Is it efficient?
The most efficient of the Q5 Sportbacks is the 40 TDI, with claimed consumption of just 5.4 litres per 100km. While you’re unlikely to achieve that in everyday driving, it’s still easy to have the trip computer forecasting more than 1000km between refills.
Helping keep fuel use down is a mild hybrid system that allows the engine to cut out when coasting to a standstill. It also provides some mild assistance when taking off, although it’s almost indistinguishable.
It also emits the least CO2, although at 142g/km it’s not as thrifty as a full-blown hybrid.
The SQ5 diesel is the next most efficient, claiming 7.1L/100km fuel use. For an SUV that accelerates to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds it’s a thoroughly respectable achievement.
Whereas the 40 TDI and 45 TFSI use a 12V mild hybrid system, the SQ5 gets a 48V system able to provide more power. But, again, it’s a mild hybrid system and the diesel engine is clearly doing plenty more work than the electric motor.
The petrol-powered 45 TFSI uses a claimed 8.0L/100km and calls for premium unleaded (you’ll likely use more than that). Still, its average CO2 emissions of 183g/km just undercuts the SQ5 diesel, at 186g/km.
How does it drive?
The Q5 Sportback drives very much like a Q5, which is a good thing.
It’s very car-like in its demeanour with cornering panache nicely blending with everyday comfort. But it’s an SUV that places driving enjoyment ahead of outright comfort.
That translates to a reassuring sense of security that adds confidence in the suburbs or when you’re snaking along a country road. Loads of grip helps there, too.
We sampled cars on regular suspension and those with the optional air suspension setup.
Even with the standard steel-sprung system, the Sportback disposes of bumps with authority, albeit with an associated tautness.
There’s added compliance from the adaptive air suspension, at least when it’s in its most relaxed mode.
Even the ride quality in the more focused SQ5 is thoroughly liveable, although a short, sharp bump sends a jolt through the system.
Drive modes include Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual, the latter allowing tweaking of the drivetrain, suspension, and steering feel.
Each Sportback can also tow up to two tonnes.