Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Its running costs are one area where the SQ5 being a diesel really helps your wallet. Even with such a powerful engine under the bonnet, its claimed combined WLTP fuel economy is just shy of 35mpg; if you choose instead a Porsche Macan or Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 you’ll be lucky to get into the high twenties. If you’re a cash buyer, the SQ5’s list price is higher than many of its rivals, though, which will also have a knock-on effect on the cost of monthly PCP finance. And while resale values should prove competitive with a GLC 43 or X3 40i, the SQ5 will shed its value quicker than a Macan.
Although CO2 emissions are pretty low for a car of this type, the SQ5 incurs a 4% company car tax diesel surcharge, which whacks it straight into the top benefit-in-kind tax band. That means it won’t save you anything in tax over its petrol rivals that have even higher CO2 outputs.
We’d stick with the standard version, which features most of what you might reasonably need, including leather seats, with heating and four-way electric lumbar support in the front; 20in alloy wheels, privacy glass and all the parking aids and the infotainment suite we’ve mentioned already. Disappointingly, air suspension is not available as an option on the standard SQ5, giving you no alternative but to fork out for the significantly more expensive Vorsprung version if you want a pillowy ride.
That said, at least you get pretty much everything else bar the proverbial kitchen sink if you specify Vorsprung trim, with the list of equipment including 21in wheels, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and hands-free tailgate access, a panoramic sunroof and a head-up display.
Audi hasn’t been stingy with safety kit, either, because six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are standard. Rear side airbags, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert are available as options. What's more, Euro NCAP awarded the regular Q5 a five-star safety rating, although the rival Mercedes GLC scored slightly better marks in the individual categories.
Audi finished 20th out of 31 manufacturers in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. That put it behind BMW, but ahead of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.
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