2018 Audi SQ5

2018 Audi SQ5 SUV Review

It's a practical crossover SUV with the heart of a European hot rod.
author
by Will Kaufman
Edmunds Editor

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 Last year's supercharged V6 has been replaced by a new turbocharged V6, and it should make the SQ5 even more of a blast to drive.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 will make the SQ5 even punchier.The SQ5's new air suspension system should also be a nice upgrade and help keep this hefty SUV flat in corners while providing a better ride quality on rough city pavement.

Daily driving in a SQ5 should be 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 should fix 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. It finally even gets USB ports instead of Audi's now — finally, thankfully — defunct proprietary ports for smartphone integration. On top of all the new technology, the SQ5 gets a welcome improvement in rear-passenger legroom and an all-new cabin. We've been very pleased with the quality of Audi's current-generation interiors, and the SQ5 should be no exception.

If you're shopping for a luxury crossover with the spirit of a Euro hot rod, the new SQ5 should be a great choice.



what's new

The Audi SQ5 is redesigned for 2018. Highlights include a new body structure, updated styling, a more powerful V6 engine, and new tech and driver-assistance features.

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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 it's probably worth getting the optional Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster display and upgraded infotainment. And at that point, we say just go for the SQ5 Prestige. It comes with the tech extras as standard plus a few extra desirables.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Audi SQ5 comes in either Premium Plus or Prestige trims. 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 new SQ5 should feel quicker when accelerating from a stop or performing passing maneuvers. 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

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of the 2018 SQ5. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

With a new optional air suspension and improved torque from the new turbo V6, we expect impressive performance and handling from the 2018 SQ5.

comfort

With its optional air suspension, we expect a markedly improved ride in this new generation of SQ5. Audi generally does well in terms of comfort and noise isolation, and we like the climate control layout we've seen.

interior

We've liked Audi's new generation of interiors in other vehicles and expect more of the same from the new SQ5. More rear-seat legroom will come as a welcome addition.

utility

The SQ5 has the Q5's 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats and a maximum of 60 cubic feet of storage. That's not class-leading, but it is quite generous, especially considering this SUV's focus on performance.

technology

The SQ5 finally gets USB ports. And we're very glad to see Audi's newest infotainment system since it's a tremendous upgrade. Virtual Cockpit is also an excellent option.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.