2018 Audi SQ5 is a street legal rocket Featured

May 08, 2018 Hit: 281 Written by 
The 2018 Audi SQ5 is aimed at the luxury SUV buyer who wants some extra power and agility in their ride.
The 2018 Audi SQ5 is aimed at the luxury SUV buyer who wants some extra power and agility in their ride. Photo by Matt Myftiu/

Some cars are fast. Others are faster.

And others are “holy xXxX this thing gets moving” fast.

The 2018 SQ5 crossover from Audi is in the final category, and I recently spent some time in this street legal rocket and am back with a full report.


Like the regular 2018 Audi Q5 … the 2018 Audi SQ5 is a well-designed crossover with an attractive look. But where the Q5 is strictly classy, the SQ5 moves up to looking sporty and classy due to a sharp high-performance looking exterior and interior. The optional matador red metallic paint job sparkled. 20-inch wheels are standard but you can upgrade to 21-inch wheels.

On the inside, my test vehicle featured a black interior with excellent detail.

The standard materials inside the SQ5 are a mix of leather and Alcantara suede, plus nice touches are offered like the optional Carbon Atlas inlays.


Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2018 Audi SQ5
  • Price as tested:: $68,750 (starting price is $54,300)
  • Best feature:: Propulsion-like acceleration, high-tech features
  • Rating:: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Audi lovers who have the need for an extra boost of speed and agility in their SUV

The SQ5 does not feature the most comfortable driver’s seat due to its high-sided sport setup, but you get excellent stitching and design on the seating.

The SQ5 features auto-dimming power-folding and heated exterior mirrors, full LED headlights, heated power front sport seats with memory

An option (for $1250) is fine Nappa leather interior with diamond stitching and leatherette covered center console and door armrests. An elegant touch that’s not necessary but adds more panache to the design.

Cargo room in the SQ5 is 26.8 cubic feet (rear seats up) or 60.4 cubic feet (rear seats folded).


This is where it’s game over for the competition. With a 0-60 time of about 5 seconds, the 2018 Audi SQ5 is a thrilling ride by all.standards; I wanted to take it to a racetrack.

The power comes courtesy of a 3.0 liter, V6 engine, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission plus paddle shifters. Final numbers are 354 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. It also features Audi’s AWD Quattro system.

In all ways, this is an amazing vehicle to drive.

For one, it’s stunningly fast; put it in cruise and jack up the speed and it’s literally propelling you along like a rocket. Use with caution, though, and avoid Johnny Q Law.

Beyond the straight line speed and the impressive way it handled curves, the overall handling and responsiveness of the SQ5 vehicle shone through every minute.

You have some noise due to the powerful engine, but that's not a complaint. It belongs here and tells the story of what’s happening as your heart starts to beat faster.

You can choose drive modes via Audi Drive Select. The optional Dynamic mode is the best and most intense. Other choices include Auto, Comfort, Individual, Allroad. Lift/Off-road are also options depending on conditions. This is a rare luxury crossover that can handle some tougher road conditions.

A stop-start system helps with energy recuperation, and you can opt for the sport package for $3K and get red brake calipers, a sport adaptive air suspension and sport rear differential.


The SQ5 is well-equipped technology-wise, as I had a positive experience with the Audi MMI infotainment system, which is controlled easily from a center dial.

The sharp rearview camera comes with five views, including bird’s eye view.

A tire pressure monitoring system is included, along with systems that help you brake/stop if the vehicle senses contact is imminent..

Satellite radio is offered free for limited time (3 months) and you’ll probably want to keep it. Three-zone climate control is offered, as are child safety locks in rear.

You get an anti theft system, plus LED daytime running lights, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. Overall the SQ5 features very powerful and effective lighting options.


Official numbers are 19 city/24 highway/21 combined. I averaged 20 mpg.

There’s very little competition in this corner of the luxury market, but vs. its equivalents in the Porsche Macan and Mercedes-Benz GLC lineup it is best in class for fuel mileage.


The Audi SQ5 I tested was at the higher end of the scale, coming in just under $69,000, but the base price starts just over $54K. The Macan is in a similar price range, but the Mercedes alternative is pricier than the SQ5.


To reiterate the point here, this bad boy is fast and a blast to drive. The 2018 Audi SQ5 is not for everyone (I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary family vehicle), and the regular Q5 is quite impressive in its own right, but if you like speed and agility the SQ5 has few worthy peers in the luxury SUV category.

============= can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be foundon Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 May 2018 06:32
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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.


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