2018 Audi SQ5 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impressively comfortable ride for a sport-tuned SUV
  • Generous amount of space for passengers
  • Luxurious but restrained interior design
  • Nimble handling
  • Smartphone integration isn't the best
Other years
List Price Range
$35,999 - $47,474

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Which SQ5 does Edmunds recommend?

You could very well be happy with the base Premium Plus trim. It comes equipped with features such as leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, an adaptive suspension, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and blind-spot monitoring. But if you want the optional Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster display and upgraded infotainment, we say just go for the SQ5 Prestige. It comes with the tech extras as standard plus a few extra desirables.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.7 / 10

For 2018, the Audi SQ5 is fully redesigned, receiving many of the same technology, feature and interior upgrades as the regular Q5. But it's the SQ5's engine that continues to be this model's biggest separator from the Q5. Last year's supercharged V6 has been replaced by a new turbocharged V6, and it should make the SQ5 even more of a blast to drive. It has the same horsepower as the previous V6 but produces 23 more pound-feet of torque, and power delivery is lower in the rev range, which makes the SQ5 even punchier.The SQ5's new air suspension system is a nice upgrade and helps keep this hefty SUV flat in corners while providing a better ride quality on rough city pavement.

Daily driving in a SQ5 is better this year, too. The biggest issue with last year's model was that it was starting to feel dated, and the competition had left it behind in terms of technology. This new SQ5 fixes all of that. Just like the regular 2018 Q5, the SQ5 is packed with all of Audi's latest and greatest infotainment and safety tech. On top of all the new technology, the SQ5 gets a welcome improvement in rear-passenger legroom and an all-new cabin.

If you're shopping for a luxury crossover with the spirit of a Euro sport sedan, the new SQ5 is a great choice.

2018 Audi SQ5 models

The 2018 Audi SQ5 comes in either Premium Plus or Prestige trim. This means every SQ5 comes very well-equipped. But there are still plenty of upgrades to be had in terms of luxury, technology and performance.

All versions of the SQ5 will get a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 good for 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers aren't a giant increase over the outgoing supercharged V6, but Audi says maximum torque is available much lower in the rev range. The SQ5 also comes with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment highlights on the Premium Plus include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, an adaptive suspension, a power liftgate, three-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, leather upholstery, a 7-inch touchscreen with Audi's MMI infotainment system, a 10-speaker sound system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Low-speed collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are also standard safety features.

The SQ5 Prestige upgrades the SUV's technology with Audi's Virtual Cockpit gauge panel, a touchpad controller with handwriting recognition, a full-color head-up display, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a 8.3-inch touchscreen interface, a navigation system, a top-down parking camera system and extra soundproofing.

You can get those technology features as options on the Premium Plus. Audi also offers the S Sport package, which includes an air suspension system with adaptive ride-height and driving modes, an upgraded rear sport differential, and a special display mode for the Virtual Cockpit display, which includes a boost gauge and lap timer. A Driver Assistance package bundles adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic high beams and speed limit info.

Other options include a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, manual rear sunshades, ventilated front seats, rear side airbags, diamond-stitched leather upholstery, and 21-inch wheels with summer tires.

Trim tested

The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Audi SQ5 (turbo 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

7.5
The turbo V6 is a touch slower than its competition, but it and the eight-speed automatic are so smooth and satisfying that you probably won't care. Stopping power is exemplary, and the braking system feels confident in emergencies. This is a capable and enjoyable machine.

Acceleration

7.5
With 354 horsepower, the SQ5's turbocharged V6 generates gratifying acceleration, including 0-60 mph performance of 5.3 seconds. That test result is quick but slightly slower than more powerful competitors. You'd only notice that difference on a test track, not in the real world.

Braking

7.5
Powerful brakes and summer tires make for confident behavior during simulated emergency stops. The ABS emits a fair amount of noise that might make an actual emergency more stressful for a novice driver, but the stopping power is there. Around town, the brakes are predictable and easy to modulate.

Steering

8.0
The flat-bottom wheel has comfortable grips and lots of assistance in the Comfort setting, which makes for easy quick steering inputs for when, say, you're in a small parking lot. We prefer the feel and precision that comes from the reduced assistance in the Dynamic mode. So both modes have merit.

Handling

8.0
True to the S part of its name, the SQ5 is nimble and enjoyable, offering welcome agility and control. Its summer tires deliver more handling potential than you'd need for a public road, and its stability control is less intrusive than the Q5's. These attributes make evasive maneuvers easier, too.

Drivability

7.5
The SQ5 does an admirable job balancing sporty and luxury attributes. Its largely lag-free power delivery and smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic make for effortless cruising or passing, if needed. The stop-start system adds a slight hesitation off the line, but it can be disabled.

Off-road

7.0
You'll find off-road and Allroad drive settings (one for speeds below 20 mph, the other above), hill descent control, and the ability to increase ride height if you've chosen the optional air suspension. The SQ5 is intended mostly for the occasional unpaved road and nothing more serious.

Comfort

8.5
The interior delivers on the comfort you'd expect not just from a luxury SUV, but from an Audi. The supportive seats and quiet ride mean you can drive all day, and the optional adaptive air suspension delivers impressive ride control in spite of the available large-diameter wheels.

Seat comfort

8.5
The seats are as supportive as they are attractive, providing welcome comfort for all-day driving. The side bolsters help keep you in place during cornering but aren't intrusive during the commute. Plenty of adjustments, including four-way lumbar, ensure all occupants can find their ideal position.

Ride comfort

9.0
Despite the sporty intentions and massive 21-inch wheels, the SQ5 makes no sacrifice when it comes to ride quality. The optional adaptive air suspension takes the credit. It's firm and taut when you're in the Dynamic setting, but it's soft and compliant for normal driving. An excellent balance.

Noise & vibration

8.5
The SQ5 does an admirable job of only letting in the important sounds. You don't hear much in the way of wind, tire or road noise. You can adjust the loudness of the engine, which in its most dynamic setting adds a low-rpm thrum under moderate acceleration and the occasional pop from the exhaust.

Climate control

8.5
The system is quiet yet powerful, and you don't need to make adjustments as you drive along. The vents are easy to adjust and provide good coverage. Unfortunately heated and ventilated seats are separate options. Welcome features such as a heated steering wheel and rear window shades are included.

Interior

8.5
The SQ5 earns high marks for interior functionality, making it a solid workhorse for a family — and a sharp-dressed one at that. The minimalist design is easy to understand, the space is plentiful and easy to access for front and rear passengers, and the outward visibility is excellent.

Ease of use

8.0
The cabin layout and primary physical controls make sense. You don't have to hunt around to accomplish basic tasks. One potential annoyance is how the shifter requires you to press a button to enter Park, and not push forward like most transmissions. It's something you learn after a few drives.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
The tall door openings make for good head clearance, while their short length means they don't need to swing out wide in parking lots. Opting for the adaptive air suspension lowers the ride even farther (by 1.2 inches), reducing the step that occupants need to make to access the interior.

Driving position

8.0
A wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustments make it easy for drivers of most widths and heights to find their ideal setting. The steering wheel doesn't obstruct the gauge cluster, and though the pedals are not adjustable, most drivers won't need to compromise their arm and leg positions.

Roominess

8.5
The interior sports generous interior measurements that make this SUV seem roomier than its compact designation. Front passengers have plenty of space, and the rear seats offer generous legroom. The width of the back seat will accommodate three larger adults, but they might complain.

Visibility

9.0
Large windows and narrow roof pillars make for excellent outward visibility. Along with the outward view, big sideview mirrors and a standard rearview camera with a proximity system take the guesswork out of parking. The optional and configurable full-color head-up display only shows what you want.

Quality

9.0
A consistent Audi strength. With rare exception, every component of the interior relays a sense of high quality. Optional upgraded leather and stitching make this luxury vehicle feel as if it's in another class entirely. The switches and interior controls have a satisfying click and weighting.

Utility

7.5
A family will find plenty of interior storage solutions, with cargo volume that's expected for the class. We like the addition of the adjustable load height that comes with the optional air suspension, and the 4,400-pound tow rating should satisfy the needs of most owners.

Small-item storage

7.0
The decently sized door pockets and center console should accommodate most items. We like how the tray under the armrest slides back and forth; it holds a phone or two. The cupholders sit just behind the entertainment controls, so they may be more difficult to use if you have a tall drink.

Cargo space

7.0
The SQ5 offers 26.8 cubic feet of storage space behind second row and 60.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is typical for this kind of vehicle. When equipped with the air suspension, you can raise or lower the rear of the vehicle with a button located in the cargo area to make loading easier.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.5
The outboard rear seats have easy-to-find LATCH and tether anchors, while the middle seat has a single tether anchor. The location and layout of these seats earned the Q5, which is fundamentally the same as the SQ5 in this regard, a Good rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Towing

8.5
With a 4,400-pound maximum tow rating, the SQ5's capability ranks among the best of the segment. Models equipped with an air suspension have a trailer tow setting that activates automatically with the factory-installed hitch. Owners with aftermarket hitches must select this mode manually.

Technology

7.0
When outfitted with all the options, the clear and vibrant displays look wonderful. Alas, they prioritize aesthetic appeal over functionality, so it can take a bit longer to learn the ins and outs of the system's logic. Some phone integration features are surprising in their absence, too.

Audio & navigation

7.5
The optional navigation system and digital gauge cluster look fantastic, but after interacting with them you realize that they rely more on fancy graphics than user intuitiveness. Switching through menus is quick, but it takes some time to learn the system's logic.

Smartphone integration

6.5
We appreciate standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, but the lack of a touchscreen makes operation clumsier than what you'll find from competitors. The integration isn't as deep either. Navigation prompts don't display on the HUD or gauge cluster as they do in other vehicles.

Driver aids

8.0
The available adaptive cruise control system takes all the frustration out of stop-and-go highway traffic, and we like how you can configure how aggressively it slows the vehicle down. The available top-view camera system makes parking easier, and the blind-spot monitoring system is effective.

Voice control

6.5
Audi's voice recognition does fine, but you'll likely want to use your smartphone's system. Unfortunately, the voice prompt button on the steering wheel doesn't work with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, so you have to use a workaround. Other vehicle entertainment systems do this better.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.7 / 10
Driving7.5
Comfort8.5
Interior8.5
Utility7.5
Technology7.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Audi SQ5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best luxury SUV w/ perfect comfort/sport balance
Al,10/25/2017
3.0T Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Very happy with choosing the 2018 Audi SQ5 prestige. Before buying, I compared it to the new F -Pace S, XC60 T8, 43 AMG, and upcoming redesigned X3 M40i. With Audi SQ5's standard adaptive dampers, you get the best comfort, but also great sportiness when desired. The volvo is for my taste too soft and floaty, while the others are too harsh for a daily driver even with adaptive dampers. Even when driving back-to-back the Lexus RX and the SQ5 on my backroads, I found the SQ5 quieter and soaking up bumps much better than the Lexus RX while being faster at the same time. The virtual cockpit and the modern entertainment system are truly the best and most updated in their class, ahead of other competitors. Having google maps in a 12.3" screen in front of you w/ live traffic info is unbeatable. The XC 60 T8 comes close, but its infotainment system is rather laggy and ergonomics are not well though-out as everything, incl. heater, are adjusted w/ the main screen. So if that main screen does not boot up quickly or correctly you are basically left in the dark not being able to adjust anything. As confirmed by the recent reliability survey from consumer-reports, Audis are very reliable particularly compared to other luxury brands. Volvo and Jag are the bottom brands in this respect. All in all, it is the best grocery getter I have owned that pertains a dual-personality of keeping the rest of the family comfortable driving from A to B, but yet having the option of embracing windy and twisty roads with speed.
BEST ALL AROUND PURPOSE CROSSOVER SUV
ARLE,07/12/2018
3.0T Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I have never seen or driven a car like this before. I've owned BMW 3, 5, and 7 series, Porsche 911, and Mercedes SL 55 and a Honda Pilot. The SQ5 is a combination of all of them. Its rides very comfortably, very stable, and quiet, sporty and with a lot of power and torque. Its a get up and go car, great to drive anywhere in the city or country. I love the quality and the very advanced technology I feel like I'm in a spaceship. I've tested the Volvo XC90, it had a very bouncy air suspension and I didn't quite trust their NAV system. I also test drove the RX 350, but again the ride was not as smooth and it just didn't absorb the bumps well, plus it was quite boring to drive. I've never test drove an Audi before until my wife wanted to look at the Audi Q7. After we bought the Q7, I just fell in love with it and had to have one just like it. The SQ5 is a combination of sports car and comfortable SUV, very adaptable to all my different driving needs.
SQ5 Was the Winner (Against Macan S & GLC 43 AMG
Kevin,01/20/2019
3.0T Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
My wife and I needed an SUV and my BMW was looking at maintenance bills >60% of the value of the car and was well past warranty. I built a detailed spreadsheet that incorporated different weightings based on what we both liked across several vehicles we drove. We looked at Lexus and other brands as well, but they didn't meet the mission as we ran through our objectives and desires. The categories were the following: price, safety rating, estimated reliability, performance, fun factor, road trip comfort, technology/audio, road noise, storage / capacity, and fuel efficiency. It ultimately came down to the SQ5 and the Macan S, with the SQ5 being the most practical in the class in our view. The SQ5 with the sport air suspension allows the car to turn into a spirited driving machine, but also allows the comfort for a long road trip without feeling every bump which set it apart from the Macan in that class. Inversely, the Macan might be the best cornering SUV or 4 door vehicle I've driven... the builders clearly thought out the suspension as though they were thinking about a 911. The other category which the SQ5 truly stood out was the MMI technology package that was significantly more intuitive, user friendly, sharp displays, and just all around better than the Porsche or Mercedes. While the Porsche and Mercedes both 0-60 slightly faster than the Audi, in reality... how often is that really the deciding factor? Part of our mission included trips to CO, which we recently completed in the SQ5 and despite having sport tires, with the quattro system and rear limited slip dif, it tackled 4-5" of snow/ice transitioning N. Texas/ N. Mex like a champ while other Tahoe's were spinning out and not making the same progress... We are thrilled with our SQ5 so far - and no mx issues of yet to report. Separate from this review, both my wife and I were really trying and or expecting to like the GLC 43 AMG much more than we did... it was wholly underwhelming in all other categories with exception to performance. The 9-speed transmission in the GLC 43 AMG feels like a spastic middle-school aged boy whos had a few too many Mtn Dews for my liking as it always was trying to figure out what to do next. The PDK is a dream in the Porsche, however the Audi has an honest transmission that delights when pressed hard in Dynamic mode, but also isn't "begging" to go fast when you're looking for a more relaxed drive and perhaps on bluetooth. The Audi and Porsche both had great overall interiors and creature comforts, with the Audi being a small but noticeably more comfortable cabin with 4 people inside compared to the Porsche. Despite being on the same chassis, the Porsche's engine/transmission areas take space away from the cabin that the Audi didn't sacrifice. The Mercedes in the front was fine, had great interior lines/design... but my wife and I were very turned off by the back seat feeling like it was a literal after thought that would be dissapointing even for a non-lux midsize crossover let alone wear the badge of MB! Long story short - we are thrilled with our SQ5 and it surprised us because when we started we both thought it'd be a Porsche or Mercedes, but in the end... we were surprised by the complete package the Audi has assembled (and candidly... we are liking the subtlety of the Audi brand compared to the sometimes certain driver stereotypes of the other brands tested). Happy driving!
Exceptionally balanced vehicle
Aspen SQ5,07/16/2017
3.0T Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Ive owned alot of cars since the late 70's, mostly BMW and Porsche. Ive owned 5 M3's, 2 M5's, 4 911's and more recently X5's, a Cayenne and even an X3M. Then I bought a 2012 Audi A8L and fell in love with the brand. Bought wife an Audi allroad and wanted something a little sportier. Wen to the dealer intending to look at the S4/S6/7 line and was considering the S5 sportback. All of the aforementioned is only for context. Im an older guy who appreciates performance and yet I have a perspective of how much performance a person can actually use on the street. I also enjoy a modicum of practicality and so many new cars today offer both that could only be dreamed of 10 or 15 years ago. The SQ5 is without a doubt the best balance of both comfort and performance I have encountered to date in an easy to live with package. Simply amazing the choices we consumers enjoy today. I considered a Macan but the usual Porsche buying experience is a turnoff. Additionally, my local Audi dealer was terrific to deal with and frankly, the SQ5 technology embarrases the Macan as well as the driving dynamics of the 2018 SQ5 feel far superior to the older platform that underpins the Macan. You can't go wrong with the SQ5 and be sure to get the virtual cockpit option.

Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
N/A
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
N/A
See all Used 2018 Audi SQ5 features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the SQ5 models:

Pre Sense City
Warns you when it detects the risk of an imminent crash. Can automatically apply the brakes at speeds under 52 mph.
Side Assist
Monitors brakes, accelerates and provides steering guidance automatically when in traffic between zero and 40 mph.
Rear Side Airbags
Deploys torso-protecting airbags from the outboard rear seats in case of a side-impact collision. Optional on the SQ5.

More about the 2018 Audi SQ5

Used 2018 Audi SQ5 Overview

The Used 2018 Audi SQ5 is offered in the following submodels: SQ5 SUV. Available styles include 3.0T Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), and 3.0T Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Audi SQ5?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Audi SQ5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Audi SQ5 3.0T Premium Plus quattro is priced between $35,999 and$43,999 with odometer readings between 13725 and37500 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Audi SQ5 3.0T Prestige quattro is priced between $44,991 and$47,474 with odometer readings between 22502 and22502 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Audi SQ5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Audi SQ5 for sale near. There are currently 11 used and CPO 2018 SQ5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $35,999 and mileage as low as 13725 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Audi SQ5.

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Find a used Audi SQ5 for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $15,032.

Find a used Audi for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $9,842.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi SQ5 for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $23,923.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $7,786.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Audi SQ5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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