Audi Q5 SQ5 TDI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic
The Sportback is designed to be the Q5’s slightly more driveable sibling. That means there’s fancy sports suspension as standard, with adaptive air suspension included on the top spec, all-you-can-eat Vorsprung models and optional across the rest of the range.
You’ll be looking for a long while if you’re trying to find anything else that differentiates the coupe from the standard Q5, though. Audi’s engineers have essentially taken the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V approach to keep things simple. And why wouldn’t they? The Q5 is quiet, comfortable and hits all the bases it needs to for family life.
We’ve only experienced the air springs so far so can’t comment on the new standard suspension setup, but on first impressions the Sportback doesn’t seem too firm and the ride quality is acceptable. The air suspension setup also brings with it five ride-height settings, with the ability to increase ground clearance by as much as 45mm in the allroad or offroad drive modes. At speeds, the whole car is lowered by 15mm to improve efficiency and handling.
It handles reasonably well too. The steering is on the lighter side and doesn’t offer too much feedback, but it changes direction quickly and Audi’s quattro system sends power to the rear wheels when extra grip is needed.
Like in the standard Q5, it’s the four-cylinder 45 TFSI that provides a nice balance between economy and performance. We managed just over 30mpg (which should improve as the engine is run in) and Audi claims 0-62mph in just 6.1 seconds – not bad for a 1,775kg lump.
The gearbox is a seven-speed dual-clutch unit in everything but the SQ5. It changes smoothly but does hold on to higher gears, making the whole drivetrain feel a little laggy at times. A switch to manual mode solves that issue fairly easily, though. Refinement is good, especially with the optional acoustic glazing for the side windows.
We’re yet to drive either of the PHEVs in Sportback form, but in the standard Q5 both of the electrified powertrains are incredibly clever with an impressive turn of speed. The extra hardware does add 290kg to the kerb weight, though, so the suspension has to work hard to contain the extra mass. That may be even more noticeable in a firmer Sportback. Time will tell on that front.
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