Doing the trick
The SQ5 is the hottest version of Audi’s Q5 on sale. Jack Evans finds out how sizzling it really is
The Audi SQ5 was the German manufacturer’s first diesel S-badged car it had ever created. With oil-burners being given something of a bad reputation in recent years, this latest SQ5 comes as a petrol-only – though it’s likely that a diesel will be quietly introduced later on. There’s no doubting it has performance on its side, as well as good looks and plenty of badge appeal. Where the old SQ5 triumphed was its ability to compromise between performance and everyday usability – and it would appear that this latest car has pulled off the same trick.
Looks and image
The SQ5 looks neatly refreshed over the car that it replaces. It benefits from LED running lights up front, either side of a chrome grille that is more prominent than ever. The satin silver wing mirrors remain as a trademark ‘S’ car style cue and the overall effect is one of understated performance.
Space and practicality
Because the SQ5’s performance makes no impact on the standard Q5’s size, it still remains an impressively spacious place to be. There’s plenty of room for both front passenger and driver, while those in the back 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.
Behind the wheel
From the moment you step into the SQ5, you’re aware that it’s set up slightly differently to a standard SUV. Under the bonnet sits a 3.0litre turbocharged V6 petrol churning out 349bhp and an impressive 500Nm of torque. On heavy acceleration, there’s a good amount of shove, with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system ensuring that there’s no wheel spin no matter what the conditions. Surprisingly, the ride is also very good despite the 21in alloy wheels. Of course, around town it feels rather firm, but the by-product of this setup is very little body roll. It means you can corner flatly and without fuss, even at higher speeds.
Value for money
Prices for the SQ5 start at £49,715. However, our car, fitted with options such as a sports differential, 21in alloy wheels and adaptive cruise control came in at £60,285. There’s no mistaking it – the SQ5 is an expensive car. However, its all-round usability and effortless performance does make it a great everyday SUV and one that would be ideal for those who want plenty of practicality backed up with a sports car drive.