everything in sight out of a ditch. Happily the Q5 is already booked in to get a sent of winter tyres next week, hopefully before the snow descends, and in fairness to the solid Quattro four-wheel drive system it can only work with what the tyres can do.

The winter boots are designed to work optimally at temperatures below 7 degrees Celscius, which has only really happened in the last week. The softer compound keeps it flexible when summer tyres start to stiffen up, and at 2:00am this morning on a damp and cold road the first signs of the summer rubber starting to struggle were there.

Not that you’d notice the Q5 breaking sweat. Unflappable and totally dependable is the best way to sum up its performance. Not a thing has gone wrong, malfunctioned or even gone mildly on the blink. The biggest problem I’ve discovered is that the giant washer bottle takes about 10 minutes to fill up, such is its vast capacity. But then you only have to do it once in a blue moon.

So like every school child in the land, I’m praying for a series of snow days in the coming weeks to shut down all the key buildings and leave no option but to go out and play.

Audi Q5 3.0-TDI S line, £45,897.50 as tested Engine: 3,0-litre diesel producing 237bhp and 368lb.ft of torque Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic driving all four wheels Performance: Top speed 146mph, 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds Economy: 37.6 combined claimed, 53.2mpg best actual Emissions: 199g/km of C02 Costs: None

  • Enginesdiesel
  • Power4 (higher than average performance)
  • 0-60 mph
  • Economy4 (better than average fuel economy)
  • CO2g/km
  • Insurance groups2 (higher than average costs)
  • Airbags
  • Seats5

Motors.co.uk value verdict:    stars

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