What Is It?
2014 Audi SQ5
What's Special About It?
This is Audi's idea of a hot-rod SUV, or at least a compact hot-rod SUV. Given that BMW and Mercedes-Benz have done quite well selling all-terrain vehicles with big engines and thin tires, there's no reason to expect Audi to sit on the sidelines and watch for much longer.
The SQ5 nameplate isn't completely new. A diesel-powered version was introduced in Europe last year, but this version has been Americanized by swapping out the TDI engine for a supercharged gasoline V6. Predictably, power is up while torque is down, which doesn't seem like a bad trade-off for an SUV of this size.
Audi says the SQ5 will be good for a 0-60-mph run of 5.3 seconds, so the combination of the 354-hp V6 and eight-speed Tiptronic transmission works well, apparently. And considering that neither BMW nor Mercedes-Benz have direct competitors for the SQ5, this looks like a home run for Audi. If that's the case, expect to see a SQ7 before too long.
What Edmunds Says:
With huge sales of the Q5 in the U.S., it was only a matter of time before Audi decided to capitalize on it. Look for BMW and Mercedes to follow suit before too long.
Engine: 3.0-liter supercharged V6
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 354 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 347 pound-feet at 4,000 rpm
0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds