There has been a few grumblings among SQ5 fans that the introduction of said gearbox will negatively impact performance. True, the new Audi SQ5 isn’t as jet-heeled as the outgoing, lightning-quick diesel model. Nor is it as economical.
However, this is all that’s available now, with Audi promising that a hot-hatch TDI diesel is on the way. Moreover, this petrol model is some 90kg lighter, which helps with agility.
In terms of how it drives, the SQ5 is quick, fairly easy going, and relatively good fun. It doesn’t lean much in bends despite its firmer suspension over the standard models, and its steering is precise. However, it lacks feel – but boasts sportier handling and plenty of grip.
And despite being racier than the standard models, it’s still refined and comfortable.
As said, it’s not as economical as the diesel model it replaces – despite being slower. It returns 34mpg at best. It’s expensive to insure too, and sits in group 42 out of 50.
As ever with an Audi, the interior is a highlight. It’s been around since 2008 and its cabin hasn’t changed much, but it still manages to look modern. Its design is elegant, build quality is good, and it comes with plenty of standard kit. This includes Nappa-leather seats, a ten-speaker stereo, and the brand’s Virtual Cockpit.
It also comes with an 8.3” display that’s easy to get the hang of. It’s a lot better than the standard Audi Q5’s 7” infotainment screen that sits awkwardly above the dashboard.
In terms of how practical it is, it might be a driving enthusiasts car, but it’s also a people’s car. In other words, it will accommodate all who get inside it. The clever ergonomic touches are just great, leg and headroom is good all-round, with the only person losing out being the middle passenger in the rear (awkward transmission tunnel).
The boot, meanwhile, measures 550-litres with all seats in the correct place. You can slide the rear seats forward to increase that to 610, or fold each one individually for even more room. Maximum load capacity is 1,550-litres.
Audi – £38,000 – £51,200