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).
HOW’S THE RIDE?
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.
Matt Myftiu can be foundon Twitter @MattMyftiu.