Audi SQ5 Sportback: long-term check assessment
The SQ5 has proven that, when accomplished proper, diesel nonetheless has a spot. The Audi’s vary and effectivity have helped Sean’s current lengthy journeys, whereas it’s backed this up with good practicality and suppleness, too.
- Mileage: 13,357
- Financial system: 39.8mpg
The automobile world is on a cost in the direction of electrification. It was all the time coming, however that vital occasion again in 2015, which noticed Volkswagen – one of many world’s largest automotive manufacturers – cheat emissions checks with its diesel fashions, undoubtedly accelerated the change. As a part of that, and over the next eight years, diesel has been demonised and handled like a hazardous, poisonous gasoline in some components. However regardless of its less-than-clean-and-green picture lately, I’m right here to argue its case.
You see, when accomplished accurately – as per my SQ5 Sportback long-termer – I feel diesel nonetheless has an element to play. I’m not saying EVs, plug-ins or pure petrol-powered vehicles are unhealthy – removed from it – however the Audi has lately highlighted to me the advantages of its gasoline sort. I’ve needed to make a number of journeys to the North East from Buckinghamshire because of an unwell member of the family, and with a 625-mile vary on a full tank, I can get there and again on one fill. When I’ve to journey for the aforementioned cause, not having to cease is simply very nice.
Driving at uncommon instances has meant no stop-start site visitors, and when freed up from any city use, this 2,085kg 336bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel SUV averaged 46mpg over greater than 250 miles. I feel that’s fairly spectacular, to be trustworthy.
Fashionable diesels may be clear and environment friendly. Pre-Euro 4 fashions do belch out black clouds, however up to date machines such because the Audi should not as soiled as you may think. Nonetheless, whereas the SQ5 hasn’t been burning as a lot gasoline as you would possibly suppose, given the specs, it has been burning oil. A warning popped up on the sprint not so way back, requesting I high the engine up with a litre of liquid gold. After a bottle of Castrol’s best (as really useful within the handbook) went into the V6, the warning went away, and I’ve not seen it reappear but. The digital dipstick appears pleased that the oil stage is now right, nevertheless it’d nonetheless be good for peace of thoughts to have the ability to test the extent myself manually, too.
The Sportback has been proving its practicality lately as nicely, as a result of I needed to load my newest restoration mission – a 1972 Piaggio Ciao – into its boot. Area was cosy, however the bike fitted. Oh, and if anybody thought diesel was soiled, attempt firing up a 50-year-old two-stroke moped.
The Audi is surprisingly spacious within the again as nicely, regardless of the sloping roofline. I spent an extended stint within the rear of the automobile not so way back, and was fairly impressed. The reclining seats add slightly extra consolation on the motorway – however in the case of the automobile’s experience high quality, I discovered that what I had felt from behind the wheel was even worse as a passenger within the again. I wish to attempt an SQ5 on air suspension and see if that makes a lot of a distinction. There have additionally been one or two different niggles lately – primarily with the infotainment set-up – though I think these have been partly right down to consumer error.
Following a immediate from the automobile, I put in over the air a brand new map database for the sat-nav. Nonetheless, as soon as it had loaded up, each the central map display screen and the digital sprint simply confirmed a gray background and no mapped roads. I feel I used to be (foolishly) asking the system to do an excessive amount of directly, and fortuitously a fast laborious reset – by turning the automobile off, locking it, then restarting it – cleared the fault. In any other case, life with the SQ5 goes nice, and I’m actively having fun with it being powered by ‘the satan’s gasoline’.
Audi SQ5 Sportback: second report
The Audi SQ5 SUV supplies the proper transport for Sean’s wedding ceremony and honeymoon
- Mileage: 10,021
- Financial system: 39.7mpg
Not so way back, the Audi was pressed into service for a very vital job. It was the automobile that whisked me and my then-fiancée from our residence in Buckinghamshire to our wedding ceremony venue in Northumberland. And as soon as we’d celebrated on the day with family and friends, the SQ5’s chrome-trimmed nostril was as soon as once more pointed north, for a tour round Scotland to provide us time to decompress after our large day.
It was a complete of 10 days away, however my different half, Sophie, nonetheless took two suitcases and two squashy baggage; her wedding ceremony gown wasn’t even in our automobile in case I by accident caught a peek earlier than the massive day.
Admittedly, I took my golf golf equipment to attempt to play a number of programs whereas we have been in Scotland, so with my baggage as nicely – together with a giant go well with bag – the SQ5 was loaded to the gunwales. Whereas the Sportback bodystyle won’t be probably the most sensible, providing 500 litres of boot area (50 litres down on the common Q5), it nonetheless coped admirably, swallowing all of our gear, with solely my golf equipment and one or two small baggage on the rear seats.
With a tank filled with gasoline, the grunty diesel engine’s respectable effectivity gave a variety of greater than 600 miles between fills, which was a giant plus level on our 1,600-mile journey. The sturdy torque meant the Audi coped simply on the motorway as we battled site visitors, whereas the automobile was reassuring within the wild climate in Northumberland and Scotland.
The SQ5 was comfy and refined at cruising speeds, too. Nonetheless, over a number of the single-track roads within the Highlands (together with the well-known Applecross cross), and monitoring throughout the Cairngorms, the SQ5’s fidgety experience reared its head as soon as once more. It was barely higher with extra weight within the automobile, however even in Consolation mode, potholes and sharp ridges nonetheless upset the automobile’s equilibrium.
Past this, although, it’s laborious to fault the Audi. Though we didn’t apply it to the massive day, choosing Soph’s dad’s authentic Citroen DS as a substitute, it piled on the miles with relative ease. Our tour concerned a number of driving and due to this fact loads of time behind the wheel, so the standard-fit therapeutic massage seats have been an actual spotlight for me (Wave programme, depth stage three is my go-to setting). So was the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. It’s a part of the £1,395 Consolation & Sound pack and meant we have been saved entertained with tunes on the transfer.
Whereas the replace to the Q5 a number of years in the past didn’t massively overhaul the cabin, per week within the Audi actually made me recognize the issues the automobile’s inside does very nicely.
First, a second of reward for the Digital Cockpit, please. Audi was the primary premium model to supply a digital sprint, and almost a decade on, it’s nonetheless the very best execution of this tech, for my part. I depend on it closely, and it really works so intuitively that after I’m in a rival automobile, I discover the distinction instantly.
I additionally love the standard of supplies and the strong construct. The plastics are tender, the leather-based is waxy, and all the things you contact commonly is completed properly and works with a reassuringly constructive really feel. Potholes that spotlight the automobile’s bouncy experience don’t pinpoint any trim rattles.
We watched the rolling greens and browns of the Cairngorms flip to steeper valleys after which splendidly picturesque sea-scapes as we made our method over to Skye, earlier than heading again onto the mainland and north by way of the Applecross cross to the precipitous valleys and sharp-edged Munro as we moved on in the direction of Loch Torridon.
On condition that it was a celebration, we stayed in a number of good accommodations over our journey. I’m removed from a badge snob (I’m as pleased driving a Ford Fiesta as I’m a Ferrari and consider that every one vehicles and types have their place), however turning as much as these institutions in an Audi – and an S mannequin at that – you discover the way in which the automobile parks (or valet bays) are dominated by comparable premium equipment.
Nonetheless, staying at this type of place did throw up a problem – and it’s one which I’ve reported on earlier than. The gathering of inevitably German equipment at every cease was typically completed in black, darkish gray or silver. The SQ5’s Distinct Inexperienced metallic hue bucks that pattern and continues to divide opinion. And I actually like the truth that it does.
My cousin and her husband stated over Christmas how cool they suppose it seems to be, however my dad dislikes it, for instance. It doesn’t matter what the response, folks are inclined to have an opinion, which for me is healthier than apathy.
My opinion on the Audi has modified slightly too – for the higher. Perhaps it’s as a result of I’ve now received an emotional connection to the automobile, given its position surrounding our wedding ceremony, possibly as a result of it’s genuinely good at an awesome many issues. Both method, I prefer it much more than I did when it first arrived – and it delivered after we wanted it to, with real class. If solely it rode slightly higher.
Audi SQ5 Sportback: first report
Audi’s sleeker model of the SQ5 joins our fleet in ‘Distinct Inexperienced’
- Mileage: 2,562
- Financial system: 37.6mpg (on check)
I am torn in the case of the color of my Audi SQ5 Sportback fleet automobile. You see, I fairly just like the ‘camo inexperienced’ look, as evidenced by my hoodie and trainers. I wouldn’t say I’m trendy, although, so I’m undecided what that claims concerning the Audi’s color selection – particularly as a result of the inexperienced it’s painted in jogs my memory of my wheelie bins. I’m not satisfied that’s the concept the German agency’s designers have been aiming for.
The color is named Distinct Inexperienced – it’s a metallic shade that prices £675 – and I do like how Audi has branched out from the standard black/gray/silver/white monochromatic shades that premium SUVs comparable to this often are available in. It actually provides a little bit of character, even when it appears to be a divisive level for a lot of of my family and friends who see the automobile for the primary time. Some love its fashionable look; some actually don’t.
There are a number of extra of those divisive factors on the transfer too, sadly. Rear-seat passengers have complained
of a uneven experience, even with the adaptive dampers of their Consolation setting. That is on the usual 20-inch wheels, too; 21-inch rims can be found as an possibility.
What’s not up for debate is simply how good the SQ5’s powertrain is. As manufacturers transfer in the direction of plug-in hybrid petrol or totally electrical propulsion, even for sporty fashions, a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel V6 would possibly seem to be an odd selection. However with 336bhp and, crucially, 700Nm of torque from simply 1,750rpm, the SQ5 proves that when diesel is completed proper, it may nonetheless make sense. Efficiency is easy, helped by the graceful eight-speed automated gearbox.
What I don’t like is the pretend be aware that’s piped by the audio system in Dynamic mode. It’s meant to make the SQ5 sound like a V8. It appears unnecessary to me on condition that the V6 truly has a pleasant, pure roar – plus when the pretend quad tailpipes are so apparent, it simply jars. Perhaps that is Audi practising for when its line-up goes totally electrical?
Initially, I wasn’t offered on the Sportback bodystyle both (however let me remind you, I’m clearly not one to touch upon issues of favor). In contrast with the common SQ5 SUV, this swoopier mannequin loses 20 litres of boot area and prices £2,450 extra, weighing in with a fairly hefty price ticket of £62,695.
I’m warming to its arcing roofline slightly, although, and at the least it doesn’t forestall me from getting my golf golf equipment within the boot. Meaning I don’t have to put them throughout the again seats and check the longevity of the upholstery. It is a main plus level.
When Audi refreshed its Q5 mannequin line, it eliminated the central click-and-scroll wheel in favour of a pure touchscreen set-up. On the time I assumed this was a mistake, and in some methods I nonetheless consider as a lot. However spending extra time with the automobile and utilizing the improbable voice management system has meant this isn’t as a lot of a problem any extra. I merely say “Hey Audi” and inform it what I would like, from a vacation spot for the sat-nav to the radio station I need to take heed to. The Digital Cockpit forward of the driving force – first seen on the TT in 2014 – is nearly as good as ever and Audi continues to be proper on the sharp finish of the category in the case of this tech.
Dynamically, the Audi can also be fairly strong. The steering supplies little suggestions, though it’s sharp, and the SQ5 handles pretty nicely. However is it worthy of sizzling S-model standing? I’m undecided. I’ve not likely wanted to name upon the automobile’s quattro four-wheel drive system to this point, however with winter situations incoming and a visit to Scotland beckoning, I’m glad of the reassurance.
On that topic, with a variety of round 600 miles from a full tank, not having to cease each 250 miles like I did in my earlier fleet automobile – the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – is a welcome deal with.
|Mannequin:||Audi SQ5 Sportback|
|On fleet since:||October 2022|
|Engine:||3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, 336bhp|
|Choices:||Distinct Inexperienced metallic paint (£645), matrix LED headlights (£1,050), Consolation and Sound pack (£1,395), Park Help Plus (£300), Storage pack (£225)|
|Insurance coverage*:||Group: 45/Quote: £1,376|
|Any issues?||None to this point|
*Insurance coverage quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three factors.