This is the Audi SQ5, the beefed-up version of Audi’s popular Q5 SUV and a rival to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Porsche Macan and Mercedes AMG GLC 63.The SQ5 is now powered by a mild-hybrid V6 diesel engine, which sounds tame, but it isn’t. With 347 horsepower and 700Nm of torque, the SQ5 is impressively quick in a straight line. Audi’s S range is always interesting and the new SQ5 is no exception. But can this diesel SUV deliver thrills like its petrol-powered rivals?
Inside it has sports seats as standard which are very supportive and look great. There’s also a sports steering wheel and gear lever, while our test car has Audi’s virtual cockpit system as an optional extra. Audi’s MMI navigation system is easy to use, although it isn’t a touch screen or as impressive as what you get in other Audi models. That said, wireless charging, apple car play and android auto are included as standard. Just like the regular Audi Q5, it’s roomy inside with enough room for five adults and their luggage. The rear seats are split folding for larger items, and you get an electric tailgate as standard. It’s very comfortable on longer drives, though the sports suspension and 21-inch wheels are firm on rough roads.
Yes…. It’s fast! 0-100km/h takes only 5.1 seconds, and it gathers pace with minimal fuss thanks to quattro all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. It sounds great too, with a throaty growl from the sports exhausts and engine, although some of the sound is artificial through the speakers. The SQ5 is a great cruiser too and well-suited to long distance drives, while economy is reasonable too and better than its petrol-powered rivals. It’s more assured than the standard Q5 through corners thanks to upgraded sports suspension and brakes. Although it’s no sports car, the SQ5 is capable of smiles on tight and twisty back roads, helped by the low down power delivery and loud engine sounds.
With prices starting from over €88,000, the SQ5 isn’t exactly cheap, but it isn’t your average SUV either. It’s fast, it’s practical and importantly, it’s more affordable to run than other performance SUVs on the market. While the Porsche Macan offers slightly better polished handling and performance, the SQ5 ticks many boxes with class and style. Check out Carzone now to browse SQ5s for sale from trusted sellers around Ireland.