The all-new Audi SQ5 is big on performance and luxury.
It isn’t too often that I get a performance vehicle, but when one arrives, I rub my hands in delicious anticipation of the drive ahead.
Most of my performance test models are coupes and sports cars, such as the Ford Mustang and Jaguar F-Type, or a hot sedan such as the Dodge Charger Hellcat. But now I’m starting to see “hotted up” utility vehicles, which makes sense as SUVs represent the fastest-growing segment.
If you’ve followed me for long, you know my preference for cars and pickup trucks over everything else. Alas, the market shift means I’ve had to adjust and that requires testing an endless stream of crossovers and other people movers. Happily, manufacturers understand that some customers still want performance and, to its credit, Audi is accommodating our need for speed with the SQ5.
2018 Audi SQ5 Overview
Based on the compact Q5 utility vehicle, the 2018 Audi SQ5 represents the performance side of the model line. It is the only Audi SUV line with a performance variant, with the latest-generation model introduced for the 2018 model year.
The current version replaced the previous supercharger with a turbocharger, giving this model a noticeable boost in torque along with a slight improvement in fuel efficiency. This all-wheel-drive model is still powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Like other Audi models, this one is available in three trims: Premium ($53,395), Premium Plus ($59,195), and Prestige ($63,095). Our prices are for the 2019 model as this is the one you’ll most likely find on dealer lots at press time. You’ll find various package options for further customization, depending on the trim.
For instance, the base model offers a Convenience Package ($1,500, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic dimming and power-folding side mirrors, driver’s memory seat, satellite radio, and Audi pre sense rear with side assist).
The middle Premium Plus and top Prestige trims offer an S Sport Package ($3,000, red brake calipers, sport adaptive air suspension, sport rear differential). Also, a Black Optic Package ($600, 20-inch Anthracite wheels, summer performance tires, matte black roof rails, titanium black exterior trim).
My Prestige test model had more than $8,000 in upgrades, including the S Sport Package, Driver Assistance Package ($1,800), Fine Nappa Leather Interior ($1,250), Dynamic Steering ($1,150), the 21-inch Wheel Package ($1,000) and Carbon Atlas inlays ($500). If I were to build one, I would start at the Premium Plus level. Then again, the Prestige trim brings in the banging audio system, the leather upgrade and the driver assistance package.
Based on the crisp, elegant look of the Audi Q5, the SQ5 brings in its own styling elements. That said, the differences are not readily apparent, especially to those not familiar with the brand’s lineup.
Beginning with the front fascia, the SQ5 has standard high-intensity density headlights or available LED lights. LED lights also fashion the rear. Special alloy wheels set this …read more
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