2022 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 Review: Sliding Through

Jay Tee

Audi’s swoopy coupé-fied Q5 ditches power figures and straight-line speed in favour of efficiency gains and reduced buying/operating costs.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4249

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 (204hp)

Launched: June 2022 – Price: S$327,027 with COE (May 2023)
Five-door, midsize premium SUV, five seats
204hp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, VES B, 6.6L/100km

Improved fuel consumption from MHEV tech and de-tuned engine
Robust, solidly built cabin
Practical, despite the sloping roofline

De-tuned engine reduces straight-line speed and punchiness
Cabin feels dated

Photos: Jay Tee


The second-generation Audi Q5 is a car that has been around for the better part of 6 years (at the time of writing) since the original 80A-generation Q5 2.0-litre hit our streets in 2017.

Two years ago the Audi Q5 and its slinkier Q5 Sportback stablemate were refreshed for the 2021 model year sharing a near identical 2.0-litre powertrain and the requisite addition of bling and panache – altered bumper mouldings, larger grille, more lashings of satin chrome, more tech, the whole nine yards.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4260

However, the salient issue in today’s automotive climate are the seemingly ceaseless increases in car prices, owing to factors like the continual rise in luxury car taxes (ARF) and the violent unpredictability of COE prices – which have soared to record high figures.

To alleviate the financial burden on prospective buyers, there are two options manufacturers resort to circumnavigate local taxes: Downsizing or detuning.

It’s a common practice among various brands, even within the Volkswagen Group consortium. VW has a new CAT A COE friendly 1.5-litre Golf, Skoda has a 1.0-litre Octavia and Scala. Even Audi has downsized offerings like the 1.0-litre A3 Sedan and A3 Sportback.

Check out our review of Audi’s downsized CAT A COE Friendly A3 Sportback

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Interior and Details - Singapore -  - JYT_4224

For the Audi Q5 family, Audi has gone down the detuning route with this latest Q5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI, dialling back the engine from the pre-facelift car and throwing a 48V mild hybrid system into the mix. In this new guise, the MHEV 2.0-litre four-cylinder produces a modest 204 horsepower and 320Nm of torque. 

Yes, it’s a less powerful variant of the current Q5 (and Q5 Sportback), but the average buyer wouldn’t care much for the variances in outright power. If its performance attributes that they care about, they’d be more likely to climb into the SQ5 Sportback. Besides, it’s not like your average Q5 driver is going to run hot laps around Sepang or perform the Singaporean equivalent of the Cannonball Run.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4247

What the average Q5 buyer wants is a car that tends to their everyday needs and in the case of the Q5 Sportback, a car that looks more stylish than its counterpart. To that end, the detuned Q5 Sportback still fills that role to a T.

On the face of it, very little has changed where looks are concerned. The grille and headlamps have been tweaked, some satin chrome trimmings have been replaced with gloss black inserts and the taillights no longer include the dazzling OLED panels of the previous car. The wheel arches and side scuttles are now bare plastic instead of painted panels, but the body contours and shapely tail end are identical to that of the previous Q5 Sportback.

Ergo, it’s still a good-looking swoopy coupe-ish SUV that somehow manages the Herculean task of having a tapered rear end while maintaining an adequate amount of interior occupancy and luggage space. For reference, the Q5 Sportback’s boot capacity is rated at 510 litres compared to 520 litres in its regular SUV-shaped counterpart.

The same differences (or lack thereof) can be said for the interior, where every touchpoint reminds identical: same virtual cockpit gauge cluster, the same 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with identical interfaces. As former crack-ed Derryn mentioned, it’s “Same same but different”.

It is very much the same as the original 2nd-gen Q5 (less the rotary MMI interface on the centre console), but it retains the same levels of Germanic quality and refinement one would expect from an Audi. In other words: robust, solidly built, dependable and easy to navigate. Perhaps the only drawbacks are the dated looks and lack of a wireless smartphone charging pad. But this new variant does still come with a full suite of safety systems like blind-spot monitors and a 360° camera system.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Interior and Details - Singapore -  - JYT_4217

The key difference lies in the way it drives. The Q5 Sportback has horsepower and displacement figures that place it well within the (typically) more expensive COE Category B banding, but the lowered pollutant emissions put it within the VES B banding (no S$15,000 surcharge, unlike the more powerful variant).

Understandably, the car’s performance figures take a dip as well. The century sprint takes 7.3 seconds, a second longer than the previous Q5 Sportback 2.0 (which does it in 6.3 seconds). Top speed is quoted at 223km/h, compared to 237km/h in the more powerful car. 

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4176

The disparity in straight-line speed is noticeable when you pin the throttle to the floor, but hardly relevant in an everyday car such as this. The extra second it takes to get from 0-100km/h just means you’d have a second longer to reconsider breaking highway speed limits. The Q5 Sportback still holds its own around any and all road conditions without jostling the cabin in an ungracious fashion. It’s pliant without being harsh, and the steering rack provides just enough feedback to inspire a little more confidence in the car’s cornering abilities.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4152

It’s a car that excels best doing the everyday grind in stop start traffic or highway cruising, where the 48V MHEV system dispenses a helpful boost of power at low speeds or gives you a little shove to propel you along. In our road test, we achieved an efficiency figure of 7.4L/100km, which is a smidge higher than what Audi quotes – 6.6L/100km, if you’re wondering. But theoretically, you should still be able to eke out 900km of range on a full tank.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4282

In essence, the 204 horsepower Audi Q5 Sportback capitalises on what makes it an excellent daily runabout, with some bonus style points from its sloping derrière. Sure, it’s down on power and performance, but in return, it nets you significant financial gains when it comes time to put a deposit down or fill up the tank. 

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4269

It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the most affordable mid-size coupé SUV offering among the Teutonic marques at S$327,027 (accurate at the time of writing). However, if you prefer something with even better efficiency figures in a more conventional SUV silhouette, there is the non-Sportback Audi Q5 available for over S$22,000 less.

2023 Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 - Exterior - Singapore -  - JYT_4274

Audi Q5 Sportback 2.0 (204hp)

Drivetrain typePetrol-electric mild hybrid
Engine1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Power204hp at 5000-6000rpm
Torque320Nm at 1450-4375rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h7.3 seconds
Top Speed223km/h
Fuel Efficiency6.6L/100km
VES BandB / Neutral
AgentPremium Automobiles
PriceS$327,027 with COE and VES
VerdictThe facelift of the facelifted Audi Q5 Sportback gets reduced power figures, improved fuel efficiency and a lower starting price.


Audi audi q5 coupe suv Q5 q5 sportback

About the Author

Jay Tee

A millennial with the mental age of a quadragenarian, CarBuyer's latest stringer writes and talks about anything with four wheels and a motor. Doesn't fully get TikTok, makes TikToks anyway. Moonlights for TopGear Singapore. Follow him on Instagram (and TikTok) at @jayyteejy

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