Audi Q5: The Interior

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July 7, 2008

Source: Audi AG

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Feeling at ease straightaway is a typical response whenever you climb into a new Audi. The Q5 is no exception; its developers have created a light, luxurious and spacious interior. It is elegant in appearance, the build quality is of the customary superb standard, and the intuitive ease with which it is controlled can be further enhanced with numerous hi-tech features from the full-size category.

In the Audi Q5, the driver’s seat is one of the keys to that sense of well-being. It is amply dimensioned, so that drivers of all heights and builds will feel instantly at ease on it. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats give their occupants an ergonomically excellent position and provide perfect body support – even though the Audi Q5 driver is half as high up again as a driver of a conventional car, the seated position is still sporty. The seats are height-adjustable as standard, and their head restraints may be moved well up.

Audi offers the option of sport seats with manual angle adjustment, extendable thigh rest and electric four-way lumbar support – this latter feature can also be ordered separately. Alternatively all-electric seat adjustment is available, for adjusting the fore/aft position, seat back angle and height. A memory function that remembers the preferred seat and exterior mirror positions is also available. With typical Audi thoroughness, the optional heated seats have six settings. The system heats the seat bases and backs, and also the sides on leather and sport seats. The outer rear seats can also be supplied with heating.

Worthy of the full-size category: the climate-controlled comfort seats

The climate-controlled comfort seats at the front are the ultimate luxury – they are the top-end version in the seats range for the Audi Q5. Each seat back and base cushion has two small fans with six power settings. To prevent chilling of the occupant, there is a supplementary function that cuts in automatically if need be. The climate-controlled comfort seats are upholstered in perforated leather.

All seat versions have neatly and carefully stitched seams – their very design inspires confidence in their quality. The sport seats are very elaborately topstitched. Orange-colored seams on the standard seats, upholstered in black fabric, give the interior a note of youthful freshness.

An extensive range of design packages is available. These include Havanna cloth upholstery or the leather grades Milano and Fine Nappa for the standard seats; these come in a range of five colors. The sport seats are upholstered in Micro cloth or the leather types leather/Alcantara, Milano and Fine Nappa; here again, the customer has a choice of five colors.

The Audi Q5’s colors and equipment, too, have a sporty, elegant character. The vehicle’s interior is visually harmonious in black, gray or beige. This philosophy creates a light interior impression in which the inlays provide visual highlights. The standard version is in Micrometallic platinum, a metallic-effect paint finish, or optionally in aluminum or the woods Walnut brown or Fine grain ash almond beige. On the version Fine grain ash brown, the wood’s pores remain open and thus allow the natural material’s structure to be explored by the fingertips.

The headlining is in beige, black or silver and can be supplied optionally in Alcantara; the sill strips are in a contrasting aluminum look. With the optional leather package, the instrument hood and armrests are trimmed with Fine Nappa leather in a choice of five colors. In the chrome package, components such as the air vents and light switches acquire a sophisticated gleam.

For individualists: the S line sport package plus

The S line sport package creates even more sporting individuality. As well as 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, the special body colors Daytona Gray and Monza Silver, and sport suspension, it includes a whole array of distinctive individual details inside the vehicle. The interior and headlining are in black, with a choice of black or silver seams. The upholstery of the sport seats – in cloth/leather, Alcantara/leather, Milano leather or Fine Nappa leather – features special S line embossing. The inlays are in matt aluminum (or optionally piano finish). The leather sport steering wheel is emblazoned with the red and silver S line badge, and the gear knob is trimmed in perforated leather. Sill strips with S line logos and a stainless steel strip for the cargo area complete the package.

The Q5’s interior systematically echoes the exterior design and is an authentic example of Audi’s design philosophy. Devoid of any angular SUV elements, it exudes a predominantly sporty, flowing character and the cockpit is elegantly structured. A complex surface design of bold lines framing taut surfaces underscores the progressive dynamism of the Q5; its clearly arranged zones convey the power and agility that is the very essence of Audi’s performance SUV. In the door trim, for instance, the opener, inlay, armrest and storage compartment constitute a functional unit of high aesthetic quality.

The interior of the Audi Q5 is a haven for the senses. Meticulously chosen and crafted materials and the varied tactile charm of the surfaces are combined with Audi’s elegant design language. In the zone around the on-board monitor, for example, there are three different trims, all of which are precisely coordinated. They are in gleaming chrome, with a matt surface and in semi-crystalline plastic.

The brand with four rings has long enjoyed proverbial renown for its quality standards – but this would not have been possible without concentrated hi-tech. Audi no longer uses textile strips for acoustic isolation on the backs of the monitor and instrument cluster. This task is now performed by a new type of foam that reliably suppresses cracking and creaking noises.

Many details on the Audi Q5 echo the large model lines – it possesses all the finesse of a luxury sedan. Its rotary controls operate with clockwork precision, with a gentle click – the sound of technical perfection. Red and blue diode semi-circles on the user interface of the deluxe automatic air conditioning indicate the temperature ranges. The buttons, with their elegantly rounded corners, engage with defined force and short travel. There is an optional lighting package that illuminates the interior with discreet highlights.

Feel-good factor: the perfect ergonomics

The sense of well-being that the interior of the Audi Q5 creates is underpinned by the perfect ergonomics for the driver. The sportily short gear knob is positioned such that the driver’s hand finds it intuitively, and the distances and angles of the steering wheel and pedals are perfectly matched. The steering wheel has 60 millimeters (2.36 in) of manual reach and 44 millimeters (1.73 in) of height adjustment, with electric-motor locking.

The steering wheel has four spokes as standard, or there are alternatively the options of a leather multifunction sport steering wheel with three spokes or a leather multifunction steering wheel with three spokes. It has small drum-type and pushbutton controls for the basic functions of the navigation system, radio system, car phone and speech dialogue system; these are elegantly framed with narrow chrome surrounds. On the Q5 with the new seven-speed S tronic, Audi can also supply two shift paddles that are located behind the steering wheel rim.

All functions in the Audi Q5 are focused on the person at the steering wheel. The instrument cluster and the center console, which is subtly inclined toward the driver, form a single unit. The teardrop-shaped surrounds of the speedometer and rev counter are typical Audi elements.

The driver information system is between the two large, easy-to-read instrument dials – ideally positioned in the field of view. On the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI, it also includes a shift indicator that shows the optimum gear by way of a recommendation. The standard display is monochrome, but a high-resolution color version is available as an optional extra.

The Audi Q5’s standard specification includes a second large display. It too is positioned so that it is extremely easy to see, in the upper part of the center console, level with the instrument cluster. A monochrome 6.5-inch monitor presents information from the audio and air conditioning systems and adjustment options from the CAR menu, in which the customer can configure details such as the lighting and locking functions themselves. The large switches and buttons of the audio system are located within ideal reach between the climate control system and air vents.

The superior solution: the MMI operating system

If the Audi Q5 is equipped with MMI navigation plus, the controls for the audio system are moved to the MMI (Multi Media Interface) operating system on the center tunnel. Praised in countless tests by industry media, the MMI has long since proven itself to be a superior solution. Audi has now improved it yet further: the central rotary control/pushbutton incorporates a cap that can be operated like a joystick – for even quicker and easier navigation on the monitor.

Logically arranged buttons and a volume control are grouped around the central control. They are used to control the functional areas navigation, media, information, CAR menu, setup, telephone, directory and radio functions by an operating principle that can be picked up intuitively. All information appears on the large monitor; in combination with the hard-drive navigation system, this is a color screen measuring seven inches diagonally.

Very close to the MMI controls there is another large switch that operates the electromechanical parking brake. Like a mechanical handbrake, it prevents the car from rolling away, but also incorporates a number of other functions. The integral starting assist function releases the brake at just the right moment, and prevents the car from rolling back when starting on an uphill slope.

Thanks to an emergency braking function, the Q5 can still be slowed down even if the conventional brakes should fail – at 8 m/s2, almost as effectively as in an emergency stop.

If desired Audi can supply a further function to complement the electromechanical parking brake: Audi hold assist. It comes to the driver’s assistance when the car is stationary on an uphill or downhill slope by holding the Audi Q5 by means of small pulses from the hydraulic brake system. The driver does not even need to push a button to drive off again; releasing the clutch is sufficient.

Powerful and efficient: the automatic air conditioning

The Audi Q5 is fitted as standard with automatic air conditioning with a pollen and recirculated-air filter, plus a function that builds the sun’s position into how it operates. A powerful blower circulates large quantities of air. Typically for Audi, the innovative system is quiet, powerful and efficient. And it is remarkably light in weight.

The optional deluxe automatic air conditioning has even more features – it regulates the temperature, volume and flows of air in three separate zones for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. A responsive moisture sensor minimizes the risk of window misting, and separate outlets on the top of the dashboard provide low-draught indirect ventilation. Another optional item on offer from Audi is auxiliary heating, which can be radio-controlled or programmed via the MMI operating system.

The Audi Q5’s remote control key does not have a bit: to start the engine, it is simply pushed into the ignition lock with the clutch or brake pressed. The intelligent key memorizes settings and service information to facilitate the check-in process when the car is taken for servicing. With the luxury convenient key version, it does not even need to be taken out of the user’s pocket; the engine is started and stopped at a button on the center console. The locks are released by the sensor as soon as the driver touches a door handle or the cargo area release button, and secured again by briefly pressing the sensor.

The interior of the Audi Q5 is like a perfectly tailored suit – it is airy but cut to fit perfectly. The statistics prove how spacious it is: the shoulder width is 1,465 millimeters (57.68 in) at the front and 1,432 millimeters (56.38 in) at the rear. The Audi Q5 also has an exceptional amount of headroom at the front –1,043 millimeters (41.14 in).

Even tall passengers will find the rear compartment amply spacious. The seats provide a sporty standard of comfort at head, elbow and knee level; there is space for the feet under the front seats. The seat back angle can be adjusted as standard between 24 and 30 degrees. The long door cutouts, the wide opening angle of the doors and the low sills maximize ease of access to the rear of the Audi Q5. The holders in the doors can even accommodate large 1.5 liter (3.17 pint) bottles. A fold-out center armrest provides comfortable arm support, and optional nets are available for the backs of the front seats.

Versatile: the rear seat bench plus

A versatile feature is the rear seat bench plus; the sections of the 40:60 split bench can be slid forward or back independently by 100 millimeters (3.94 in). Its center armrest incorporates two pull-out cup holders. Other extras are manual blinds for the side windows – a feature that will be particularly appreciated by children when out and about in the summer.

There are numerous convenient features up front, too. The spacious door pockets have brackets that are also suitable for large bottles. Then there are two more cup holders on the center tunnel. One of them can be supplied with a thermal function. An electronic-control peltier element – an electro-thermal converter similar to the principle found in a cool bag – operates in tandem with a fan. At the push of a button it cools or heats the inside of the thermal cup holder across a range from 3 to 58° Celsius (37.4 to 136.4° F). A small display serves as a visual reminder for the user when the cup holder is hot.

The front center armrest is a particularly comfortable option – it can be adjusted lengthwise by 6.5 centimeters (2.56 in) and to four different heights. As standard it conceals a storage compartment that has space for up to eight CDs. The unit has a soft foam exterior and is particularly large thanks to the absence of a handbrake, instead of which there is the electromechanical parking brake.

An eyewear compartment in the inside lights module of the headlining, a clip for car park tickets on the sun visor, a large glove box optionally with air conditioning and two 12V power sockets – one on the center tunnel and one in the rear compartment – are other practical ideas for everyday convenience. Audi can supply a storage package on request. This comprises a net on the right of the center tunnel, two compartments beneath the front seats, nets on the reverse of the front seat backs, a net on the underside of the rear shelf, a luggage spider on the floor of the cargo area, a lockable glove box and a multi-fixing point in the right footwell which can also be exchanged for other fastening elements. The accessories range includes a storage box, an umbrella holder and other similar items.

The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.

Article Index:

Text: SummaryExteriorBodyCargo AreaInteriorEnginesDrivetrainRunning GearAssistance SystemsMultimedia SystemsEquipment & Trim

Photo Gallery: Audi Q5

Discussion Forum: Audi Q5

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