Audi SQ5 Sportback TDI: A dream of confident forward movement

Aesthetic sportiness in profile: SQ5 Sportback TDI

This engine is a very special kind of propellant. A dream of sovereign forward movement that forces one to conclude: The diesel must not die! Whether consumption or exhaust gas values: Much less is hardly possible. And no one needs more power. For less power-hungry customers, there are other engine variants in the same well-designed Sportback look.


I don't want to be in the shoes of the Audi PR heralds, who on the one hand (have to) propagate total electrification in accordance with the Volkswagen Group, but on the other hand also praise their combustion engines. More balancing act is hardly possible. It is time for us to come to terms with the fact that we have different drive technologies, all of which are justified and find their buyers. My enthusiasm for this power pack in the SQ5 Sportback TDI outshines every critical objection from diesel opponents, whom I deny any knowledge of how the automotive world is going.

It is perfectly okay that Audi also offers a pure “electrician” with the e-tron, who pushes towards the horizon almost as dynamically as the SQ5 Sportback TDI. But, here you go, we still long to choose between different drive options.

700 Newton meters is one word

The e-tron hums audibly to 5,7 km / h at 100 seconds, but already reaches its top performance at 200 km / h. For an almost three-ton truck, this is a super performance. The SQ5 TDI only needs 5,1 seconds to 100 km / h and is only cordoned off at 250 km / h. The perception is simply impressive: Because the maximum torque of 700 Newton meters is already at 1.750 rpm and does not let up to 1 rpm to push brutally. This rapid increase in torque is thanks to a small and light compressor wheel in the turbocharger of the V3.250 diesel, which thanks to its low inertia quickly revs up and generates corresponding pressure.

Coupé-like profile in Quantum gray Photo: Audi

Another efficiency component in the 48 volt network is the electrically driven compressor (EPC). When starting off and accelerating from low engine speeds, it accelerates the build-up of boost pressure and thus ensures that the 3.0 TDI responds very spontaneously. The 48-volt mild hybrid system (MHEV) also contributes to economy, as it feeds back or feeds up to 8 kW of power into the battery when the vehicle is decelerating. With the electricity from the lithium-ion battery, this Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) can coast for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off, after which the RSG starts the engine comfortably, i.e. completely unnoticed.

Full throttle on the autobahn takes its toll

After my rather dynamic test drive, the on-board computer showed consumption of around nine liters per 100 kilometers. Although this is above the stated combined standard consumption of 6,8 liters per 100 kilometers, it is due to my speedy driving style, which - I swear - was always within the permissible limit range. Full throttle on the free autobahn takes its toll. The CO2Emissions are given combined with 177 g / km.

Sharpened Audi SQ5 face

Two SCR catalytic converters, known as twin dosing at Audi, guarantee that the limits of the new Euro 6d emissions standard are clearly undercut. A 24-liter AdBlue tank is sufficient for many thousands of kilometers, depending on the driving style. With regard to this criterion, too, the diesel critics have no reason (any more) to take action against the Audi diesel engines. Conclusion: I don't know of any such cultivated diesel that puts 341 hp into the world so playfully, emphatically and cleanly as this three-liter unit. The fact that a diesel can also develop goose bumps is not new. In the SQ5 TDI, too, a sound actuator in the exhaust system ensures impressive acoustics, the bass is noticeable, the motorized appearance can be heard through transparently and you may therefore completely forget to enjoy the Bang & Olufsen system with its 3D sound. But this is another story.

It's always the same when I get into an Audi and take a seat behind the non-slip multifunction steering wheel: Quality in every detail. Ergonomics at it's best, intuitive faucet design in accordance with the principle "Form follows function" and a haptic sense of wellbeing for the hands. To praise the excellently processed and high-quality materials would mean rolling Audis to Ingolstadt.

Swarm intelligence ensures more security

The third generation of the modular infotainment kit includes the full equipment of the digital Audi virtual cockpit with a 12,3-inch diagonal and a head-up display. Important functions can be controlled and operated on the multifunction steering wheel plus. The voice control can be activated by calling "Hey Audi". Endless possibilities for customizing user profiles can be saved in the myAudi customer portal in the cloud. Audi connect even uses the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet to draw attention to nearby dangers. Once this system has been rolled out to all vehicles of all brands, accident researchers say the number of accidents would drop dramatically. Audi is one of the first manufacturers to install it.

Ergonomic interior - the best materials ensure a high-quality feel

The list of standard wizards is long. We save ourselves a complete listing. We are always pleased with the predictive efficiency assistant, which brakes in advance, even without activated navigation, when the vehicle approaches a place-name sign or a curve. Turn assist (brakes if the driver overlooks an oncoming vehicle), cross traffic assist and other electronic helpers also increase safety. Audi pre sense city comes as standard and helps avoid collisions with road users in front of the car, at least reducing the consequences of an impact.

The SQ5 Sportback stands there and makes an impact

Here, too, I repeat what I have already praised in other driving reports: The lightning-fast, but smoothly shifting eight-speed tiptronic, which directs the flow of power to the front or rear axles of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive as required. A sport differential can be ordered as an extra, which also actively regulates the torque between the rear wheels. The chassis as a complete system is on the one hand sporty, on the other hand comfortably tuned and forgives driving mistakes. The optional S sport suspension has been lowered by 30 millimeters and can be individually varied between comfort and dynamism. The price list includes other driving assets, from air suspension to dynamic steering. Customers can safely assume that the base price of 72.050 euros can be increased at will.

The customer's will is his kingdom of heaven

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are unfortunately not Blue Tooth-enabled, cables are actually old school. Unfortunately, this does not correspond to the technical advantage that Audi claims for itself. The option of being able to choose between different tail light signatures is interesting. The future will show whether this will go down well with the customer. We have our doubts and consider this to be an exaggerated gimmick. But the customer's will is his heaven.

If design or not is, then the Sportback is undoubtedly difficult to underestimate in terms of presence. He stands there and makes an impact. The coupé-like roof section gives this crossover utility vehicle a special kind of sporty attitude. On request, black accents on all corners and ends (not visible in the photos), standard 20-inch models that can optionally be 21 inches and well-designed shapes in important details. We don't think much of the striking, great-looking four tailpipes. What looks like power is unfortunately pure dummy. This show effect does not match the confident appearance of the SQ5 Sportback.














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