New Audi SQ5 gets petrol power, 349bhp & is on sale now

Audi performance SUV switches from diesel to petrol; performance reduces slightly but remains sufficient

The new Audi SQ5 is a symbolic car for our times. That’s not because it distils the national zeitgeist or reinforces the rise of the SUV – rather, it’s because while the old SQ5 featured a twin-turbo diesel engine, the new SQ5 has a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol.

Diesel was once seen as the answer to reducing CO2 emissions, but since then research has shown petrol fumes – while not without damaging effects – are less harmful to human health than diesel exhausts.

With that bit of background out of the way, what’s the new Audi SQ5 all about?

Speed, presence and utility, to sum it up succinctly. In terms of speed, the SQ5’s six-cylinder engine produces 349bhp, propelling the car via four-wheel drive from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, on to a (limited) top speed of 155mph.

As far as presence is concerned, the SQ5’s pronounced body kit, 20-inch alloy wheels, aluminium radiator grille and quad exhaust pipes leave little doubt as to its intentions. And utility? Well, the high ride height will make loading children easy and gives a great view out, while the huge 610-litre boot should be able to swallow a family’s holiday luggage with ease.

There are three things the Audi SQ5 isn’t, though. The first of these is cheap, as you’ll need over £50,000 if you want one; the second is economical, as its 34mpg figure is pretty poor by most standards (and about 7mpg down on the old model – although it’s broadly acceptable in fast 4x4 terms).

The third thing the new SQ5 isn’t (and this will surely rankle with its engineers) is as fast as the model it replaces. The old diesel SQ5 took 5.1 seconds to go from 0-62mph, and while a third of a second may literally be a blink of an eye, in the performance world, one-upmanship is king. There are rumours, however, that a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel SQ5 is in the pipeline, expected in 2018.

Until that time, the new, petrol-powered SQ5’s CO2 emissions of 189g/km mean anyone lucky enough to negotiate one from their company-car fleet manager will face a high Benefit-in-Kind rate of 34%. Road tax will be pricey, too, as SQ5 deliveries won’t start until summer. By that point, the new road-tax system will have come into play, so the SQ5’s £40,000-plus asking price will see a £310 surcharge applied for the first five years of its life, in addition to the standard road-tax rate of £140.

New Audi SQ5: price & on-sale date

The new Audi SQ5 is on sale now, priced from £51,200. First deliveries are expected in June.

Recommended

Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI now available to order
Audi SQ5
12 Nov 2020

Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI now available to order

Most Popular

Best 4x4s and SUVs
Peugeot 3008 SUV rear 3/4 tracking
Family SUVs
3 Jun 2021

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Best hybrid cars
Toyota Corolla Trek
Best cars
8 Jun 2021

Best hybrid cars

Speed awareness course: all you need to know
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Speed awareness course: all you need to know

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks