- Satisfying to drive
- Excellent performance and economy
- It's a diesel not a petrol
- Lack of steering feel
- Restless ride
The 2012 Audi SQ5 marked the introduction of the diesel engine to Audi's high-performance S range. Typically reserved for Audi models with potent naturally aspirated or turbocharged petrol engines, the S badge may initially seem out of place on a diesel variant.
After all, many people still view diesel engines as an economy driven choice rather than a performance option.
Fast and Frugal 3.0-litre BiTDI engine
Because of the SQ5's fuel pump preference the typical fast car enthusiast may be put off - but hopefully only initially. They would be missing out if they did avoid the SQ5 because one thing it certainly doesn't lack is pace.
Its advanced 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine generates enough power to allow the medium-sized off-roader to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, while overtaking is made effortless thanks to substantial in-gear pull. Despite the performance on offer, however, fuel economy is rated at a claimed average of 39.2mpg.
That means you can enjoy the benefits of a powerful and flexible engine without suffering from overly expensive fuel bills or a restrictive cruising range. Even the emissions are reasonable, given the engine’s output, meaning you won't get hit with horrendous road tax charges.
Practical but sporty cabin
Audi’s SQ5 is practical too, with plenty of interior space and storage on offer. You're not left wanting for equipment either, as the Audi is fitted with a wide range of kit that includes climate control and electric leather seats.
There's some neat S detailing to be found as well, including subtle SQ5 badging on the seats and steering wheel while carbon-fibre inlays are available too.
Externally the SQ5 is quite restrained. There are only subtle cosmetic tweaks and larger alloys differentiating it from the standard Q5s.
Quattro four-wheel drive
The SQ5 gets the brand’s quattro four-wheel drive system as well. It’s no die-hard off-roader though, as you could probably guess given its low ride height, but the added traction proves useful when accelerating hard, towing or driving in poor weather conditions.
So, the SQ5 appears to offer a useful blend of performance, practicality and driver appeal. Can the Audi deliver a cohesive package in the real world, or is it attempting to do too much and running the risk of not appealing to anyone in particular? Read the full Parkers Audi SQ5 review to find out.