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Motoring News

AUDI Q5 35 TDI LIMITED EDITION

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AUDI Q5 35 TDI LIMITED EDITION

By CHRIS RILEY

 Q5 . . . long on economy, short on grunt.

 The diesel Audi Q5 35 Limited Edition diesel is billed as the most fuel-efficient, diesel SUV on the Australian market, with a theoretical range of more than 1400km. It also happens to be the cheapest model in the Q5 mid-sized SUV lineup, priced from $68,000 before on-road costs.

Sounds too good to be true, but a closer inspection reveals the 2.0-litre diesel has actually been detuned and, get this — it’s two-wheel drive. No Quattro here.

You can look at it as a cynical marketing exercise or maybe a more practical approach to the SUV phenomena, given who is buying these vehicles and what they are using them for?

Reducing power and equipment levels is a sure sign of price cutting as premium brands strive to woo customers lured by ‘lesser’ brands whose top end models are giving them stick.

STYLING

Apart from a nip here and a tuck there, Q5 does not look remarkably different from the first model launched here in 2009.

I remember that launch in the Snowy Mountains. It was a PR nightmare because the power steering failed on two vehicles within minutes of each other after a section of off-roading. Never did find out what went wrong, which is not uncommon.

Other than that, the cars performed impeccably and so too did the car we have just finished testing.

Three models are offered. Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition is priced from $$68,350.Q5 40 TDI Sport Limited Edition is priced from $77,600 and the petrol Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited Edition from $79,400.

Our test vehicle was standard apart from metallic paint which adds $1531, bringing the price as tested to $69,881 plus on-roads.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, daytime driving lights and tail lights (includes cornering lights and all-weather lights), and an electric tailgate with handsfree opening (gesture control).

Inside there’s leather-appointed upholstery, three-zone climate air, electric front seats with heating and four-way lumbar support for driver and passenger, leather steering wheel with multifunction plus, shift paddles and hands-on detection, auto-dimming mirror and ambient colour interior lighting.

Q5 is covered by a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km. A pre-paid five-year service plan costs $3140.

INFOTAINMENT

A standalone 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers MMI navigation plus, eight-speaker sound, DAB+ digital radio, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, plus two USB outlets in front with charging and connectivity functions and another two USB outlets in rear with charging functions.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel develops 120kW of power and 370Nm of torque, the latter between 1500 and 3000 rpm.

It’s actually a 12-volt mild hybrid setup with auto engine stop-start and power to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

SAFETY

Five-star safety comprises eight airbags, pop-up bonnet and pre-sense city with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) including pedestrian detection (detects impending collisions at up to 85 km/h and can reduce speed by up to 40km/h).

There’s also pre-sense rear and pre-sense basic, active lane assist, blind-spot warning, exit warning, rear cross traffic assist and auto high beam.

It also comes with front and rear park sensors and a rear-view camera.

What you don’t get is adaptive cruise control which is part of the optional Assistance pack.

In fact, six safety items are optional extras, including collision avoidance assist and a 360-degree camera.

Some people take a dim view of charging extra for safety.

DRIVING

Fuel consumption is rated at a measly 4.8L/100km and it’s pretty clean for a diesel, producing 125g/km of CO2 (thanks to twin catalytic converters and a ‘twin-dosing’ AdBlue system).

Add to this a largish 70-litre fuel tank and you’ve got a theoretical range of more than 1400km.

We were getting 5.9L/100km after more than 400km, with 700km to go – excellent fuel economy but not quite what we were promised.

To put this in perspective, a 5-year-old Kia Sportage puts out more power and torque than this, with 135kW and 392Nm. The current version puts out even more. Costs less too.

Perhaps it’s one of the reasons this model is not offered in Sportback form. It’s just not sporty enough?

In fact, it’s the first time a Q5 of any flavour has been offered in Australia without all-wheel drive.

Performance is fine but is not going to set the world on fire, with the dash from 0 to 100 km/h taking 9.0 seconds.

Drive select offers five modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. The drive experience is smooth, quiet and mainly leisurely.

Inside it’s all a bit doom and gloom with an over-abundance of black and featureless surfaces broken only by some strips of metal looking plastic. The one relief comes a strip of ambient blue lighting that splits the dash from side to side.

Despite power adjustment, fore, aft and angle, the seats dig into the back of our thighs and are not comfortable.

Rear seat passengers get air outlets, but legroom is limited.

The boot offers reasonable storage, with a collapsible space saver spare concealed under the floor.

You need to inflate it with an onboard 12-volt compressor which you’ll find stored in a hidey hole to one side of the luggage area.

Sounds like a lot of mucking around and will probably result in an endless stream of calls to roadside assistance.

A big, bright 10.1-inch responsive touchscreen commands the infotainment system from the top of the dash.

The instrument cluster is not digital and lacks the pyrotechnics of more recent models, with two standard analogue style dials that flank a centre information screen where speed and navigation can be displayed.

The Q5 35 TDI is in its element cruising effortlessly in the slow lane.

If you demand more from the car, you will have to start making specific requests to the transmission. Either by putting Drive Select in Dynamic mode, or changing gears manually using the paddle shifts provided.

Drive select is on the far side of the centre stack and is a stretch as the seat belt cinches tight.

Dynamic mode as you might expect locks out 7th gear, keeping engine revs higher than normal, making the car more responsive to the throttle.

Plonk it off the line or after it has been cruising for a while and the transmission takes a second or two to work out what you want before the power kicks in.It could also result in some scrabble from the front tyres as they search for traction.

From there on the transmission understands and responds accordingly, but constant braking and acceleration can and will confuse it — it is after all a dual clutch setup.

Q5 corners flat and the ride from the 20-inch rubber is surprisingly good.

Corner to corner in manual mode works best in fourth gear where the engine revs hover around the 4000-rpm mark. Tight corners may require a change down to third. But of course, if leaving it in Dynamic mode or a lower gear will inevitably drive up fuel consumption.

 SUMMING UP

While the Q5’s fuel efficiency is to be applauded, we’re left wondering if that is a major

drawcard for the average Audi buyer?

Perhaps it’s of no real interest at all? Your average Audi driver is looking for style and performance and can often be seen cutting through traffic — at least where I come from, anyhow!

RATINGS:

Looks: 7

Performance: 7

Safety: 7.5

Thirst: 8

Practicality: 7.5

Comfort: 7.5

Tech: 7.5

Value: 7

Overall: 7.4

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE

Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition (120kW), $68,350

Q5 40 TDI Sport Limited Edition (140kW), $77,600

Q5 45 TFSI Sport Limited Edition (185kW), $79,400

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact Audi for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Audi Q5 35 TDI Limited Edition, 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder diesel, 7sp DCT, FWD five-seat SUV

PERFORMANCE:

Capacity: 2.0 litres

Configuration: 4-cylinder diesel, turbocharged with 12V mild hybrid

Maximum Power: 120 kW @3250-4200 rpm

Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 1500-3000 rpm

Fuel Type: Diesel

Fuel consumption: 4.8 L/100km

CO2 Emissions: 125g/km

DRIVELINE:

7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:

Length: 4682 mm

Wheelbase: 2819 mm

Width: 1893 mm

Height: 1662 mm

Turning Circle: 11.7 metres

Kerb Mass: 1815 mm

Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres

BRAKES:

Front: Ventilated disc

Rear:  Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:

Five years / unlimited kilometres

 

 

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Zeekr: China’s Luxury EV Brand Sets Sights on Australian Market in 2025

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Zeekr 009

Zeekr: China’s Luxury EV Brand Sets Sights on Australian Market in 2025

 

Zeekr, China’s latest electric vehicle (EV) brand, is set to make its debut in Australia in 2025 with two models leading the charge: the Zeekr 009, a spacious family-oriented vehicle boasting over 800km of range, and the Zeekr X, a compact SUV aimed at competing with established models like the BMW iX1 and Volvo XC40 Recharge.

As a subsidiary of the renowned Chinese conglomerate Geely, Zeekr has rapidly emerged as a key player in the EV market. The brand’s affiliation with Volvo and Polestar underscores its commitment to luxury and innovation. With a focus on quality and performance, Zeekr aims to redefine the electric vehicle landscape in Australia.

The Zeekr 009, available in both six- and seven-seater configurations, promises exhilarating acceleration akin to a sports car, thanks to its dual electric motors generating a combined output of 405kW and 686Nm of torque. Equipped with a cutting-edge battery system, this model offers an impressive range of up to 800km, setting a new standard for long-distance travel in the EV segment.

Complementing the Zeekr 009 is the Zeekr X, a compact SUV designed for urban mobility and versatility. Offering a range of 500-560km on the Chinese testing cycle, this model combines efficiency with agility, making it ideal for navigating city streets and suburban landscapes. With its sleek design and advanced technology features, the Zeekr X is poised to attract discerning drivers seeking an eco-friendly yet stylish driving experience.

Zeekr’s expansion strategy includes the establishment of a new manufacturing facility in Thailand, signaling its commitment to global growth and accessibility. With plans to introduce the Zeekr 009 and Zeekr X to the Thai market in Q3 of this year, the brand is on track to launch in Australia shortly, thereafter, providing consumers with a compelling alternative in the EV market.

While pricing and specifications for the Zeekr 009 and Zeekr X in Australia are yet to be finalized, both models are expected to offer premium features and performance. With its competitive pricing and innovative offerings, Zeekr aims to carve out a significant presence in Australia’s rapidly evolving automotive landscape.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Geely’s Revolutionary Riddara RD6 Electric Ute to Hit Australian Roads

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Geely Riddara RD6 electric ute

Geely’s Revolutionary Riddara RD6 Electric Ute to Hit Australian Roads

 

Geely, renowned for its innovation in the automotive industry, is poised to make waves in Australia with the impending arrival of its groundbreaking electric utility vehicle, the Riddara RD6.

As anticipation builds among automotive enthusiasts and eco-conscious drivers alike, Geely’s decision to bring the Riddara RD6 to Australian shores marks a significant milestone in the country’s transition towards sustainable transportation.

With its sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and eco-friendly credentials, the Riddara RD6 represents a new era of electric vehicles tailored to meet the diverse needs of Australian consumers.

The story of Geely’s Riddara RD6 begins with a vision to revolutionise the utility vehicle segment, blending practicality with sustainability. From bustling city streets to rugged outback terrain, the RD6 promises to deliver unmatched performance and versatility, powered solely by electricity.

Equipped with advanced battery technology and state-of-the-art electric drivetrain systems, the RD6 boasts impressive range and charging capabilities, ensuring drivers can embark on their journeys with confidence, all while minimising their environmental footprint.

Geely Riddara RD6 Electric Ute Interior

Geely Riddara RD6 Electric Ute Interior

But the Riddara RD6 isn’t just about sustainability—it’s also about innovation. Geely has integrated a host of smart features and connectivity options into the vehicle, providing drivers with a seamless and intuitive driving experience.

From interactive touchscreen displays to advanced driver-assistance systems, the RD6 is designed to keep drivers informed, entertained, and safe on the road.

Whether navigating city streets or exploring remote landscapes, drivers can rely on the RD6 to deliver performance, comfort, and peace of mind.

As Geely prepares to launch the Riddara RD6 in Australia, excitement is building among consumers eager to embrace the future of transportation. With its blend of cutting-edge technology, sustainable design, and practical utility, the RD6 is poised to make a lasting impression on the Australian automotive market.

With Geely’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, the arrival of the Riddara RD6 signals a bold new chapter in Australia’s automotive landscape—one driven by progress, innovation, and a commitment to a cleaner, greener future.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Kia Unveils Australian Details for 2024 Kia EV5: Midsize Electric SUV

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2024 Kia EV5

Kia Unveils Australian Details for 2024 Kia EV5: Midsize Electric SUV

 

Kia is set to launch its highly anticipated Kia EV5 medium-sized electric SUV in Australia this June, offering striking design and surprising affordability. The introduction of the EV5 may pose a significant sales challenge to Tesla’s popular Model Y, given its competitive pricing and impressive features.

According to Damien Meredith, Kia Australia boss, the EV5 will be the brand’s most affordable EV yet, with prices expected to start “in the 50s.” This price positioning places the base EV5 model in a favourable position compared to its entry-level rivals, including the Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra AWD, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The EV5 will be available in three variants – Air, Earth, and GT-Line – offered in both standard and long-range forms. The entry-level EV5 Air will feature a single electric motor, front-wheel drive, and a 64.2kWh lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) battery, sourced from China’s BYD for enhanced fast-charge capability and long-term battery durability.

Equipped with a 160kW/310Nm electric motor, the EV5 Air is expected to deliver a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 8.5 seconds and a claimed NEDC range of 490km. The long-range variant will feature the same electric motor but with a larger 88.1kWh LFP battery, offering 36% more range and a slightly slower acceleration time of 8.9 seconds.

For those seeking additional power and performance, the dual-motor EV5 AWD variant, available in GT-Line form, will feature combined outputs of 230kW and 480Nm. With a brisk 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds and a range of 620km, the AWD variant offers a compelling blend of performance and efficiency.

With its comfortable and pragmatic design, the EV5 aims to provide a more comfort-oriented alternative to Kia’s sportier EV6 lift back. Positioned as a true SUV, the EV5 offers spacious interiors and a versatile driving experience, appealing to a wide range of consumers.

Designed to set its own identity within Kia’s electric vehicle line-up, the EV5 showcases a distinctive SUV-first look, setting the stage for future electric models from the brand. With its competitive pricing, impressive features, and striking design, the Kia EV5 is poised to make a significant impact in the Australian electric vehicle market.

The 2024 Kia EV5 electric SUV is estimated to be priced from less than $70,000 drive-away – cheaper than a Tesla Model Y, Australia’s top-selling electric car – when showroom arrivals begin in June.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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