Audi is upgrading its Q5 mid-sized SUV with a mid-life facelift for 2012.
A facelift for the Q5? But it looks exactly the same!
Look harder. The Q5 is buffed and polished here and there, although we grant you that we had to look twice to spot any differences at all. And that's because a lot of the change is under that rather svelte skin.
Here's how to spot the newly facelifted 2012 Audi Q5: the headlamps have a different graphic, now wrapped in thin slivers of LED daytime running lights, while the front grille has newly beveled upper edges and the bumpers sport black gloss inserts around the air intakes and chrome-ringed foglights.
Nope, we didn't spot any of that either, at first glance. Same at the rear. The design of exhaust pipe and diffuser effect are new, too.
Right. So it looks the same. What actually is different on the 2012 Q5?
That'll be the engines. Four powertrains will be offered in the UK at launch: a pair of TFSI petrol engines and a brace of TDI diesels.
Each is more powerful, yet up to 17% cleaner. That's our kind of upgrade:
• 2.0 TFSI 4cyl, 222bhp and 258lb ft, 37.2mpg
• 3.0 TFSI V6 supercharged, 268bhp and 295lb ft, 33.2mpg
• 2.0 TDI 4cyl, 175bhp and 280lb ft, 47.1mpg
• 3.0 TDI V6, 242bhp and 427lb ft, 44.1mpg
That diesel sounds fast…
It is. The 3.0 TDI V6 reaches 62mph in just 6.5 seconds and tops out at 140mph. Needless to say, Audi expects to sell the majority of Q5s in diesel spec in the UK.
But the supercharged 3.0 V6 petrol is quicker, sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.9sec and hitting 145mph. A hybrid is also offered, but is unlikely to make it to the UK, as the diesels will be cheaper to buy and run.
At launch, only Quattro four-wheel drive Q5s will be sold. Most come with six-speed manual transmissions, but you can pick an eight-speed auto on the petrols, while the seven-speed twin-clutch S tronic box is standard on the punchiest diesel and optional on the 2.0 TDI.
Anything else new on the 2012 Audi Q5?
There's standard electromechanical power steering, which snaffles the carbon and fuel usage, by not consuming any energy when driving in a straight line. Stop-start is standard across the range.
Audi makes great play over the latest Drive Select system, which tailors many of the systems on board for a sportier or comfier drive. There's new chrome trim in the cabin, too, but essentially we're in the realms here of the only difference between 2011 and 2012 Q5s being different shades of piano black trim.
Minor controls are tweaked and new gadgets include an emergency braking system which'll save you from embarrassing low-speed shunts at below 19mph while Audi's new localised wi-fi hotspot tech will enable a slew of new web enabled gadgets onboard.