Do­ing the trick

The SQ5 is the hottest ver­sion of Audi’s Q5 on sale. Jack Evans finds out how siz­zling it re­ally is

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Motors -

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.

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