Coupe SUVs are most certainly nothing new. BMW began with the trend of creating sleeker-looking high-riding models more than a decade ago, and since then a range of manufacturers have followed suit – including Mercedes and Porsche.
Fellow premium brand Audi was a little slow to the party, though has aimed to catch up in recent years – launching the Q8 as its large coupe SUV in 2018, and the more affordable Q3 Sportback a year later.
But now there’s a new model for coupe SUV-loving buyers to choose – the Q5 Sportback. Bringing sleeker looks to this mid-size Audi model, it’s new to the firm’s line-up, though it’s only really the styling that’s any different. With a sloping roofline to give an elongated appearance, it certainly adds more style to the Q5, but is there more to it than just outright looks?
At launch, buyers have a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid.
Kicking off with the diesel – badged 40 TDI – which makes 201bhp and 400Nm of torque. It’s also a mild-hybrid, and can return around 44mpg, with CO2 emissions of 176g/km. Those looking for something with a bit more spark will appreciate the SQ5 Sportback, which utilises a punchy 3.0-litre diesel engine producing 336bhp and a significant 700Nm of torque. That allows for a 0-60mph time of under five seconds, yet also a claimed fuel economy figure of 34mpg.
Next up are the plug-in hybrids, badged 50 TFSI e and 55 TFSI e, which produce a combined 295bhp and 362bhp respectively. Thanks to a circa 30-mile electric range, Audi promises they can hit up to 188mpg, with 37g/km CO2 emissions,
Then there’s the 45 TFSI petrol tested here, which utilises a 2.0-litre petrol engine making 261bhp and 370Nm of torque. With a 0-60mph time of around six seconds, it’s certainly got plenty of zip, though it is the thirstiest model in the range – returning 32mpg.
Ride and handling
Despite this not being the quickest Q5 Sportback available, it offers all the performance many could wish for, and also has a decent thrum to it too.
But really this is an SUV angled more closely to refinement and comfort, being a brilliant cruiser, whether that’s at low speeds around town or on the motorway. The adaptive air suspension also does a fantastic job of ironing out any bumps in the road, yet can firm up when you want it to have a sportier side. It can’t hide its size though, feeling heavy behind the wheel and quick to understeer when you press on.
Interior and equipment
Sat in the driving seat, there’s nothing to suggest you aren’t in a normal Q5, with the same classy and high-quality Audi interior that we’ve become used to. It’s perhaps not as stylish as some of its rivals inside, but everything is clear and easy to use, and it manages not to be overwhelmed with technology. That said, it lacks the twin-screen touchscreen setup of other Audi models, such as the A6 saloon and larger Q7 SUV.
And despite the obvious raking roofline, Audi has managed to not make the Sportback much less roomy than the standard SUV it’s based on. Rear seat space is still plentiful for adults, and though boot space takes a 40-litre hit, it still offers 510 litres of luggage room, which should continue to be plentiful for nearly all buyers.
When it comes to trim levels, there’s no shortage of choice. The range begins with the Sport, which comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a reversing camera and 10.1-inch touchscreen combined with a 12.3-inch digital dial system.
Upgrading to the S line brings larger 19-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights and a sportier styling kit that helps to give it more presence on the road. Next up is the Edition 1, which is signalled out by its black styling pack and red brake callipers, though also comes with full leather upholstery and electric front seats.
At the top of the range is the Vorsprung, which adds the impressive adaptive air suspension system, a panoramic sunroof, full heated seats and a suite of extra driver assistance technology to name but a few features.
As with any coupe SUV, you pay slightly more for that rakish shape than the regular car, and on the Q5 it’s a £2,450 premium – though divided down into monthly payments, it will likely not make too much difference.
Prices start from £44,495 for the standard model, which is hardly cheap, but on par with its two closest rivals – the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. That said, top-spec versions are rather expensive, with the priciest plug-in hybrid costing in excess of £70,000.
Coupe SUVs often bring with them some major compromises, yet the new Audi Q5 Sportback seems to have got around them. Yes, the boot might be marginally smaller and it’s a bit more expensive, but if you prefer the coupe-like shape, those grievances will be almost immediately forgotten.
And judged as a separate entity, this is a roomy and high-quality SUV, which is a great all-rounder behind the wheel. With an extensive choice of powertrains to choose from, there really is very little not to like.Enquire on a new Audi Q5 Sportback