Audi's High-Performance Compact SUV
For those looking for a vehicle that is luxurious and sporty, while still practical, the Audi SQ5 may be the answer. The compact SUV combines the power and agility one might expect to find in a luxury sport sedan, with versatile crossover styling, standard four-wheel drive, and a spacious, premium interior.
If the already quick and nimble Audi Q5 wasn't enough, the SQ5, which premiered in 2014, upped the ante. The 2017 SQ5 has a few extras in the top trim model, but otherwise, it is much the same as the outgoing model.
The Audi SQ5 faces stiff competitors including the BMW X4 M40i, the all-new Jaguar F-Pace 35t R-Sport, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC43 AMG. However, only the Porsche Macan Turbo will take you from zero to 60 mph faster than the SQ5.
The Audi SQ5 features sculpted quad exhaust outlets, an aggressive single-framed grille, standard LED triangular-formed taillights, and brilliant standard Xenon headlights. For 2017, a new Black Optic Plus Package is available. It adds high-gloss black accents to the rear diffuser, rear spoiler, door handles, and outside mirrors.
The Audi SQ5 comes in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige. The Premium Plus requires the Technology Package in order to get any safety technology. The package also includes Audi's upgraded infotainment system with navigation and integrated Google services.
The Prestige comes standard with the Technology Package and includes dynamic steering, adaptive cruise control, and heated and cooled cup holders. Either trim can be equipped with the optional Luxury Package.
The 2017 Audi SQ5 Premium Plus starts at $53,300. The Technology Package costs $4,150. An Audi SQ5 Prestige starts at $60,800. You can get the Luxury Package on either trim for $2,100. The new Black Optic Plus Package costs $750, but to get it, you must add some other options.
The 2017 Audi SQ5 boasts a supercharged 354-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. It packs 346 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive is standard.
The Audi SQ5 offers 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. Behind the front seats, you will find 29.1 cubic feet. The trunk opening is wide and the low-load cargo floor makes for easy packing. A power liftgate comes standard.
The top-notch cabin is adorned with dark walnut wood inlays, SQ5 badging, and exclusive Audi S gray instrument gauges. The soft leather upholstery features faux-suede trim and the aluminum shift handle is wrapped in leather. The flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel features shift paddle gear selectors.
The SQ5 seats five, but four adults will have plenty of space to stretch out. Front seats are supportive and highly-adjustable. Rear seats offer ample legroom and have convenient sliding and reclining functionality.
The Audi SQ5 will beat most competitors off the line in a straight-away sprint. According to Audi, it achieves zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 155 mph.
The Audi SQ5 returns 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway, which is below average for the class. According to Audi, it requires Premium gasoline.
Ride and Handling
The SQ5 comes standard with all-wheel drive, a sport-tuned suspension, and performance summer tires. An available Audi Drive Select System allows the driver to select settings to adjust the transmission, suspension, steering, and throttle response to fit needs and preferences. An Individual mode lets you program your own settings.
Few compact SUVs handle twisty roads quite like the SQ5. It tackles corners with strong grip and very little body roll. Some critics said that the ride may be too firm for some drivers, and the steering isn't as responsive as that of rivals' models.
The SQ5 offers a myriad of connectivity technology including available Wi-Fi for up to eight mobile devices and access to Google Maps with real-time news and traffic information. However, some critics wished that is was more user-friendly and up to date.
Models with navigation have controls that may be difficult to reach. The infotainment system is dated compared to what Audi is offering in many of its other new models, and even with the upgraded infotainment system, the screen is smaller than some competitors. Some basic functions can be difficult to figure out at first.
Bluetooth audio and a rearview camera are not standard, which is uncommon among the class. You have to purchase the Technology Package to get them, or upgrade to the Prestige trim. No matter what model or package you choose, you can't get a USB port, which is almost unheard of in luxury vehicles today.
The Audi SQ5 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags. You can also opt for rear side airbags.
The Technology Package adds a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring. Adaptive cruise control is standard on the Prestige. Audi's "Pre-Sense" forward collision warning system is optional.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the SQ5 the top rating of Good in all crash tests and chose it as a Top Safety Pick+. The SQ5 earned only four stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While it received five stars in all side crash testing, it received four stars in the front crash and rollover tests.
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