The Audi Q5 Vorsprung

An SUV with just about every bell and whistle you can imagine

When coming up with the Q5, Audi look to have balanced all the scales – size, practicality and appeal. Which seems the best approach considering it sits right in the middle of Audi’s Q range, between the Q2 and Q8.

That isn’t to say it’s only a mid-spec motor, though – especially not with this, the Vorsprung, anyway.

That name comes from the manufacturer’s ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’ phrase, roughly translating as ‘advancement through technology’. Fitting too, as this is an SUV with just about every bit of kit you could imagine.

It sticks out, for all the right reasons

The extras have been laid on proper, inside and out. While most Audi models are smart and understated, here’s one that wants to stand out.

There’s black detailing, huge 21-inch alloys and running boards along the sides – they aren’t needed for getting in and out, they just make it look more imposing.

And ‘imposing’ is something you’ll channel even more if you opt for the ‘Turbo Blue’ paintjob. I wasn’t convinced at first, as an almost-neon blue but it must be said that it looks the part on camera.

Still, as good as those looks may be from the outside, the best view is from the cabin.

Leather, all over

A premium interior it is, too. Granted, the price tag is on the ‘excuse me, how much?’ side of things, but at the very least you can see why.

The Q5 Vorsprung's interior gets the leather treatment

Almost everything is covered in leather, from the armchair-like seats to the panels around the shift stick and infotainment controls. It’s a lovely place to sit.

Four of its seats are heated too, with only the middle seat in the rear missing out on the rear-end warming. Throw a panoramic sunroof into the mix and you’re covered for all seasons.

There’s also multicoloured interior lighting to add to the ambience, but it’s not as visible through the day.

Genuinely handy tech

The additions aren’t just aesthetic, however, with a few features that just make driving that bit more enjoyable. As a model that might appeal to business users as well as families, that’s a winning combination.

The Vorsprung has Audi's Virtual Cockpit as standard

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit replaces the analogue dials in front of the driver’s seat with a customisable digital display, while a head-up display projects driving info onto the windscreen.

Alongside similar systems I’ve seen on other models, the Vorsprung’s isn’t invasive and doesn’t get in the way of the road ahead.

An upgraded infotainment system also makes its way onto the dash, controlled with a dial and switches or touchpad, along with a Bang & Olufsen sound system with more speakers than you’d need to host a gig.

Why bother if the car can do it?

On the topic of self-driving cars, I’m not onboard. As someone who’s right into driving that’s probably not a shock, but I can see the benefit in getting a hand every now and then.

The Vorsprung's Park Assist does all the leg work, you just need to operate the brakes and gear changes

Like electronic tailgates and parking sensors – another two features this model has.

I’d still rather do the parking myself – either for practice or the pride of performing a faultless reverse bay park – but like I say, there could be a benefit to having a car help you out.

And what the Vorsprung’s Park Assist does is virtually everything bar operate the brakes and switch between reverse and forward.

Perfect for those who are daunted at the idea of parking a car this big or can’t cope if they aren’t directly between the lines. Watch our video review above to see how it works.

Impressively smooth

All Q5 trims come with the S tronic automatic gearbox as standard, fixed to either a petrol or diesel engine.

The Q5 Vorsprung comes in petrol or diesel, with nearly 245bhp or 190bhp, respectively

Our tester was fitted with the latter of those, a 2.0-litre diesel with nearly 190bhp – more than enough to pull itself, unless you want to be pinned to the seat when hitting the accelerator.

If that’s what you’re after, there’s a petrol unit with just under 245bhp, or the performance-spec SQ5 firing around 345bhp. There’s a Vorsprung edition of the SQ5 too, if you want all those extras and pace.

But you’ll have to part with an extra £10k for one of those, which is why the ‘standard’ Vorsprung is the one to go for. There’s enough power for most and a mpg return that’s much easier to take.

It’s also very smooth, with impressive soundproofing and acoustic windows keeping wind and road noise to a minimum. The model we drove also had the optional air suspension – about the only piece of kit you don’t get as standard – that seems to work a treat.

The all-in version of the Q5

It must be said that the Vorsprung is a specialist motor. Your average Q5 buyer won’t be interested in an all-singing, all-dancing version, which is understandable considering how solid and appealing the standard Sport model is.

In Turbo Blue especially, there's no arguing the Vorsprung will stand out

But there’ll always be a few who do want the top end. And if you’re happy to pay for it, as a personal or company car, it’d be one of the easiest to live with. In fact, it might even be a car you couldn’t live without.

The seats are comfy enough to sit on for any amount of time, and with four of them heated your passengers can also get the full benefit. Then it’s got interior lighting and a Bang & Olufsen sound system to set the tone inside, and when you’ve arrived at your destination it’ll park itself.

Again, we can point out the price, but this is a car that most drivers and their passengers would be reluctant to let go. 


For more on the Audi Q5 Vorsprung, or to arrange your own test drive, get in touch with your nearest Lookers Audi dealership.

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