16 August 2021

Audi SQ5 2021 Car Review

Following on from the revamped Q5 range launched in January this year, the next in line for a makeover is the sportier and more luxurious SQ5.

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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021
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Audi SQ5 2021

If you want some sportier styling, this new crossover SUV is available in its standard svelte styling treatment, and also as a ‘Sportback’, making it the third Audi SUV model to be available in this shape in New Zealand.

This type of styling has become a bit of a hit with NZ buyers – 40 per cent of Q3 sales and over 15 per cent of e-tron sales attributed to the sports coupe design.

The Audi SQ5 range starts from $135,900 (+ORC), with the SQ5 Sportback (which we reviewed) starting from $138,400 (+ORC).

Look no further

Reflecting a common trend, when looking at the new SQ5, your eyes are drawn to large air inlets set into the front bumper which are flanked by Audi’s ‘Singleframe’ grille. On top of this, a creative use of LED technology results in a very distinctive daytime running light signature.

The interior is also further enhanced by the 3rd generation MIB 3 infotainment system paired with the updated 10.1-inch touchscreen display. And Audi’s virtual cockpit comes as standard, which includes a 12.3-inch display in the dashboard and includes a very informative head-up display. The diamond stitched leather seats are generously padded and were quite possibly more comfortable than some home lounge suites.

Top performer

The SQ5 Sportback TDI is the range topper, but both model shapes benefit from an improved 251kW and 700Nm 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine that can propel the vehicle from zero to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds.

The drive is fed through a smooth-shifting eight-speed tiptronic transmission, while the 48V mild hybrid (m-HEV) system contributes to the low combined fuel consumption figure of just 7.1L/100km. The CO2 efficiency rating sits at 186g/km.

Adaptive air suspension comes standard in the SQ5, which adapts the body height to suit specific driving situations on or off-road through a height range of 60mm.

The drive is just as luxurious as the SUV’s appearance - incredibly smooth, yet sporty at the same time. The diesel engine produces quite a loud sporty exhaust note, particularly upon start-up.

Five-star safety

Five-star safety applies across the complete Q5 range, and the SQ5 models come standard with the City Assistance Package with Park Assist as standard, which incorporates a 360-degree camera, Parking Aid front and rear, Lane Change Warning, Audi Pre-Sense Rear, Rear Cross Traffic Assist, and Exit Warning.

The sloping roofline of the Sportback model didn’t hamper space requirements during a family road trip. Just half a tank of diesel fuel resulted in the trip meter indicating an expected range of over 400km, so one would guess over 800km could easily be achieved on a full 70-litre tank.

What else is out there?

A similarly sized vehicle to compare the SQ5 to would be the Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 Coupe which has similar performance and is priced accordingly from $134,900 (+ORC), or the BMW X4 M40i, which is available to buy from $138,300 (+ORC). Both of these models, however, are petrol-powered.

The new SQ5 is a great luxury family SUV with excellent performance and plenty of space for your next family road trip.

At a glance


Audi SQ5 Sportback


3.0-litre six-cylinder TDI


From $138,400 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

5-Star (2017)

Power and Torque

251kW, 700Nm


Eight Speed S Tronic

Fuel economy/CO2

7.1L/100km, 186g/km

Towing capacity

2,400kg (Braked), 750kg (Unbraked)


quattro AWD

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

500 litres

Safety systems

  • Front airbags for driver and passenger, Side airbags, front and rear, Head airbags
  • City Assistance Package with Park Assist as standard
  • Collision avoidance assist
  • Turn Assist, Audi Active Lane Assist
  • Cruise Control - adaptive with automatic distance control with distance indicator, stop and go function
  • Rear Cross Traffic Assist
  • 360 degree camera
  • Exit Warning

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

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