The interior features a larger infotainment screen.
Diesel engines aren’t dead yet in Europe, and as an illustration that these mills can still do impressive things, check out the updated 2021 Audi SQ5 TDI. Although, don’t expect to see this diesel-burning version of the crossover in the US.
The 2021 SQ5 TDI looks a bit different. The headlights have sharper angles for its trapezoidal shape. A revised front fascia has skinnier trim around the grille. Like the lamps, the openings in the lower fascia have more pronounced edges. At the back, a pair of circular exhaust pipes exit from each side. Digital OLED taillights are available as an option.
Gallery: Audi SQ5 TDI (2021)
The model still uses a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel, but it now carries a rating of 337 horsepower (251 kilowatts), rather than 342 hp (255 kW) in the version from 2019. The torque rating remains at 516.3 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters).
Changes to the engine include switching out the aluminum pistons for forged steel for reduced heat losses. The pistons also now have a stepped recess on them that creates faster, more efficient combustion. Rather than an air-to-air intercooler in the bumper, there’s now an indirect water-to-air design located inside the V of the engine. A shorter air intake path lets the turbo build boost more quickly. The turbocharger has a smaller, lighter compressor wheel, too.
The SQ5 TDI continues to use a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and has an electric-powered compressor (EPC). If the exhaust gas flow isn’t enough to spin the turbo, then the system kicks in to turn the compressor. For the refreshed model, the EPC activates more frequently.
Despite having a bit less power, the 2021 SQ5 still gets to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 5.1 seconds. The electronically limited top speed doesn’t change from 155 mph (250 kph).
The drivetrain still consists of an eight-speed automatic and permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 front-rear torque split during normal driving. Depending on the conditions, up to 70 percent of the twist can go to the front and 85 percent to the rear. A torque-vectoring differential is available at the back as an option.
The crossover’s cabin is available in Black or Dark Gray with leather/synthetic leather and leather/Dinamica microfiber upholstery choices. Nappa leather comes in Magma Red. As an option, there are massaging and ventilated seats.
The infotainment display now measures 10.1 inches, rather than 8.3 inches previously. There’s still an available 12.3-inch instrument screen.
The 2021 SQ5 TDI goes on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2021. Prices start at €68,137.82 after Germany’s 16 percent value-added tax ($80,472 at current exchange rates).
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