If you’re familiar with other recent Audis, this is the section of the road test you could write having tested the car blindfolded.

It’s now common thinking in the car industry that if you want to see a benchmark interior, you look at an Audi, and the Q5 is as predictable as Manchester City taking all three points, landing right where you’d expect it to be.

I’d quite happily settle for a small speedo/rev counter display in the Q5, whereas in an R8, I want ’em as big as possible. It shows the approach works

Shall we start with the driving position? We might as well, because in some recent Audis an offset positioning has been the one thing you might like to criticise.

No such drama here, though: the wheel sits dead centre of the seat, and although the brake and accelerator pedals are both offset, it’s to the right, where you’d hope. The seven-speed dual-clutch auto ’box means there’s no clutch pedal to bother about.

You sit lower than you might in a Discovery Sport – or that’s how it feels, owing to the Q5’s higher window line, which gives a greater sense of car-likeness. Even so, there’s enough elevation here to keep buyers wanting a tall seating position happy.

Accommodation in the rear is good, too. There’s enough space for adults to sit behind adults, which is about the best you can ask for, while the Q5’s luggage bay dimensions have presumably been rubber-stamped somewhere with the Ingolstadt equivalent of ‘requirements met’.

At its widest, the boot is a golf club-accommodating 1300mm and it’s almost a metre long with the rear seats in place. Folding them is the work of a moment and results in a familiar 1800mm load length, while load height to the luggage cover is 510mm and to the ceiling it’s 800mm.

In all, then, the kinds of numbers that roll out of our tape measure with astonishing consistency with big Volkswagen Group cars.

Also astonishingly consistent is this Audi’s fit and finish. Material choice is strong, as ever: go looking for the areas where they’ve scrimped and saved and you’ll be looking a while.

Buttons, switches and the MMI interface controller all operate with smooth efficiency, and dials and readouts are all perfectly clear.

If you were picky you might ask for a bit more flair and character – something like Mini manages to lob into a cabin, for example – but sales volumes suggest that, more often than not, people want a high-class interior that just works. Here, they’ve got one.


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Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which displays the main instruments digitally, is a fine piece of work, being adaptable and clear.

But better still is the rest of the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI), which combines a large central screen with a controller on the centre console. Previously, Audi had resisted the urge, to which BMW has succumbed, to make the screen touch sensitive - although the new A8 was the one that broke the ice.

With a control pad and its adorning buttons, however, it’s easy to navigate through the myriad systems.

There’s a touchpad, too, which we used mostly for inputting addresses on the navigation, while the rotary dial can be turned, pressed or nudged to navigate through menus. It’s not quite as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive system, but it’s second-best in the industry.

Sensibly, Audi retains separate buttons and switches for operations such as the heating and ventilation system, heated seats and so on, and the whole caboodle is supplemented by steering wheel controls for major functions.

It’s a bit of a button-fest compared to, say, a Volvo, but when it comes to functionality, we’ll take it.

As for trims there are three core ones for buyers to choose from - SE, Sport and S line. Entry-level models get 18in alloy wheels, xenon headlights, aluminium roof rails, heat-insulating side windows, cruise control, hill descent control, parking sensors, and Audi's Pre-Sense autonomous braking system fitted as standard on the exterior. Inside, there is tri-zone climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a powered tailgate, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and Audi's MMI infotainment system complete with a 7.0in display, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB radio and smartphone integration.

Upgrade to Sport and the Q5 is adorned with front sports seats, ambient LED interior lighting, sat nav and Audi's online services, while the range-topping S line models get LED head and rear lights, 19in alloy wheels, brushed aluminium interior touches, a sporty-styled bodykit, and leather and Alcantara upholstery.

Those opting for the SQ5 not only get the 349bhp 3.0-litre V6 at the front but also 20in alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, a self-locking centre differential, high beam assist, electrically adjustable front seats, a Nappa leather upholstery, a beefier bodykit, an 8.3in infotainment screen with 10GB hard drive, and a 40/20/40 split rear bench.

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