Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days


by James Ward

It’s diesels at dawn in a duel to the death!

Well, perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic, but this battle royale between oil-burning SUV cousins has been so eagerly awaited by the CarAdvice team that we put the contenders together as soon as we had the chance.

On the right (below): the current champion, the self-proclaimed ‘fastest diesel SUV on the planet’ – the Audi SQ5. Featuring a 3.0 litre, twin-turbo V6 engine producing 230kW of power and 650Nm of torque, the Audi has the muscle.

On the left: the newcomer, the Audi’s ‘brother from another mother’ – the Porsche Macan S Diesel. Essentially using a derivative of the SQ5’s motor, the Porsche’s 3.0-litre V6 has just the single turbo and produces 190kW and 580Nm. However, the Porsche is 115kg lighter and has a slightly slipperier (0.35 against the Audi’s 0.36) drag coefficient.

Audi claims 5.1 seconds for the 0-100kmh sprint and Porsche notes 6.1 seconds (with Sport+) for the same dash, so it would seem the Audi has this in the bag… on paper at least.

Our test is a bit more ‘gentlemanly’ than an official speed trial – the cars are lined up to compete over an arbitrary distance with a slight incline, and with ‘pink slips’ apparently on the line (more likely first round at the pub), the battle is on!

Porsche Macan S Diesel v Audi SQ5 TDI drag race: video

3 – 2 – 1… GO!

The Porsche’s more performance-focused launch control system sees it spool up to 4000rpm to get the initial jump off the line, with a very noticeable ‘squat’ at the rear. The Audi offers a simple launch jump from 3200rpm and bogs slightly off the line… but not for long.

The extra power of the SQ5 overcomes the weight difference and builds speed quickly, reeling in the Porsche for the convincing straight-line win.

But what happens when you throw some bends into the mix? Does the challenger have the agility and response to take the title from the champ?

You can read our comparison here, which also throws the BMW X4 30d into the mix.

LATEST REVIEWS