The new Audi SQ5 2021_ Fuel Saver

The Q5 has done the numbers for Audi ever since it came out in 2008, selling in vast quantities pretty much everywhere it’s available. In fact the old one was, says the company, the “world’s best-selling premium mid-size” SUV for some six years, ahead of the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC/GLK and the Q5’s Porsche Macan cousin.

The current, second-generation Q5 went on sale in the UK in 2017, and had a facelift midway through 2020. Based on the same ‘MLB’ platform as the A4, A5 and so on, in Audi’s range it sits above the smaller Q3 but under the seven-seat Q7. Key improvements over the old Q5 are in the areas you’d expect – up to 90kg less weight thanks to much aluminium, better economy, more tech.

What else is new?

New for the facelift, besides revised LED light clusters and the mandatory ‘more grille’ styling tweaks, is a 12-volt mild-hybrid boost that makes the start-stop system more effective, aiding fuel economy. Inside, Audi binned its gloriously tactile and easy-to-use clickwheel menu system for a new touchscreen.

So, there are more fingerprints, and your eyes are off the road more often. Where’s the logic in that? Thankfully, the climate controls aren’t hidden in the touchscreen, such silliness being reserved for the newer Q8 and A6.

What am I buying this instead of?

You might consider a BMW X3 or Mercedes GLC, both of which are around the same size and price. Then there’s the Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC60, or possibly either the Range Rover Evoque or Velar. Audi resisted a coupe version of the five-seat Q5 for a long time, but as BMW flogs the X4 and Mercedes the GLC Coupe, it’s relented and there’s now a more cramped Q5 Sportback.

As for engines, with the normal Q5 you’ve got the simple choice of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol or a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel. Then you’ve got the Q5 TFSIe hybrid, which pairs said petrol engine with a battery and e-motor for low CO2 (and thus tax) and a few miles of electric-only range, and the mildly sporty SQ5 (with a chunky V6 diesel engine). All get automatic gearboxes and quattro all-wheel drive as standard.

Prices start at around £43,000, rising to almost £60,000 for the SQ5. Or to half a billion quid if you get a bit handsy with the options list. This is an Audi after all.

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