Audi SQ5 Review
Buyers love small luxury crossovers for their nimbleness, premium accommodations and utility, and the Audi SQ5 beefs up this popular formula with copious amounts of performance. This compact SUV is the high-performance variant of Audi's Q5 crossover.
The exterior of the current SQ5 reflects the low-key elegance that has long been a staple design cue of the Audi brand. Its stance is determined and assertive, but its sheet metal never goes overboard in its efforts to convince you of the model's performance chops. The SQ5's cabin is plush in every respect, with top-grade materials and design that's tasteful and refined. But the jewel in this crossover's crown is most certainly its handling. Acceleration is crisp, and driving dynamics are keen and engaging.
The previous generation of the SQ5 offered a swank cabin and impressive handling, but it was starting to feel a bit dated in its lineup of technology features. The current model raises the bar with improved performance and an expanded array of infotainment and driver-assistive technology. If you want a crossover that provides compelling driving dynamics and an opulent environment, the Audi SQ5 distinguishes itself as a skilled and decidedly deluxe candidate.
Current Audi SQ5
Relative to the previous generation, the current Audi SQ5 benefits from sharper sheet metal and a broader array of technology amenities. It also comes with a new air suspension, an all-new chassis and an engine that surpasses the previous generation's torque output by 23 pound-feet. Maximum cargo capacity gets a slight upgrade, rising from 57.3 to 60.4 cubic feet.
The current SQ5 is sold in Premium Plus and Prestige trims. With the base model, you get standard equipment such as LED headlights and taillights, heated power-folding side mirrors with memory settings, roof rails, a power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats with heating, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and a 10-speaker sound system with HD radio. The list of available features includes 21-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, navigation, a Bang & Olufsen stereo and heated rear seats.
Under the hood is a 3.0-liter V6 good for 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and the SQ5 shifts its gears via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Used Audi SQ5 Models
The current SQ5 debuted for the 2018 model year, and the crossover is now in its second generation. The latest model doesn't bring any revolutionary changes. Instead, it doubles down on the crossover's tried-and-true formula, resulting in a model that delivers even stronger performance and enhanced technology features.
The previous, first-generation SQ5 was produced from 2014 to 2017. It offered exceptional handling and a premium interior, but it trailed certain rivals in its lineup of available technology amenities.
When the SQ5 debuted, it came with a 3.0-liter V6 offering 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. All models were equipped with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The first-generation SQ5 was sold in Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Standard features included 20-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and a 10-speaker sound system. Optional amenities included front and rear parking sensors, navigation and a premium Bang & Olufsen stereo.
In our reviews of the first-generation SQ5, we praised the model for offering strong acceleration and powerful brakes, and we noted that this crossover provides handling that ranks among the best of crossovers we've driven. We pointed out that the SQ5's back seat is quite accommodating, and we were impressed with the look and feel of the crossover's cabin. However, the SQ5's cargo capacity took some hits for being less generous than that of other luxury crossovers.
The first generation of the SQ5 underwent only minor changes throughout its run. For 2016, the SQ5 added new options such as red brake calipers and diamond-stitched upholstery. In 2017, the Prestige trim added adaptive cruise control as standard equipment. That trim also became available with a Black Optic Plus package that included black exterior accents and a black rear diffuser.
Read the most recent 2018 Audi SQ5 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Audi SQ5 page.
For more on past Audi SQ5 models, view our Audi SQ5 history page.