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The new Jaguar F-PACE may be sportier-looking and more fun to drive but the Audi Q5 is posher and more refined.

21 Feb 2018


It's not hard to find a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with style and substance these days but few are as brilliantly formulated as the Audi Q5 and the Jaguar F-PACE, which was launched in Singapore back in 2016.

As a first for Jaguar, the F-PACE has proven to be capable but it plays in a segment dominated by Germans such as the aforementioned Q5. Now in its second generation, the Q5 aims to continue a story of success.

Its predecessor model was the world's best-selling SUV in the premium mid-size segment for six years. Since 2008, Audi has sold around 1.6 million units. Can Jaguar's new kid on the block best a more established model with such a healthy track record? We find out.

We find out if the cool cat (left) can beat the smooth German

English aesthetics

On first impression, it's easy to understand the appeal of the F-PACE. It is much more striking than the Q5, thanks to an especially menacing front-end that you wouldn't want drawing near your rear-view mirror.

Cabin design, too, is certainly contemporary and definitely a whole lot more dramatic. It also puts its longer length and wheelbase to good use by offering more rear legroom, as well as a class-leading 650 litres of boot space over the Q5's 550 litres with the rear seats in place.

There are, however, more noticeable hard and dull surfaces. For example, there's a less pleasant feel to important touch points such as the paddle-shifters and seat adjustment switches.

Unsurprising of Audi, the Q5 employs better materials and boasts greater attention to detail

German maturity

While the Q5 may not have the presence of the F-PACE, its sheet metal is still neat and tidy from every angle, carrying over much of its predecessor's simplistic values.

That clean-cut ideology extends on the inside, where there's a distinct sophistication and the console makes good use of space without looking cluttered.

It's not as flamboyant a cockpit but is a very feel-good place to be, thanks to Audi's impeccable standards that show on the terrific tactility of the car's switchgear and crisp digital displays.

Playful cat

Aside from overall fit and finish, where the F-PACE also loses out is power, with 247bhp and 365Nm of torque going up against the Q5's 252bhp and 370Nm. This equates to a slightly slower century sprint over its German rival. Delivery of its power, too, isn't as polished as the Q5's

The F-PACE is not as smooth or powerful as the Q5 but is more rewarding as a driver's car on twisty roads

But power deficit aside, even a short drive in the F-PACE brings to light how sporty it is and easily the more fun of the two. The Jag's poise is unwavering and its steering, like the XE and XF sedans, is rewardingly direct and well-weighted.

It's the keener, more poised and more precise one that deserves praise as a driver's car.

Sensible and smooth

The Q5's steering may not be as gratifying but is smooth, consistent and light, which could be right up the alley of buyers in this segment.

The Q5 is less spacious but quieter and more comfortable whether over bumpy roads or fast-moving highways

At the same time it's also more comfortable over rough roads and there's hardly any wind noise in the cabin, even at high speeds. The F-PACE, while more engaging, is unfortunately bumpier over potholes and louder on the move.

Experience is tough to beat

More importantly, even as the veteran model here, the Q5 is $20,919 cheaper to buy than the F-PACE (as of 19th February 2018). The latter looks great and even drives like a sports car but lacks the overall refinement of the Q5.

For anyone looking for an accomplished family SUV that's big on attention to detail and driving refinement, the Audi Q5 is certainly the more well-rounded choice here.
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Car Information

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Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI qu S Tronic Sport (A)
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Price

: $229,080

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

188kW (252 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

370 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) S-tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.3sec

Top Speed

:

237km/h

Fuel consumption

:

13.5 km/L

spacer

Price

: $253,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1997cc

Horsepower

:

184kW (247 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

365 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-Speed (A) Jaguar Sequential Shift

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.8sec

Top Speed

:

217km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14 km/L

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