What’s new in the latest Audi SQ5?

The Audi SQ5 was the first diesel-powered Audi to have an S-badge, so it had to be something special.

With oil-burners currently being given rather a bad reputation this latest SQ5 comes as a petrol only – though it’s likely that a diesel will be quietly introduced later on.

Audi SQ5 in red

Under the bonnet sits a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol churning out 349bhp and an impressive 500Nm of torque. There’s no doubting it has performance on its side, as well good looks and plenty of badge appeal.

Where the old SQ5 triumphed was its ability to provide a perfect compromise between performance and everyday usability, and thank goodness, this latest car has pulled off the same trick.

What does the Audi SQ5 look like?

The SQ5 looks neatly refreshed, rather than completely re-styled. It benefits from LED running lights up front, sat either side of a chrome grille which is more prominent than ever.

The satin silver wing mirrors remain as a trademark ‘S’ car style cue, and I like the overall effect of understated performance.

When you move to the back of the car, there is something that Audi need to address. Look closely and, rather than finding four individual exhaust pipes, you’ll see four blanked-off plastic panels – not really the performance touches that you’d like to see.

Audi SQ5 rear in red

How practical is the Audi SQ5?

The SQ5’s performance makes no impact on the standard Q5’s size and so it retains an impressively spacious interior. There’s plenty of room for both front passenger and driver, while those in the rear get a good amount of leg and headroom.

Boot space sits at 610 litres, rising to 1,550 litres with the rear seats folded down. This is around the average mark for the segment, with the Mercedes GLC offering 610 litres of seats-up luggage room, rising to 1,600 litres with them set flat. It’s a great car if you’re looking for plenty of practicality but within a relatively compact-sized car.

What’s the Audi SQ5 like to drive?

From the moment you step into the Audi SQ5, you’re aware that it’s set up slightly differently to a standard SUV. The flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with paddle shifters feels more purposeful, while the throaty grumble emitted once you press the red starter button ensures that you don’t mistake the engine under the bonnet for your standard 2.0-litre diesel.

Audi SQ5 interior dashboard

The car’s performance is impressive. Upon heavy acceleration, there’s a good amount of shove, with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system ensuring there’s no wheel spin, no matter what the conditions.

Surprisingly, the ride is also very good in spite of the 21-inch alloy wheels. Of course, around town it feels rather firm, but the by-product of this setup is there’s very little body roll. It means you can corner flatly and without fuss, even at higher speeds.

Is the Audi SQ5 value for money?

Prices for the SQ5 start at £49,715. However, our car, fitted with options such as a sports differential, 21-inch alloy wheels and adaptive cruise control came in at £60,285. There’s no pretending that the SQ5 is a cheap car; however, its all-round usability and effortless performance makes it a great everyday SUV, and one that’s ideal for those who want plenty of practicality backed up with a sports car drive.

Audi SQ5 in red rear and side

Is the Audi SQ5 for me?

It looks relatively understated, is great to drive and yet still has space for the family to travel in comfort. So, the SQ5 is ideal for the Mum or Dad who doesn’t want to feel staid and stuffy, but prefers to stay fun, yet supremely practical. It’s also quick enough to give an everyday sports car a run for its money, while offering all the build quality you could want from an Audi product.

Audi SQ5 Knowledge

  • Model: Audi SQ5
  • Model as tested: SQ5
  • Base price: £49,715
  • Engine tested: 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6
  • Power: 349bhp
  • Torque: 369Ib-ft
  • Max speed: 155mph
  • 0-60mph: 5.2 seconds
  • MPG: 34mpg
  • Emissions: 195g/km

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