Awesome Audi Q5 is the utmost in quality

One thing I've learnt about restaurant staff is the better the car you drive, the better the service.

Pull up in an old skorokoro and the waitrons will avoid you like you have swine flu.

Rock up in something approaching the half-a-million rand mark and they fall over themselves like learner ice-skaters.

"I love your eyes," said an attractive young waitress as I positioned myself at an outside table at a new restaurant near my place.

Straight away I knew I was going to enjoy this joint.

"Do they come on automatically?" she asked.

It was at that point I realised that she was not referring to my weather-beaten features but the much admired and talked-about lights on the Audi Q5 I was driving.

"Yes they do," I mumbled, ego slightly bruised.

If you haven't checked out the lights on the new Audi, do so. They are really cool.

A row of LEDs that emit a soft light really do the job, both during the day and at night.

But it's more than just a set of lights that sets the Audi Q5 apart from the hum-drum.

Whereas the Q7 looks slightly ungainly and too big, the Q5 looks like a slimmed-down version of its big brother and hits the nail on the head in a number of departments.

First up the size (4,63metres long x 1,88metres wide). Not too big so it feels like you're driving a Putco bus.

The Q5 feels totally at home either as a day-to-day commuter or weekend getaway vehicle.

Typically German, the SUV comes complete with a whole host of luxury and safety features.

A couple I made use of was the on-board navigation system (which if I could figure out how to use - anyone can), cruise control and the panoramic sunroof which is the closest you will get to topless motoring bar driving a convertible.

The standard Q5 comes in at a competitive R463000, but on test we had a whack of extras, which admittedly came at quite a cost - R123730! Some of these you may wish to have, others you can live without (eg the 20-inch alloy wheels cost R24360).

The 2,0 TFSI quattro engine in the Q5 is, in one word, awesome, and believe me, I'm not using that description lightly.

Put foot to the floor and it gives you a kick in the lower back even Bruce Lee would have been proud of and the 7-speed S-tronic transmission simply slides through the gears.

Audi have made a great deal of noise about the engine, and justifiably so. Pushing out 155kW it will see you hitting 100km/h in 7,2seconds and a top speed around the 220km/h mark. Impressive.

If you are looking for a medium sized SUV, the Q5 must come in to the reckoning.

Its all-round build quality, attention to interior detail and that no-nonsense turbo engine definitely get the thumbs-up!