Following an extensive teasing campaign that previewed some of its features, the 2017 Audi Q5 is finally here.

On display at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, the latest SUV the brand with the four rings came up with is said to combine “the sportiness of an Audi saloon with the multifaceted character and a highly flexible interior”, while adding the latest connectivity and driver assistance systems.

“With the new Q5 we are setting the bar a notch higher. Among the great innovations are the quattro drive system with ultra technology, highly efficient engines, the air suspension with damper control and a comprehensive line-up of infotainment and assistance systems”, said Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG, Rupert Stadler.

The 2017 Audi Q5 has a more rugged appearance than its predecessor, which amplifies its off-road credentials. Influences are coming from the larger Q7 and even the smaller Q2, while the signature grille and the shape of the LED or high-res Matrix LED headlights, depending on the model selected, make it instantly recognizable as an Audi.

While its exterior screams SUV through its pores, underneath the skin, the new Q5 is actually an A4, as it is underpinned by the same MLB evo platform used on the compact car, which is also found on the Q7 as well.

The architecture helps is shed up to 90 kg (198 pounds) from its total weight, but despite being lighter, it has actually increased in size and spans at 4.66m (15.3ft) long, 1.89m (6.2ft) wide and 1.66m (5.4ft) tall, with a 2.82m (9.3ft) wheelbase. Boot space ranges from 550 to 610 liters (19.4-21.5 cubic feet), 10 liters (0.4 cubic feet) more than before, and it can expand up to 1,550 liters (54.7 cubic feet) with the rear bench folded down.

Inside, the more spacious cabin has room for five passengers, who will quickly notice the standard 7.0-inch free-standing screen or the optional 8.3-inch display, which is controllable through the rotary dial and touch pad, along with the Audi Virtual Cockpit, which is on the options list. Other features include the LTE module, Wi-Fi hotspot, Audi Connect Services, Audi phone box, Bang&Olufsen premium sound system, Audi tablet, which serves as a flexible rear-seat entertainment device, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a wide range of driver assistance and safety systems.

The engine lineup counts a 2.0-liter TFSI petrol, with 252 PS (248 HP), joined by four TDI diesels, including the 2.0-liter with 150 PS (148 HP), 163 PS (161 HP) and 190 PS (187 HP), and the 3.0-liter that develops 286 PS (282 HP) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque.

Depending on the selected version, the Germans can throw in a six-speed manual or a seven-speed S tronic gearbox, while the 8-speed tiptronic is reserved for the most potent variant. The Quattro AWD is standard on all models, except for the 150 PS diesel, where FWD can be exchanged for all-wheel drive, but for an extra cost.

The most basic version of the Q5 comes with five-link front and rear suspension, with adjustable dampers and steel springs, similar to the ones on the A4. However, as it was revealed by a previous teaser, the air suspension will become available too, as an option, and it will include a self-leveling feature taken straight from the Q7.

By the time it will arrive at dealers across Europe from early next year, the new Q5 will come with five new trim levels – Sport, Design, S Line, Design Selection and S Line – and prospective buyers will have to choose from 14 exterior colors. All examples will be assembled in Mexico and the cheapest version will carry a starting price of €45,100 ($50,555) in Germany.

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New 2016 Test Drive



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