Though the 2008 Audi Q5 arrived in 2008, it took Audi nearly five years to offer a performance version of the crossover. Launched in 2013, the 2013 Audi SQ5 received both gasoline and diesel versions with outputs in excess of 300 horsepower. Only two years have passed since then and Audi is already working on updated variants of the SQ5, based on the second-generation 2017 Audi Q5 that’s set to arrive in 2016. Until then, however, Ingolstadt updated the current SQ5 TDI to Plus specifications, giving it more power and torque and a number of exclusive features inside and out.

Before you get too excited, the SQ5 TDI isn’t available in the United States, which means the Plus model won’t cross the pond here either.

The SQ5 is the fifth Audi to receive the Plus badge. The company’s Plus line goes back to 2004, when the RS6 Plus was launched as a limited-edition model. Since then, Audi introduced the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus and 2012 Audi TT RS Plus in 2012, as well as the 2016 Audi S8 Plus in 2015. Also, the SQ5 is the first diesel model to gain the Plus package two years after it became the first diesel-powered S model in the Audi lineup.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi SQ5 TDI Plus.

  • 2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
    € 67700
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:


2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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The SQ5 TDI Plus is a rather subdued update to the standard model on the outside, but that’s far from upsetting given the SQ5 features a range of sporty cues as standard. To further enhance the performance hauler, the Germans added gloss-black, 21-inch wheels in five-twin-spoke design from Audi Sport and extended the gloss-black package to include the mirror caps, door handles, roof spoiler, and the rear diffuser. Though it’s less noticeable, Audi added two clasps that join the four exhaust tailpipes in pairs.

Another novelty is the the Audi Exclusive Macaw Blue special equipment package, which wraps the exterior in a bespoke Macaw Blue color with a crystal-like effect. The bundle includes interior updates as well, but it’s limited to only 100 units and it’s pretty expensive.


2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Interior
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The SQ5’s already luxurious interior has received leather-wrapped door armrests and a silver-painted diamond-pattern for the Nappa leather seats with the Plus badge. A sliding rear seat bench allows the driver to increase the luggage compartment. More features come from the Macaw Blue package, with adds sports seats in black Nappa leather and Macaw Blue contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, gear shit lever, and floor mats. Everything else is standard SQ5 business, including the flat-bottom steering wheel, aluminum inserts on the dashboard and center console, and the SQ5-specific instrument cluster.


2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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Aside from the new features it received inside and out, the SQ5 TDI Plus also gained a more powerful engine. Although it’s the same 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel that lurks under the hood, output has been increased to 340 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 27-horsepower and 37-pound-feet update over the standard SQ5 TDI. The added oomph doesn’t impact the crossover’s 0-to-62 mph sprint and top speed, which remain locked at 5.1 seconds and 155 mph. However, the SQ5 TDI Plus’ performance remains impressive, making it significantly quicker than the bigger, but more powerful 2013 BMW X5 M50d.

More good news comes from the fuel economy department, as the crossover needs only 6.6 liters of diesel to cover 100 km. That’s 35.6 U.S. mpg. Emissions are also pretty low at 280 grams of CO2 per mile (174 g/km). Like all S models from Audi, the SQ5 TDI Plus uses an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox and a Quattro all-wheel-drive system to send its power to the pavement.

But unlike the non-Plus model, this crossover received a sport differential at the rear axle. This is a first for the Q5 family and a feature that will probably become standard on the next-generation SQ5.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 3.0-litre V6 BiTDI
Output 340 HP
Torque 516 LB-FT
0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) 5.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 MPH


2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Audi SQ5 TDI Plus starts from €67,700 (around $75,500) in Germany, which accounts for a €4,950 (about $5,520) premium over the SQ5 TDI. If you’re looking to add the Exclusive Macaw Blue package, it will set you back another €12,000 (about $13,400), taking the final sticker to a whopping €79,700 (around $88,850).


2015 Porsche Cayenne S Diesel

2015 Porsche Cayenne High Resolution Exterior
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With no actual competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as the 2015 BMW X3 and 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC have yet to receive performance versions, the SQ5 Plus remains the only such crossover to feature diesel power. And that’s not likely to change very soon since there are no signs that Munich and Stuttgart plan such models. As a result, you’ll have to look at bigger SUVs for performance-oriented diesels.

One example is the Cayenne S Diesel, currently the most powerful oil-burning SUV on the market. Powered by a 4.2-liter V-8, the Cayenne comes with 385 horsepower and a whopping 627 pound-feet on tap. However, it’s not as quick as the SQ5 Plus, needing 5.4 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start. Top speed is similar at 156 mph. Fuel consumption, on the other hand, is definitely inferior to the Audi’s at 8.0 liters per km. Pricing starts from €82,920 (about $92,450) in Germany, which is a lot more than what Audi asks for the SQ5 Plus.

Find out more about the Porsche Cayenne here.

2015 BMW X3 xDrive35d

2015 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
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If you don’t want to go big, there’s the X3 xDrive35d to consider, but you’ll have to settle for less horsepower and torque. The crossover used BMW’s turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six diesel rated at 309 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of twist, which puts it 31 horses and 51 pound-feet behind the Audi. Routed to the wheels by an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive, the oomph pushes the X3 from 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 152 mph.

Although slower than the SQ5 Plus, the X3 xDrive35d is a bit more fuel efficient, with BMW claiming it needs only six liters of fuel for each 100 km. CO2 emissions are also lower at 157 grams per km. German pricing starts from
€57,100 (about $63,650).

Read more about the BMW X3 here.


2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Having launched Plus versions for only four models so far, it’s quite surprising that Audi picked the SQ5, especially since it’s the diesel version that received the badge. On the other hand, the Plus lineup commenced with a wagon and then expanded to include a supercar, a compact sports car, and, in 2015, a full-size sedan. Given the wide selection, adding a crossover to the lineup makes some sense now, and since the Q5 is the only SUV to feature an S model, the SQ5 was the only family hauler in line for a Plus update. My guess is that Audi picked the diesel for its excellent fuel economy, but an SQ5 TFSI Plus is likely to follow soon. Meanwhile, the SQ5 TDI Plus remains the quickest diesel-powered crossover you can buy in Europe.

  • Leave it
    • Not the most fuel efficient
    • Expensive Macaw Blue package
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Audi is further expanding its range of S models. In October, the new SQ5 TDI plus* will arrive at German dealerships with more power and driving pleasure and even more extensive equipment – with 250 kW (340 hp), sport differential and 21-inch wheels.

2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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Even in its basic version, the successful Audi SQ5 TDI* comes as an SUV with the performance of a sports car. The plus version has an even higher power output. The biturbo V6 TDI produces 250 kW (340 hp) from its three liters of displacement by way of increased injection pressure. This results in 20 kW/27 hp more power compared to the SQ5 TDI. Its peak torque is increased by 50 (36.9 lb-ft) to 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft). The powerful diesel SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 5.1 seconds; the top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NECD cycle, it merely requires 6.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (35.6 US mpg) with emission of 174 g CO2/km (280.0 g/mi).

Like all S models from Audi, the SQ5 TDI plus delivers its power to the road via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. For the first time in the Q5 family, a sport differential at the rear axle actively distributes the drive power to the wheels. The SUV comes with gloss black 21-inch cast aluminum wheels in 5-twin-spoke star design from Audi Sport with size 255/40 R21 tires.

2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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Audi has extended the standard black gloss package to include the exterior mirror housing, the door handles, the roof edge spoiler and the diffuser. A further visual customization feature on the exterior are two clasps that join the four exhaust tailpipes in pairs. Inside, the sliding rear seat bench increases variability and enlarges the luggage compartment, if necessary. The armrests in the door trims are upholstered in leather. The fine Nappa leather seat covers feature a diamond pattern in silver.

In addition to these features, quattro GmbH has put together the special equipment package “Audi exclusive selection macaw blue”, which is limited to 100 units, for the SQ5 TDI plus. The body is painted in the customized color macaw blue, crystal effect and the interior comes with sport seats in black fine Nappa leather. Matching the exterior color, the macaw blue contrasting stitching on the seats, the steering wheel, the selector lever gaiter and the floor mats provides colorful highlights. The inlays in aluminum/Beaufort, black, round out the overall concept. The exclusive equipment package can be ordered at launch from a price of €12,000 in the SQ5 TDI plus.

2016 Audi SQ5 TDI Plus High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi SQ5 TDI plus costs €67,700 in Germany.

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