2020 Audi SQ5 3.0L V6 TDI Quattro Special Edition Review

2020 Audi SQ5 3.0L TDI QUATTRO ROAD TEST REVIEW

Audi SQ5 TDI driving

At the launch of the second generation SQ5 in 2017 Audi brought the SQ5 3.0 TFSI tiptronic to the market but the sweet diesel version was lacking. They have just launched the 3.0L V6 TDI SQ5.

There was a mid-term makeover in early 2020 with a number of improvements and the new model is due early 2021.

The latest version comes in one model only the SQ5 TDI Special Edition priced at $104,900 MLP*

Audi SQ5 TDI profile

What does the SQ5 Exterior look like?

I am a fan of the current model Q5 and SQ5 as it seems to flow well, get the proportions just right and is stylish. The Special Edition has a number of additions that include:

  • 21″ Audi Sport alloy wheels in 5-V-twinspoke design, contrasting grey, partly polished and 255/40 R 21 performance tyres,
  • A choice of four metallic and one pearlescent paint finishes are available at no cost.
  • Panoramic sunroof,
  • Black exterior styling package with black highlights around the Audi Singleframe, trim strips on side windows and bumpers, front and rear; roof rails and exterior mirrors in black,
  • Red painted brake callipers and S body styling.
  • Exterior mirrors; heated, folding and auto dimming with memory and kerb side function on passenger side
  • S body styling including S front and rear bumpers, grille, side sills and rear tailgate spoiler

The TDI also has as standard the stunningly good Audi Matrix LED headlights including LED daytime running lights, dynamic front and rear indicators, all-weather lights, turning lights, motorway light function and LED rear lights and includes headlight washer system.

Audi SQ5 TDI interior

So what is the SQ5 interior like?

The SQ5 follows typical Audi style, functional and reserved. It creates an immediate ambience of comfort.

The sports steering wheel has a plethora of controls, and frames the 12.3 inch high resolution virtual Audi cockpit that is configurable in a number of different combinations. The HUD is very good.

The soft touch door panels and dash is framed by carbon fibre inserts that add to the subtle elegance.

The central transmission tunnel is well laid out, the centre console storage is small but well placed. The central stack efficiently laid out and topped by an 8.3 inch screen.

The scratch pad and dial controls now seem dated. Audi confirms that this will be replaced with the new Q5 early next year.

The S sport front seats, in fine Nappa leather upholstery with contrasting diamond pattern stitching have multiple electronic adjustments, including additional lumbar adjustment, along with a welcome massage function and heating.

Rear outer passengers are also treated to very comfortable heated seats. The middle spot is best for occasional occupants only. There is plenty of headroom, reasonable knee and leg room and two will sit in comfort.

The rear seats slide for convenience and split/fold in a 40/20/40 configuration and the boot area is large and practical. There is an optional rear tie down tracking system that adds to the practicality.

Audi SQ5 TDI features

Other key SQ5 Features:

  • 3-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning,
  • Auto dimming interior mirror, frameless,
  • Interior ambient lighting with 30 choices,
  • Audi music interface and DAB+ Digital radio,
  • Audi smart phone interface, Audi phone box light,
  • Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System
  • Hands-free electric tailgate,
  • Keyless entry and start, and
  • Wireless phone charging.

Of the features mentioned above, the following standard equipment is exclusive to the SQ5 TDI special edition: the black exterior styling package, Matrix LED headlights, front seats with massage function and inlays in carbon atlas.

Audi SQ5 TDI engine

Audi SQ5 3.0L TDI Quattro Engine and Drivetrain

The new Audi SQ5 TDI is powered by a new mild hybrid 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel powertrain that produces maximum power of 255kW @ 3850 rpm and peak torque of 700Nm from 2,500 – 3,100rpm. The 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system (MHEV) is becoming more prevalent across the Audi range.

Driving through a smooth 8 speed tiptronic transmission the power and torque reaches all four wheels through the Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

Performance for the SQ5 TDI is a healthy 0-100kmh figure of 5.1 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 250kmh. Fuel is sipped at a surprisingly good rate of ADR 6.8l/100k

The standard adaptive suspension with damper control lowers the body of the SQ5 by 30 millimetres compared to the Q5 to cater for the balance between ride and handling that owners expect.

Right from the start the sound evokes a sense of anticipation. As you take off you notice that the diesel engine with heaps of low torque provides a seamless, linear, continuous delivery of acceleration.

The responsiveness of the vehicle to the right foot commands on both accelerator and brakes is excellent. Steering response is direct.

Audi SQ5 TDI quattro

What about safety?

SQ5 has a five star ANCAP safety rating as well as the following key highlights

  • Eight airbags,
  • Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) with electronic wheel-selective torque control, ABS, ASR, EDL and Brake Assist
  • Adaptive damper control with selectable damper tuning,
  • Adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go including traffic jam assist, distance indicator and speed limiter,
  • Audi pre-sense front and Collision avoidance assist,
  • 360 degree cameras and park assist; turn assist,
  • High beam assist,
  • Hill descent control, Turn assist

Audi SQ5 TDI driving

SQ5 Final thoughts

While the SQ5 TFSI was appealing the TDI, to me, is better.

It has the aural delight of a low growl on acceleration, smooth linear power delivery, precise steering response, excellent ride and dynamic handling characteristics as well as comfortable relaxed everyday driving.

It will fit four in comfort for long distance trips and has the proportions just right.

The Audi SQ5 TDI deserves the reputation it has as a sports SUV.

What is good?

  • Performance, ride and handling
  • Matrix LED headlights system
  • Virtual cockpit

What is not so good?

  • No touch screen, dated control/scratch pad
  • Adaptive cruise control not selectable
  • Front seats not cooled

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Audi SQ5 TDI rear

Facts and Figures: Audi SQ5 3.0L TDI quattro Special Edition

  • Model Price $104,900 MLP*
  • Drivetrain Quattro AWD 3.0L 6 Cyl diesel 8 SP Tiptronic
  • Power 255kW @ 3,850rpm
  • Torque 700Nm @ 2,500 – 3,100rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions 177 g/km
  • Economy (ADR comb) 6.8L/100km
  • Tow Capacity – 2400Kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 240Kg
  • 0-100kmh 5.1 sec, top speed 250kmh
  • Servicing 5 Yrs. Audi service plan $2,940
  • Warranty 3yr/Unlimited km with full roadside assist

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Audi SQ5 TDI Special Edition
4.3

Summary

While the SQ5 TFSI was appealing the TDI, to me, is better.

It has the aural delight of a low growl on acceleration, smooth linear power delivery, precise steering response, excellent ride and dynamic handling characteristics as well as comfortable relaxed everyday driving.

It will fit four in comfort for long distance trips and has the proportions just right.

The Audi SQ5 TDI deserves the reputation it has as a sports SUV.

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