2021 Audi SQ5 review: A little more S, please

2021 Audi SQ5

The complete Q5 assortment receives a couple of styling updates for 2021.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Audi SQ5 confident seems sweet on paper. It has 88 more horsepower than the conventional Q5, complemented by an additional ninety six pound-ft of torque. The SQ5 will even do the -to-60-mph jaunt a complete second more rapidly than its considerably less-potent sibling. But honestly, you’d never ever know.

Table of Contents


  • Smooth and comfy experience
  • Fantastic infotainment tech
  • Peaceful, comfy cabin

Don’t Like

  • Turbo engine wants more soul
  • Less cargo place than opponents

For all the factors the SQ5 does properly, it has a key deficiency in one particular key location: drama. It truly is a difficulty that isn’t really exceptional to the SQ5 several of Audi’s sporty types are only way too buttoned-up for their own excellent. But this deficiency of visceral exhilaration looks specially egregious in the SQ5. And that’s a shame, due to the fact objectively talking, this compact luxurious crossover is really excellent.

The SQ5’s three.-liter turbocharged V6 can make 349 hp and 369 lb-ft — very huge increases around the conventional Q5’s two.-liter I4. Audi claims the SQ5 will strike 60 mph in 4.seven seconds, which is just as speedy as its two most important opponents, the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The challenge is that the V6 gives subsequent to practically nothing in the way of aural accompaniment. You will find no hearty engine be aware, no raspy exhaust. You will find no real turbo punch, either, just a precise and linear application of thrust. The SQ5 is potent, but every little thing is so smooth and predictable, it won’t really feel potent.

Every little thing else about the SQ5’s driving working experience is a identical story. The experience top quality is tremendous smooth, the human body won’t roll less than tough cornering and the brakes are surefooted and solid. The steering is very light and absolutely numb, and even though the SQ5 can keep its own if you get a corner speedily, this SUV just won’t really feel like it cares about possessing a excellent time. It truly is a straight-A college student held back by its own apathy.

If there is an upside of this shrug-and-a-meh enthusiasm, it can be that you are going to obtain it easy to meet up with and exceed the EPA’s gasoline financial system estimates. Given that the SQ5 won’t goad you into driving with gusto, you are going to have no difficulties matching the eighteen miles for every gallon metropolis, 24 mpg highway and twenty mpg mixed rankings. In truth, after a 7 days of testing, I averaged 24 mpg. You won’t get that in a GLC43 or X3 M40i. Then all over again, you won’t be possessing as considerably enjoyable.

The turbo V6 is potent, but a very little way too peaceful.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Fittingly, I suppose, the SQ5 won’t glance all that sporty, although I’m not way too upset about that. The conventional Q5 is a handsome thing, and the SQ5-certain updo is tasteful. The reduce air intakes glance considerably more aggressive, and twenty-inch wheels appear conventional, with more substantial 21s obtainable if you’ve received more money to blow. The SQ5 receives all of the foundation Q5’s 2021 product 12 months styling enhancements, way too, which includes redesigned headlights with conventional LED illumination and a modestly tweaked rear bumper and diffuser. There are some new shades on the options list, as properly, which includes the wonderful District Green you see right here.

The SQ5’s interior is a whole lot like its exterior: Clean and handsome, with very little in the way of superfluous flair. This check car or truck is regrettably awash in a sea of black and gray resources, which can make the complete cabin glance very darkish and drab. (Bolder coloration schemes are obtainable.) Also, there are five or six distinctive shades of gray in this illustration — the dash, doorway cards, seize handles, seats, carbon fiber trim and piano black console are all at any time so a bit distinctive from one particular another. If this monochromatic tapestry is meant to increase visible fascination to the SQ5’s cabin, it absolutely won’t operate. At least all the factors you are going to truly touch are truly substantial top quality, and the buttons and knobs on the heart console have a enjoyable click on to their action.

Up front, the leather-based sport seats are tremendous comfy for extended drives. Rear passengers won’t have just about anything to complain about, either, except they’re 95th-percentile tall. The SQ5 gives twenty five.8 cubic ft of cargo place with its rear seats upright, which is more than the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 but considerably less than the BMW X3 M40i. Fold the seats flat and you are going to have fifty four.one cubic ft of place to operate with, though in this configuration, equally the BMW and Mercedes give more space.

As vibrant as the German winter season sky.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Q5’s 2021 product 12 months update delivers up to date infotainment tech to the party, with Audi’s MIB three multimedia process housed on a 10.one-inch touchscreen atop the dash. I love this interface — it can be neatly arranged, vibrant and dazzling, and most importantly, speedy to reply to inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are equally conventional, as properly, although only the previous connects wirelessly.

The infotainment isn’t really the cabin’s most amazing bit of tech, by the way. That honor goes to Audi’s Digital Cockpit, which isn’t really a new bit of infotainment wizardry, but it can be even now one particular of the very best. A 12.three-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster sits powering the steering wheel, supplying Google Earth maps and tons of automobile and multimedia details. You can control a whole lot of the infotainment hefty lifting through this interface, with out at any time needing to get your fingers off the steering wheel.

Talking of tech, the SQ5 comes with lane-departure warning, blind-place monitoring, rear cross-targeted traffic inform and forward collision warning conventional. You’ve got received to pony up for a bigger trim degree to get niceties like complete-velocity adaptive cruise handle, lane-trying to keep assist, parking assist or a 360-degree digital camera, which feels like a bummer on a luxurious SUV that starts at $53,995 (which includes $one,095 for destination). I will remind all the luxurious carmakers that a whole lot of people options appear conventional on considerably less-highly-priced Hondas, but whichever, you do you.

2021 Audi SQ5

I’m really into this new District Green paint.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Go for the gold and you can selection a 2021 SQ5 Status like my check car or truck up higher than $70,000. With factors like the S Sport pack, dynamic steering, 21-inch wheels, Black Optic pack and Nappa leather-based seats, the SQ5 pictured right here comes out to $71,790 sent. Oh, and if you want all this SQ5 goodness in a more beautiful but considerably less purposeful condition, Audi will promote you the complete kit and caboodle in swanky new Sportback guise for an more $three,200.

Eventually, due to the fact the SQ5 lacks so considerably in the way of raw leisure, I’m not really confident it gives ample of a draw around the conventional $44,395 Q5. Actually, if it can be outright electricity you happen to be after, the Q5 plug-in hybrid should really be your jam, with 362 hp, 369 lb-ft, 19 miles of all-electric assortment and much better over-all gasoline financial system. Did I mention the Q5 PHEV also expenditures $one,000 considerably less? The 2021 SQ5 is a champ at its core competencies, but with out any extra emotion, I can’t consider of a purpose to get it around Audi’s now-outstanding Q5.

Maria J. Danford

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