2021 Audi SQ5 review: A little more S, please

Table of Contents

The whole Q5 selection will get a number of styling updates for 2021.

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The Audi SQ5 guaranteed appears sweet on paper. It has 88 far more horsepower than the regular Q5, complemented by an supplemental 96 pound-ft of torque. The SQ5 will even do the -to-sixty-mph jaunt a entire next more quickly than its significantly less-effective sibling. But honestly, you would hardly ever know.


  • Clean and comfy trip
  • Wonderful infotainment tech
  • Tranquil, comfy cabin

Never Like

  • Turbo engine requirements far more soul
  • A lot less cargo space than opponents

For all the points the SQ5 does properly, it has a significant deficiency in a single crucial location: drama. It can be a challenge that isn’t really distinctive to the SQ5 lots of of Audi’s sporty styles are simply just way too buttoned-up for their possess fantastic. But this deficiency of visceral pleasure appears specifically egregious in the SQ5. And that’s a shame, simply because objectively speaking, this compact luxurious crossover is really fantastic.

The SQ5’s three.-liter turbocharged V6 can make 349 hp and 369 lb-ft — pretty massive raises over the regular Q5’s two.-liter I4. Audi states the SQ5 will hit sixty mph in 4.seven seconds, which is just as quick as its two primary opponents, the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The difficulty is that the V6 provides future to almost nothing in the way of aural accompaniment. There is certainly no hearty engine be aware, no raspy exhaust. There is certainly no actual turbo punch, both, just an exceptionally exact and linear application of thrust. The SQ5 is effective, but anything is so sleek and predictable, it isn’t going to come to feel effective.

All the things else about the SQ5’s driving knowledge is a comparable story. The trip quality is super sleek, the system isn’t going to roll less than really hard cornering and the brakes are surefooted and solid. The steering is pretty light-weight and absolutely numb, and although the SQ5 can keep its possess if you take a corner rapidly, this SUV just isn’t going to come to feel like it cares about owning a fantastic time. It can be a straight-A university student held back by its possess apathy.

If you will find an upside of this shrug-and-a-meh enthusiasm, it is really that you will come across it quick to meet and exceed the EPA’s gasoline financial state estimates. Considering that the SQ5 isn’t going to goad you into driving with gusto, you will have no problems matching the 18 miles for every gallon town, 24 mpg highway and twenty mpg combined scores. In actuality, immediately after a week of testing, I averaged 24 mpg. You is not going to get that in a GLC43 or X3 M40i. Then once more, you is not going to be owning as a lot entertaining.

The turbo V6 is effective, but a tiny way too quiet.

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Fittingly, I suppose, the SQ5 isn’t going to glimpse all that sporty, though I am not way too upset about that. The regular Q5 is a handsome detail, and the SQ5-precise updo is tasteful. The lower air intakes glimpse fairly far more aggressive, and twenty-inch wheels appear regular, with more substantial 21s obtainable if you have bought further dollars to blow. The SQ5 will get all of the foundation Q5’s 2021 product 12 months styling enhancements, way too, like redesigned headlights with regular LED illumination and a modestly tweaked rear bumper and diffuser. There are some new colors on the alternatives checklist, as properly, like the wonderful District Green you see here.

The SQ5’s inside is a lot like its exterior: Clean up and handsome, with tiny in the way of superfluous aptitude. This take a look at vehicle is regrettably awash in a sea of black and gray elements, which can make the whole cabin glimpse pretty dark and drab. (Bolder color schemes are obtainable.) Also, there are 5 or 6 distinct shades of gray in this example — the sprint, door cards, grab handles, seats, carbon fiber trim and piano black console are all ever so somewhat distinct from a single an additional. If this monochromatic tapestry is meant to incorporate visible interest to the SQ5’s cabin, it undoubtedly isn’t going to do the job. At least all the points you will essentially touch are truly substantial quality, and the buttons and knobs on the middle console have a fulfilling simply click to their motion.

Up entrance, the leather sport seats are super comfy for long drives. Rear travellers is not going to have anything at all to complain about, both, except if they are 95th-percentile tall. The SQ5 provides 25.8 cubic ft of cargo space with its rear seats upright, which is far more than the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 but significantly less than the BMW X3 M40i. Fold the seats flat and you will have 54.one cubic ft of space to do the job with, even though in this configuration, both of those the BMW and Mercedes provide far more place.

As colorful as the German winter sky.

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The Q5’s 2021 product 12 months update brings up-to-date infotainment tech to the celebration, with Audi’s MIB three multimedia process housed on a ten.one-inch touchscreen atop the sprint. I love this interface — it is really neatly arranged, colorful and shiny, and most importantly, quick to react to inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both of those regular, as properly, though only the previous connects wirelessly.

The infotainment isn’t really the cabin’s most impressive bit of tech, by the way. That honor goes to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which isn’t really a new bit of infotainment wizardry, but it is really even now a single of the best. A 12.three-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster sits guiding the steering wheel, giving Google Earth maps and tons of automobile and multimedia data. You can manage a lot of the infotainment major lifting by way of this interface, with out ever needing to take your hands off the steering wheel.

Talking of tech, the SQ5 comes with lane-departure warning, blind-location monitoring, rear cross-targeted visitors inform and forward collision warning regular. You’ve bought to pony up for a increased trim stage to get niceties like entire-velocity adaptive cruise command, lane-keeping support, parking support or a 360-diploma camera, which feels like a bummer on a luxurious SUV that starts at $fifty three,995 (like $one,095 for vacation spot). I will remind all the luxurious carmakers that a lot of all those alternatives appear regular on significantly less-highly-priced Hondas, but regardless of what, you do you.

2021 Audi SQ5

I am really into this new District Green paint.

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Go for the gold and you can possibility a 2021 SQ5 Status like my take a look at vehicle up previously mentioned $70,000. With points like the S Sport pack, dynamic steering, 21-inch wheels, Black Optic pack and Nappa leather seats, the SQ5 pictured here comes out to $seventy one,790 delivered. Oh, and if you want all this SQ5 goodness in a far more beautiful but significantly less practical shape, Audi will promote you the whole kit and caboodle in swanky new Sportback guise for an further $three,200.

Eventually, simply because the SQ5 lacks so a lot in the way of uncooked entertainment, I am not really guaranteed it provides adequate of a attract over the regular $forty four,395 Q5. Really, if it is really outright electricity you’re immediately after, the Q5 plug-in hybrid should really be your jam, with 362 hp, 369 lb-ft, 19 miles of all-electrical selection and far better general gasoline financial state. Did I mention the Q5 PHEV also charges $one,000 significantly less? The 2021 SQ5 is a champ at its core competencies, but with out any extra emotion, I can not feel of a cause to get it over Audi’s presently-exceptional Q5.