For the 2021 model year, the Audi SQ5 TDI has received a bit of an update, both to its styling and to its powerplant. Both of which should help to keep customers happy, thus keeping the SQ5 competitive as the segment gets newer cars. The biggest improvement to the 2021 Audi SQ5 TDI, though, is the addition of a 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) setup.
Like many of Audi’s modern performance cars, the SQ5 TDI’s MHEV setup provides a battery-alternator starter (BAS) and a small lithium-ion battery. The BAS is not only capable of starting the engine but it also allows the Audi SQ5 TDI to coast for up to forty seconds with the engine switched off. Audi claims this can help save customers 0.2 gallons (0.7 liters) of fuel per 62 miles (100 km) of driving.
An additional technology that comes with the 48-volt MHEV setup is an electrically-powered compressor (EPC). Essentially, an EPC is an electric turbocharger that adds turbo boost at zero rpm. While it’s not a ton of boost, it’s enough to eliminate turbo-lag from the mechanical turbocharger.
Aside from those new features, the Audi SQ5 TDI, mechanically, is pretty much the same car. It still makes 335 horsepower and 516 lb-ft (700Nm) of torque from its 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine. So it still gets from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.1 seconds.
On the outside, the SQ5 gets a slightly tweaked grille, with a new honeycomb insert that features some aluminum finishing. Same goes for the lower front air intakes. OLED lights are standard out back, with standard LED headlights and optional Matrix LEDs.
Inside, it gets a new partial leather/synthetic interior option, which comes with Dinamica trim on the seats. Dinamica is a soft material, similar to Alcantara, but is made up of recycled materials.
Overall, the Audi SQ5 TDI gets small but meaningful updates that should help keep it fresh for a few more years, until the new model debuts.