Audi‘s first sporty diesel model but also its first performance SUV

What is it?

The SQ5 will go down in Audi’s history as quite an important model, not only because it was its first sporty diesel model but also its first performance SUV too. Despite first launching back in 2013, used values remain strong too.

A second-generation SQ5 launched in 2018, and though it initially debuted with a V6 petrol engine, Audi soon changed its mind and reverted back to diesel power for the model just a year later. Following recent updates to the Q5, Audi has now tweaked the SQ5 too. Let’s see what it’s like.

What’s new?

Using the latest V6 diesel engine from the S4 and S5, the new SQ5 adopts mild-hybrid technology to give a small performance boost, while also reducing fuel usage.

The SQ5 also gets a slight redesign to bring it in-line with Audi’s latest models, incorpating new LED lights and a redesgned grille, while inside it benefits from an updated infotainment system and greater standard equipment than before.


What’s under the bonnet?

A diesel performance car might seem a bit of an oddity, but it works well in something like the SQ5, with the latest engine being a 3.0-litre V6 unit that produces 336bhp and a healthy 700Nm of torque. Drive is sent to all four wheels using Audi’s quattro system, while an eight-speed automatic gearbox is adopted too.

Getting up to speed doesn’t take long, with 0-60mph being dispatched in just 4.9 seconds, and where permitted it could reach a top speed of 155mph. In terms of efficiency, Audi claims 34.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of 215g/km.

What’s it like to drive?

The SQ5 feels like a car that was designed for longer, fast motorway journeys. Its V6 engine is ultra-smooth and refined at higher speeds, with the engine’s plentiful torque meaning it’s very quick too. In previous versions the gearbox felt quite dim-witted, but this latest car seems to have addressed those issues and brings a big improvement.

The SQ5’s ride can prove quite firm around town, but as soon as you gain momentum it becomes an invisible concern. To add to the excitement, Audi has also engineered a special sound that gives this SUV a more purposeful tone, replacing the drone of a diesel engine.


How does it look?

Audi ‘S’ models at subtlety, and don’t shout about their performance. The SQ5 is absolutely no different and means it doesn’t look too much different to a regular Q5, especially to those not in the know.

Audi has given the SQ5 quad exhaust trim (which is sadly just for design purposes), while the redesigned grille does help give this Audi a meaner appearance than before.

What’s it like inside?

Updates to the SQ5’s interior predominantly focus on the new infotainment system, which works well and is super clear and responsive. Audi’s tried-and-tested digital instrument cluster is present and correct too, while the general fit and finish throughout the cabin is excellent.

It’s a practical choice for families too, with loads of rear space and a useful 510-litre boot, which increases to 1,510 litres once the back seats have been folded down.


What’s the spec like?

With the SQ5 effectively sitting at the top of the SQ5 range, it’s certainly not lacking when it comes to standard equipment.

Priced from £60,170, all versions benefit from the large touchscreen and digital dials we’ve mentioned, along with Matrix LED headlights, leather upholstery and large 20-inch alloy wheels. There are plenty of optional extras on offer, but we reckon sticking with the standard car should get you just about everything you’d want or need.


The Audi SQ5 is a very well-rounded option, and is this German firm at its best, offering quality, classy looks and strong performance without ever being over the top. Improvements to the gearbox and interior are both welcome, while its long-distance efficiency is very impressive. A diesel-powered performance SUV might be quite a niche choice, but as the SQ5 shows, it’s one that works very well.

Browse used Audi Q5 and SQ5 stock



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