The Audi SQ5 is a compact executive luxury car made for those who already love the Q5 but deem it to be a bit too slow. The SQ5 does not get the full-on Audi Sport RS treatment, but most people won’t mind a 350hp family SUV that looks and sounds way better than the regular Q5. The reality is that a car such as a Q5 is never going to be dynamic, it will only look good, sound good, and go good in a straight line.
So, is Audi SQ5 a good car? The SQ5 is actually one of the best cars Audi makes because it combines a bunch of great characteristics in a singular platform. First of all, the SQ5 gets either a diesel or a gasoline V6 supercharged engine with more than 350hp. It also gets Audi’s iconic Quattro AWD system that makes the car capable in all weather conditions.
The SQ5 also looks amazing inside and out as all SQ5 models come with loads of optional equipment straight from the factory. The SQ5 drives as well as it looks even though the suspension setup is a bit stiffer than usual. All in all, the SQ5 is subtle with a slight emphasis on performance driving.
Reliability is decent, but there are some issues worth talking about. Practicality is great as the SQ5 is easy to get in and out of, it offers a bunch of seating space and a comparably large trunk space. All in all, the SQ5 is a really good car as it combines a bunch of benefits in a single package.
Audi SQ5 – The powertrain
The Audi SQ5 is available with two different engines, a 3.0L gasoline V6 or a 3.0L diesel V6 with a supercharger. These engines put out between 300hp and 350hp with the V6 gasoline supercharged engine being the most capable one as it enables the SQ5 to reach 60mph from a standstill in about 5 seconds.
These engines are mated to the Audi Tiptronic torque converter gearbox that sends power to all four wheels permanently through Audi’s Quattro AWD system. The diesel variants are known for a really economical footprint while gasoline engines are a lot worse in that regard.
Either way, all SQ5 powertrains are exciting and are worth the premium over regular Q5 engines. These are both refined and sophisticated without being overpowering. Some say that the Q5 deserves a 4.0L Audi RS V8 with about 550hp-620hp but this is unlikely ever to happen given the current climate surrounding high displacement engines.
Audi SQ5 – Design and chassis
The Audi SQ5 looks a lot better when compared to the regular Q5 because it gets a wide variety of additional trim pieces and styling touches that make it look a lot more aggressive and luxurious. First of all, the SQ5 gets bigger rims, bigger brakes, 4 exhaust tips, and loads of either aluminum or even carbon.
The interior of the SQ5 is equally as exciting thanks to a bunch of Alcantara, carbon, and perforated leather. The SQ5 is not an overly aggressive car which means that it is still comfortable and subtle. However, it does feel a bit more dynamic compared to a regular Q5 which drives in a somewhat characterless manner.
Audi SQ5 – Reliability and common issues
The Audi SQ5 is similar to the regular Q5 which means that some generations fare a bit better than others. The common theme is the newer the model from its generation, the better it fares when it comes to reliability. All in all, the SQ5 is built stout, but it does need thorough and timely maintenance, otherwise, it will fail.
The most common Audi SQ5 issues are associated with the electronics, the body & equipment, the engine, the transmission, and the suspension. Be sure to consider one that has been kept in optimum condition for the longest if you want to make the most out of Audi SQ5 ownership.
Audi SQ5 – Value and practicality
The Audi SQ5 is a really good deal on the second-hand market, especially the post-facelift 1st generation which is similarly priced to a regular Audi Q5. The Q5 in general is a really good car on the 2nd hand market because the exterior design aged like fine wine while the interior design didn’t fare all that well.
The Audi SQ5 is also a really practical car thanks to its large and spacious two rows of seating and comparably large trunk space. The SQ5 is easy to get in and out of and it comes with loads of family-friendly features which make it one of the best-used family performance SUVs on the market.
Should I buy an Audi Q5?
If you are in the market for a fast and luxurious SUV that also manages to scorch a hot hatchback off the line, the SQ5 is a perfect choice. I do agree that it’s not fair the Q5 never got the full RS treatment as a V8 engine in a car as good-looking as the Q5 would likely be a hit.
Either way, the SQ5 is still a really exciting car and you can also say that you really don’t need more than 350hp in a car such as the Audi Q5. There is almost nothing the SQ5 can not do besides heavy off-roading which is something the vast majority of SQ5 buyers don’t even think of doing.
Is the Audi Q5 better than the Audi SQ5?
The Q5 is a really good car and one can arguably state that there is no need to go for an SQ5 as the Q5 never was and never will be a sports SUV. The argument is that spending a few tens of thousands of dollars on optional equipment on a regular Q5 is a much better option than just going straight out and buying the SQ5.
The answer to this question boils down to what you value more. If you want the highest level of luxury with heated, massaged, ventilated multi-way adjustable seats with extensive lumbar support, you should spend the extra money on a normal Q5 with everything. On the other hand, if you want a bit of spice to make your daily commutes that bit more entertaining, the SQ5 is the one.
When is the new Audi Q5 coming out?
According to a few credible sources, the new Q5 is coming out sometime next year and there are many spy shots of the upcoming Q5 already online. Some say that the next-generation Q5 is going to be a huge upset to the automotive industry, but I guess we will have to wait and see.