2018 Audi SQ5 Review: 'S' Is For...?

– Los Angeles, California

“The single biggest argument against the SQ5 in this space, to my mind, is that the basic Q5 is just so dang good already.” I can’t stop thinking about that line from Seyth Miersma’s First Drive of the SQ5 earlier this year. Driving through Los Angeles in my Daytona Gray SQ5, there’s nothing to complain about – it’s powerful, rides well, has a super comfy interior, and has plenty of room for my friends and some new furniture for my apartment. But all of those same qualities are true of the normal Q5, a luxury crossover I really, really like. So if I’m not frequently blasting along back roads or digging deep into the wealth of power from this turbocharged engine, is there a strong enough incentive to go S?

 

 

Pros

Turbo lover. Like the S4 and S5 with which it shares a platform, the SQ5 uses Audi’s new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, with 354 horsepower. That’s the same output as the supercharged V6 that’s been put out to pasture, but the turbo motor adds torque – 369 pound-feet, compared to 347. That’s enough to move the 4,400-pound crossover to 60 miles per hour in just over five seconds, though you have to dig deep into the throttle to eke out the available thrust. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the turbo engine is a peach – could use a bit more initial bite (more on that later), but smooth in its delivery.

Riding on air. The SQ5 comes with the air suspension that isn’t available on the U.S.-spec base Q5. The main benefit here is tha...