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Friday, December 1, 2023

The Audi SQ5 is best with out an R


Like the ultimate flip at Pocono, my fortieth birthday is arising quick. Issues that even 5 years in the past I’d shun as “outdated man”, “soggy”, “unsexy”, or heaven forbid “too comfy”, are way more interesting to me now. Shaking your head as you learn this? You’re not sufficiently old but. So once I merely slid into the cockpit of the Audi SQ5 with out the help of a crane or a elevate, I let loose an audible sigh. It definitely was comfy.

However is the SQ5 any enjoyable with out that R?


2021 Audi SQ5 Fast Take
Get one:

Probably the most comfy German sport SUV. Air suspension is superb. Creamy turbo V-6 with good go juice. Stunning Audi, in and out.

Don’t get one:

Not as sharp to reply, nor as as highly effective as some rivals. Someway Porsche manages to maintain the consolation and enhance the efficiency.

Soul Rating: 8

Extra F1 apply session tempo, much less qualifying. You received’t miss the letter R.

The 2021 Audi SQ5 overview

Audi SQ5

What’s the genus of a efficiency SUV? It’s positively led by one thing like a Lamborghini Urus or Porsche Turbo GT. SUVs that may actually excel at every little thing. Their solely downfall is their worth. Transfer a step down into issues just like the X5 M, and also you don’t lose a lot, even when these machines aren’t fairly as succesful.

On the decrease finish, it’s issues just like the BMW X1 M35i – not for mother, however not likely for us both, is it? That leaves the center – the Macan. The X3 M40i/X3 M. And this Audi. In contrast to another choices, it doesn’t get a slew of letters added to its identify – simply S. And if wish to add yet one more, say an R to maintain up with that M, you’ll be able to’t. No such factor exists.

Just like the X3 M40i, the Audi SQ 5 straddles a line between “Dude, I virtually had you”, and driving Ms. Daisy. Squint your eyes and also you’ll see a turbocharged V-6, rear-torque vectoring differential, and air suspension. Open them absolutely and also you’ll see…an Audi. The SQ5 could be very unassuming, particularly in base type.

However I feel that is the candy spot for efficiency.

Efficiency Rating: 7. Easy operator

Audi SQ5
A quick automotive, however not fairly as quick as some others within the class.

I point out the Urus above on function – it’s made by the identical firm because the SQ5. Really, so it the Turbo GT. Let’s spoil the ending a bit and say that any Porsche, be it a GT or Macan, is a way more partaking car to drive than this or any Audi.

However you count on that. The bottom Macan was dearer that this fully-loaded SQ5. Plus you get yummy efficiency issues like a turbocharged V-6 and an superior (non-obligatory) air suspension. The SQ5 will allow you to get right into a rhythm on the highway, making it simple to fall in love with it.


Audi SQ5
A torquey motor that isn’t as highly effective as a BMW engine.

Maybe the largest distinction between this and BMW’s X3 M40i is below the hood. Audi installs a turbocharged V-6 that’s good for 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft or torque.  It’s a advantageous engine, completely {smooth} and punchy off the road. There’s a little bit of turbo lag round 3,000 RPMs, however it’s my job to nitpick so there you go.

Oh proper, the X3. Whereas I don’t wish to let you know about 0-60 instances, on this case it helps to present some perspective. This Audi SQ5 will get to 60 in 5.1 seconds. Not horrible in any respect, however not precisely nose-bleed inducing.

The X3 M40i? A full second sooner. You’ll by no means discover a tenth or two, however a full second is simple. Actually sounds good as you hit that mile-a-minute mark although.


SQ5 transmission
The acquainted ZF is again as soon as once more.

Connected to that V-6 is our good pal, the ZF eight-speed automated. I can’t even offer you a quantity on the quantity of automobiles I’ve pushed with one, but they all the time really feel a bit completely different.

Right here is maybe the softest software but, with ultra-smooth shifts that extra waft you to hurry than push. Smash the throttle, and the SQ5 fortunately drops a gear and goes with out a trace of “Ugh, do now we have to?” drama.

Chassis and steering

Audi SQ5
The accessible air suspension is uncommon on this dimension SUV.

First, the steering. It’s direct, however gentle. Very gentle. If I had been Audi, I’d ninja-sneak into the Porsche Heart subsequent door and steal these prime secret plans for the way they’re able to make a base Macan’s steering so wonderful.

The suspension arrange deserves some pixels. Tick the $3,000 S Sport package deal, and also you unlock the height-adjustable air suspension. Often reserved for bigger SUVs like an Escalade or Vary Rover, on the SQ5 it’s geared for on-road actions. Whereas the X3 clashes over bumps, and an X3 M downright collides with them, right here every little thing is softened.

Audi SQ5
The app allows you to decrease the automotive from the skin.

Ken, the proprietor of this SQ5, has put in an app that permits him to lift and decrease the automotive even whereas exterior, giving it a slammed look that’s nonetheless technically inventory (you’ll be able to’t alter it manually from the manufacturing facility). It reduces wheel hole to nil and provides you an concept of simply how a lot it will probably alter whereas driving down the highway. Bravo.


Audi SQ5
These really really feel nice.

I really thought the SQ5’s brakes weren’t solely wonderful for this class of SUV, however excellent typically. Pedal really feel gives very nice suggestions (I like a stiff brake).

Nothing too particular both – no cross drilling, slats, slots or slits. The Sport Bundle right here provides you pink calipers, and people definitely look good. Ask it to assault a monitor for an HPDE session, and I’m positive they may fade. However why are you doing that?

General, the Audi SQ5 demonstrates a wise method to efficiency. It’s not the quickest, nor the sharpest, however there’s loads right here to make you smile.

Utility: 8. SUV’s gonna U

Audi SQ5
Cheap in dimension, the SQ5 has sufficient room for a household.

If I’m being sincere, I feel BMW does a barely higher job packaging the X3. Contained in the SQ5, it’s a bit tighter within the trunk and again seat. The roof is a bit decrease, with a extra extreme drop to the hatch glass. However I’m splitting hairs – the Audi does a advantageous job of hauling ass or hauling that big Skeleton field from Residence Depot.

Within the entrance, it’s roomy with virtually no limitations. It’s a automotive I may simply slide proper into and match, which isn’t one thing each automotive can do for me.

Audi SQ5
A bit larger than a Macan.

If you happen to insist, Audi will promote you a foolish “coupe” model referred to as the Sportback that doesn’t look any higher, is dearer and kills cargo area. If you happen to select one, I received’t be indignant. Simply dad-disappointed. the look.

Gas Financial system: 5. SUV’s gonna S

Audi SQ5
Gas effectivity is on par with every little thing else, if a bit worse contemplating the ability.

The Audi SQ5 will get 19 miles per gallon round city, and 24 on the freeway. That’s simply okay – the X3 has higher gasoline economic system, however not sufficient to make you swing your choice by hook or by crook.

The V-6 is able to utilizing a Miller cycle for elevated effectivity. That’s primarily a fifth stroke within the engine, the place the consumption valve is left open on the compression stroke. It felt seamless to me, and. I suppose each little bit helps.

Options and luxury: 8: The Q is for quilted

Audi SQ5
It’s good in right here.

Audis are good inside. They simply are. Nicer than a Porsche, a BMW, or a Bentley.

Properly okay, perhaps not the Bentley (VW has to avoid wasting the actually good things). However you get the thought – when you like clear, trendy and funky, that is the place to be.

Consolation Inn

Open the door, and the aroma of leather-based smacks you within the face. Slide into these quilted leather-based (with white stitching!) seats, and resist the urge to snuggle your butt in additional. These should not Sensatec fakeness like on an X3 – save that materials for the mere mortals.

Audi SQ5

The whole lot right here feels trendy, except for maybe the way in which they’ve built-in the big iPad on prime of the sprint. Piano black, shiny carbon, or aluminum greet you in every single place you place a hand. I do know it’s all black, however it’s a wealthy black.

Audi SQ5
We heard you want black.

A clear digital sprint greets you from behind the skinny steering wheel – a bit like an Avengers HUD. Audi’s infotainment system works higher than Mercedes Benz’s, although I do perceive the rationale behind uniting three shows into one (HVAC, sprint, and nav) on the newest automobiles.

However – Audi makes you pay $350 for rear facet thoracic airbags, and I can’t keep in mind the final time I even noticed an airbag listed as an choice on a luxurious car. Come on Volkswagen, give up the nickle and dime crap. I feel even elevating the value of the automotive by $300 and making it customary could be a greater look.

Audi SQ5
Searching for Jarvis.
Audi SQ5
These seats are a lot nicer, and extra comfy, than these in an X3.

Tony Stark didn’t construct this in a cave

Audi SQ5
Appears like these headlights are a should.

Until your identify is F-PACE, I imagine each mid-size SUV here’s a bit by-product of their manufacturers’ styling. It’s no dangerous factor within the SQ5’s case, with its son of Iron Man imply mug.

Audi SQ5
The black trim helps make the automotive look extra aggressive.

This one is aided by a singular exterior coloration – District Inexperienced Metallic. Choosing the Status would possibly add $10,000 to the sticker, however you get issues like these cool Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights. Strongly contemplate the Black Optics Bundle, as a result of matte chrome is simply not on this 12 months’s style radar sweetie.

What’s that? You noticed this in Extremely Blue and prefer it much more?

Audi SQ5
The carbon is aftermarket, however a pleasant contact.

The Audi SQ5 is a good instance of an ideal day by day

Audi SQ5

Nothing Earth-shattering right here, I do know. However I hope my evaluations all the time make you assume, and on this case, make you concentrate on how a lot efficiency is required on a day-to-day foundation.

Of all of the hardcore utility issues I’ve pushed over the previous two years, this Audi SQ5 strikes me as having the very best steadiness of the bunch. For the cash, would I’ve this over a base Macan? Completely. Would I’ve it over a Macan S? Properly…

Audi SQ5

However you’re gonna pay for that perfection. In addition to, the Macan relies off the older, first gen Q5, not the one you see on these pages. Neither is a Macan as helpful – it’s tighter inside, and you will need to spend loads to get the extent of consolation the Audi has.

So no, my life isn’t spend fully within the left lane, home windows down, exhaust blaring, flashing everybody to get out of my means. Typically, I simply wish to waft to the meals retailer, man.

However, , if the left lane is open, I imply…what’s the hurt if I level this Audi that means and ground it? 40-year-olds wish to have enjoyable, too.

Audi SQ5 Audi SQ5

Because of Ken at ROWE for donating his stunning SQ5!


2021 Audi SQ5 Specs

Automobile Sort: Entrance-engine, all-whee drive, 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback


Base: $55,275


3.0-liter turbocharged V-6
349 hp @ 6,400 rpm
369 lb-ft @ 1,370 rpm
Eight-speed automated


Wheelbase: 111.2 in
Size: 183.9 in
Width: 74.5 in
Top: 65.3 in
Curb Weight: 4,429 lbs


Mixed/metropolis/freeway: 21/19/24 MPG

Need your automotive reviewed?

If you happen to dwell within the tri-state space and wish me to test it out, ship me an e mail! 

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