Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The highlight of this model is its 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, which allows for excellent Audi SQ5 performance. It’s the first diesel power plant fitted to an S model, and delivers a staggering 313bhp and 650Nm of pulling power.

This allows the SQ5 to accelerate from 0-62mph in a mere 5.1 seconds. Keep the throttle planted and the Audi will continue accelerating up to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.The diesel engine is superb, with a sharp and crisp throttle response and virtually no noticeable lag.

With so much pulling power on offer the SQ5 will pull hard in most gears, allowing for stress-free overtaking.

A sound actuator is fitted to the exhaust system, which gives the car a deep and aggressive exhaust note. It works well and doesn’t prove overly intrusive, instead adding some character and flair to what could otherwise be a relatively tuneless diesel engine.

The SQ5 features Audi’s four-wheel drive quattro system, so there’s plenty of traction available and the car can make good use of the power that’s on offer. The engine is coupled to a smooth eight-speed tiptronic gearbox which offers a conventional automatic mode, a faster sport mode and the option of manually selecting gears. Paddle shifts are fitted, allowing you to change gear without taking your hands off the wheel.

The quattro system and the tiptronic gearbox allow for controlled and repeatable quick getaways, with rapid acceleration requiring very little effort. It’s an easy car to drive, fast or slow, and the V6 diesel engine never leaves you wanting for additional performance.

Although it’s a big and heavy car, Audi SQ5 handling is safe and competent. There is plenty of grip and traction available and even if thrown into a corner at speed the Audi will dispatch it without any undue fuss.

The SQ5 differs from the regular Q5 in the handling department as it features stiffer suspension that also grants a 30mm reduction in ride-height, while 20-inch alloy wheels are standard. Audi’s drive select system features as well, which allows you to tailor the ride and handling to your preference.

Enthusiastic drivers will be disappointed to find, however, that the SQ5’s steering feel is virtually non-existent. Regardless of whether you’re doing 30mph around town or 70mph around a corner, the feedback remains similar and it’s very difficult to judge what’s actually going on at the front wheels.

The saving grace is that, with the drive select system set to ‘dynamic’, the steering weight increases enough to at least make the SQ5 feel more reassured and secure. In dynamic mode the Audi remains composed over bumps, potholes and crests.

An array of driver assistance systems, including anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, further help keep the SQ5 in check if you are pushing on. Excellent brakes help the car bleed off speed quickly if necessary, with the Audi remaining stable under heavy braking.

By no means is the Audi SQ5 a vastly engaging car to drive but its performance and ease of use is satisfying. It’s ideal for those who simply want to cover distances at speed without fuss.