The 2013 Audi Q5 looks, to all but the most informed eye, just like the 2012 Audi Q5. However, there are some subtle cosmetic changes, and under the skin Audi has fitted more efficient engines and upgraded the steering and suspension.
A new-look front grille (with 'chamfered' top edges) is the easiest way to tell the updated Q5 apart from the old one, but there are also new bumpers and exhaust tailpipes, and new LEDs for the optional xenon headlights.
The updated engine range offers up to 15% better fuel economy and 11% lower CO2 emissions.
Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control are now standard for all models; prices are around 500 higher than the previous model's. This is our first drive of the updated Q5 in the UK.
What's the 2013 Audi Q5 like to drive?
The Q5's steering and suspension changes are subtle but effective. On the evidence of our test drive, the Q5 steers more fluently and rides more comfortably than before.
2013 Audi Q5 has updated suspension and steering that gives improved ride and handling
Although the ride can be rather bouncy over poor surfaces, the Q5 generally does a good job of isolating those on board from what's going on beneath them.
The handling is impressively sharp for something that's relatively tall and bulky, while the steering is more consistently weighted than before and provides a decent amount of feedback through the wheel.
We drove two versions; a 2.0 TFSI 225 petrol and a 3.0 TDI diesel. Neither will be as popular as the 2.0 TDI 177, which is the range's best-seller. Of the two, the 3.0 TDI is more appealing it's incredibly strong and smooth, if rather expensive, with an entry-level price of 37,635.
The 2.0 TFSI 225 is usefully flexible, but it's more expensive than the cheapest 2.0 TDI version, emits 20g/km more CO2 (with a manual gearbox) and becomes rather boomy when revved hard.
Overall, the Q5 is refined, with little in the way of wind or road noise at speed.
What's the 2013 Audi Q5 like inside?
Apart from some extra metallic trim and a revised choice of optional leather upholstery, there's little to tell the latest Q5 apart from the previous one. That's mostly a good thing, because it's practical and classy.
A similarly-priced A6 saloon's interior feels of a slightly better quality, however, while the Q5's MMI infotainment control system isn't as user-friendly as it is in some of Audi's other models, partly due to the location of its controls low down on the centre console.
Should I buy one?
The Q5 is more appealing than ever thanks to this range of updates, with lower running costs and a better ride.
Even the most efficient versions aren't quite as economical or CO2-friendly as the cleanest BMW X3, but the Q5 counters with some of the best residual values around.
What Car? says