Facelifted Audi SQ5 TDI on sale in the UK now from £56,600

Audi SQ5’s diesel powertrain tweaked and styling brought into step with the standard SUV’s line-up

Audi has launched a facelifted version of the SQ5 TDI, with a number of design and technological tweaks lifted from the recently revised Q5 SUV, along with an updated version of the old model’s diesel mild-hybrid powertrain.

It goes on sale in the UK later this month with prices starting from £56,600 for the entry-level model, although Audi will also offer a more generously equipped Vorsprung variant, priced from £71,750. First deliveries for the updated model are expected to arrive in early 2021.

Cosmetic updates for the revised SQ5 include a new front bumper, revised headlight units and a new look octagonal radiator grille. Buyers also get a reworked rear bumper and a tweaked diffuser – into which is set a chromium-plated quad-exit oval exhaust system.

Standard equipment for the entry-level SQ5 includes 20-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights and a sports suspension system, which lowers the SUV’s body by 30mm over the standard Q5.

Inside, buyers get Audi’s latest 10.1-inch infotainment system mounted on the dashboard and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver. There’s also a sports steering wheel, lashings of brushed aluminium trim and a pair of Nappa leather trimmed sports seats with a three-mode massage function.

The more lavishly equipped SQ5 Vorsprung comes with 21-inch alloys, a panoramic glass sunroof, improved OLED rear lights and gloss black exterior trim. There’s a few more creature comforts inside, too, such as an electrically adjustable steering column, a digital head-up display and a premium Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

Vorsprung models also get a couple of performance upgrades, such as an improved rear differential and an adaptive air suspension system, which can vary the SUV’s ride height through five levels depending on the driving situation.

Facelifted Audi SQ5: engine and drivetrain

The updated SQ5 features the same turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel powertrain as the old model, although Audi has made a few improvements. 

The engine’s aluminium pistons have been swapped for lighter forged steel units, which Audi says are more efficient.There’s also a new set of fuel injectors – and the old engine’s air-to-air intercooler has been swapped for a new water-to-air unit, which Audi says is more effective at cooling the charge air. As an added benefit, the new intercooler can also heat the intake air to help the engine get up to temperature more quickly in cold conditions.

Audi has fitted the diesel unit’s turbocharger with a smaller and lighter compressor wheel, which the firm says has mitigated some of the engine’s lag. To help the turbo along, it’s bolted to a new exhaust manifold, which is better insulated than the old model’s.

Like the pre-facelift car, the engine features a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and an electrically powered compressor. Audi says the former system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres for every 62 miles driven, while the latter system spins the turbo compressor up to speed at low rpm, helping to mitigate turbo lag.

The upshot of all this is that the SQ5’s 3.0-litre V6 powertrain develops 336bhp and 700Nm of torque – enough, says Audi, for a 0–62mph time of 5.1 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Like the old model, the revised powertrain sends drive to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Audi claims that the SQ5’s mild-hybrid V6 diesel engine returns a claimed fuel economy figure of 34.4mpg on the WLTP combined cycle. The engine also now comes with a pair of new catalytic converters and twin-dosing AdBlue system, which the firm says has reduced its NOX emissions and pushed its CO2 output down to 216g/km.

What do you make of the updated Audi SQ5? Let us know in the comments section below…

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