I have been torn between German engineering and British flair for some time now. I love rock-solid Mercedes-Benzes from the eighties and nineties, but all it takes is a grainy picture of an MG convertible for me to go weak in the knees. BMW motorcycles may outlast the Rock of Gibraltar, but there are few things that can beat the thump of a British twin or even a single on a cold Sunday morning. You get the picture – it is about strong virtues versus romantic overtones. Or clinical efficiency versus paranormal automotive intuitiveness. Whatever you make out of that last one, let us get on with the comparison test before I take this nationality thing too far.
Designs of inheritance
One look at the Audi Q5 and you know it has got a burlier big brother called the Q7 – on quiet nights, I am certain of this, it even whispers a ‘Don’t mess with me’ to dogs that attempt to do what they generally do. The Freelander 2 too brandishes family genes with a certain degree of effortlessness. That means whether we like the looks of the Q5 or the Freelander 2 depends a great deal on what effect the Q7 and the Range Rover/Sport have on us. As for me, the answer is clear – the Q7 looks the part because it was supposed to be, and is, big. The Q5 is small and the butch-nose treatment does not work as well despite the LED garnishing. It looks suave and even makes the Freelander look prehistoric. Alas, in this case, prehistoric also looks smart and purposeful and we like a sense of genuine usability going into design, especially when we are dealing with SUVs. Despite identical tyre sizes, the Freelander 2 has a taller stance than the Q5. Narrow shutlines and flawless finishes are good for passenger cars but after an outing in the bush, it will be the Freelander that cleans up quickly.
LR Freelander2: 4 on 5
Audi Q5: 3.5 on 5