The new Audi Q5 makes family touring feel like flying a fighter plane.

Story By Ian Glover

Audi is the fastest-growing premium brand in Australia. In the first months of this year, the company experienced its best quarter ever, with sales up 5.2 percent in a market that declined by 19.2 percent. Now number two in the premium sector, Audi is fast becoming a tall poppy in a garden of wilting hydrangeas.

And with good reason: all Audi products, from the entry level ‘baby’, sub-40 grand A3, to the stunning – no, unbelievable – R8 $250,000-plus supercar, have an emphasis on build quality, technological excellence and value for money (you pay a fair bit of money, but get a hell of a lot of car), with the latest offer being the Q5, a compact four-wheel-drive family tourer station wagon.

“It’s like being in a fighter plane,” says the 14-year-old, testing out every button, knob and dial. He was right, and we’re not talking about a Sopwith Camel, either. Everything you’d expect is there: three-zone climate-controlled air-conditioning, electronic park brake, keyless ignition (you just need to have the ‘key’ in the vehicle, in your pocket, purse or whatever), rear proximity sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, light and rain sensors and full leather trim. A $6200 option is the MMI navigation system (which comes with a glovebox-mounted six-disc stacker). If you ignore the in-vehicle satellite-navigation system, it doesn’t cause a major meltdown. You don’t even need to have the voice instructions if you prefer to navigate yourself using the twin displays (one in front of you; another more elaborate full-colour version in a large centre-dashboard screen).

This story excerpt is from Issue #65

Outback Magazine: June/July 2009