Audi Q5 review - Can it take on the rest of the crowded compact SUV sector? - Engine and gearbox

Lighter Q5 shrugs off dowdy driving experience of big selling compact SUV

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from £38,035
  • Lighter, more responsive chassis, strong petrol engine
  • It's an SUV and we'd rather have an A4 Avant

Engine and gearbox 

Despite the world turning against diesel (about time), Audi still offers its mid-range SUV with such an engine – a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder producing 188bhp and 295lb ft of torque and a soon to arrive 3.0-litre V6 producing 282bhp and 457lb ft. But despite the torque mountain the latter offers, it’s the four-cylinder, two-litre turbocharged petrol engine we’ve got here, not only because it’s not a diesel but because the SQ5 will be petrol powered only, too so we’re on a journey of discovery to see what we can expect.

The on paper credentials read as such: 249bhp served between 5000 and 6000rpm and 272lb ft of torque delivered at 1600rpm before tailing off from 4500rpm. It’s a keen motor, happy to rev with no sense of being stretched beyond what it’s comfortably capable of. Combined with a mid-rage that has a tidy punch to it the need for a diesel fades further still. The claimed 40mpg (with 19-inch wheels fitted) is still optimistic, but you can expect mid-30s if you don’t try and set a speed record on every journey. 

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There’s only one gearbox offered with this engine, the seven-speed double-clutch unit, and drive is managed with Audi’s Ultra quattro four-wheel drive system, which cuts drive to the rear wheels when it’s not required.

The aforementioned SQ5 makes do with the same twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine as in the latest S4 saloon and estate. Like the smaller S4, the SQ5 produces 349bhp and 369lb ft of torque and makes smooth, if not massively rapid progress despite the S badge.

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