SUVs in the spotlight at Paris expo
The Paris Motor Show, one of Europe’s biggest automotive expos, drew to a close last week. In the second instalment of our retrospective of the show we take a look at the three SUVs that caught our eye.
It might not have the glamour or the futuristic styling of some of the concepts at the Paris show, but the all-new Audi Q5 was one of the expo’s crowd-puller, and for good reason: the Q5 is currently one of Audi’s top-selling models, and the interest in the new-generation model was commensurately massive.
Based on the same, modular platform as the A4 sedan and the larger Q7, the Q5 shows off some of the latters styling traits, particularly the headlight and grille treatment. The newcomers also looks beefier than its predecessor, and is marginally larger, although the interior has gained a lot more space, thanks to improved packaging.
The new Q5 is also lighter and stiffer, promising better handling and refinement, while efficiency should benefit too. Engine choices will mirror much of what’s offered in the A4 sedan, with both turbo petrol and turbodiesel engines well represented. An SQ5 version, which accounts for a third of Q5 sales in South Africa, will follow. The new Q5 is expected in SA showrooms by mid-year.
We’ve always been big fans of the current Peugeot 3008, a crossover that finds the best middle ground between MPV and SUV roles, including ample interior space, car-like handling and decent performance. The new 3008 is more specifically a compact SUV, losing some of its originality in the process, but likely to enjoy broader acceptance as a result.
It’s a tough segment to be competing in, but the new 3008 turns heads with a smooth, clean exterior that translates some of the 308 hatchback’s design characteristics in an SUV context. The interior – one of the 308’s strong points – also sets the 3008 apart, with a fully configurable digital instrument pack and a large tablet-sized central display.
Engine options include 96 kW 1,2-litre Puretech and 121 kW 1,6-litre THP petrol engines, as well as a raft of turbodiesel options, including a 110 kW 2,0-litre HDi. Six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes are offered for most engines. We’re hoping the new 3008 will reach South African roads during the course of 2017.
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover chose the recent Paris Motor Show for the world debut of the all-new Discovery 5. Unsurprisingly, the newcomer’s shape replaces the boxy, angular lines of its predecessor with a softer, more rounded approach reminiscent of the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque.
Key features such as the three-row cinema-style seating arrangement have been retained, but the second and third rows can now be adjusted via the vehicle’s touch screen interface. But what hasn’t been carried over is the previous Disco’s considerable weight – the newcomer shaves up to 480 kg off the kerb mass, benefiting efficiency, dynamics and handling.
The engine line-up remains fairly predictable, offering V6 power in supercharged petrol and turbocharged diesel guises, while Jaguar’s Ingenium two-litre turbodiesel is the new entry-level option. The eight-speed auto gearbox and a low-range transfer case are standard, while the all-independent suspension offers improved wheel travel and ride height.
The new Land Rover Discovery is due in South Africa in the second half of 2017.
Research: Ziphora Masethe