The Audi Q5 is a small-size family executive SUV that competes with the likes of the BMW X3 and the Mercedes Benz GLC. These SUVs are some of the most popular cars in today’s day and age as the SUV and crossover era keeps on ramping up. The SQ5 is the top-of-the-line Q5 model that gets the most powerful engine, and a whole host of other upgrades.
Comparing the Audi Q5 with the Audi SQ5 is like comparing an iPhone 13 to the iPhone 13 Pro Max which means that Q5 is the standard model while the SQ5 is the “Pro Max” as it offers the most exclusive experience. Therefore, these are based on the same chassis, and most components are shared between them.
However, the SQ5 gets a larger engine, a beefed-up transmission, larger brakes, a lower ride height, stiffer suspension, more equipment from standard, and a better-looking interior and exterior design. Average onlookers might not be able to tell the difference between these two, but the difference behind the wheel is instantly noticeable.
In this article, we will compare these two models and tell you why you should go for one over the other. You will soon realize if you are the type of guy who truly desires all the upgrades that are available with the Q5, or if you are someone who does not care about the intricacies and want to save a few bucks in the process.
The very base-level Audi Q5 has a starting price of $44,100. This is the standard Q5 without anything on it which means that hardly anyone is going to buy it. The Premium Plus Q5 starts at $49,100 while the range-topping Q5 Prestige equipped with everything you need starts at $54,800. You can always add some additional options on top of this price, but $60,000+ Q5 models are not all that common.
The standard Q5 is available with a host of different engines which include an entry-level 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with around 250hp, a 2.0L diesel model with around 190hp, and a 3.0L 6-cylinder TDI model with up to 300hp. The Q5 is also available with a few hybrid engines as well such as the 50 TFSIe Quattro with a 2.0L gasoline engine and an electric motor with a combined output of 300hp.
Not all Q5 models get Quattro AWD from the factory which means that you will have to pay for it on the entry-level models. The exterior of the car is highly dependent on the options you go for which means that non-Prestige models without an S-Line package aren’t really the most exciting SUVs out there. The Q5 drives simple without anything particularly special about it.
Relevant read: Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLC
The 2022 Audi SQ5 starts at $56,995 which is somewhere in the region of the Audi Q5 Prestige. However, the SQ5 Premium Plus package will set you back $61,195 while the range-topping SQ5 Prestige will set you back $66,395, but you are basically getting everything there is to get with the SQ5 Prestige package.
The SQ5 gets a 3.0L supercharged V6 engine with 350hp and 369lb-ft of torque. It also comes standard with Audi’s Quattro AWD system no matter the trim level you go for. The SQ5 gets a whole host of upgrades over the regular Q5 in pretty much every department. The most noticeable differences are the suspension system and the way the car looks inside and out.
The SQ5 gets special components such as carbon fiber trim pieces and sports seats which aren’t available with the regular Q5. The SQ5 is an Audi Q5 turned to 11 which means that the overall experience is simply better in all regards. The SQ5 is not really all that spec-dependent as all SQ5 models look great.
Relevant read: Audi SQ5 problems and issues
Conclusion – The SQ5 is better, but for who?
It is pretty clear that the SQ5 is the better car is it offers you more of everything while also retaining its value a lot better. The SQ5 is more exciting, faster, better handling, more luxurious, and most importantly, it has a character. The Q5 is a great car, but it does not really ruffle any feathers which means that many people deem it to be a bit too clinical.
As such, if you are someone who values the qualities that come with the SQ5, it’s pretty clear that you will always prefer the SQ5, even when it requires you to spend some extra money. On the other hand, if you just want a comfortable SUV that already gets lots of equipment, you are better off with the regular Q5.
Audi SQ5 models are more popular with the younger population who wants to show off and feel more special, more accomplished which is perfectly fine. On the other hand, a regular Q5 is typically bought by those who don’t need or want to prove anything but just want a safe, luxurious, and comfortable SUV.
Is the Audi Q5/SQ5 available as a coupe?
After Audi released the post-facelift 2nd generation of the Q5, they also introduced the Sportback (SUV Coupe) version with it. This means that you can pay a few thousand dollars extra if you want to upgrade to the Sportback model.
The difference between the regular Q5/SQ5 and their respective Sportback versions is just design. It’s also worth mentioning that Sportback models do suffer a bit when it comes to practicality due to a sloping roofline that does eat into rear space.
Is the Audi Q5 a good family car?
The Audi Q5 is a great family car because it offers all the qualities you’d expect from a great family car. For starters, it is spacious enough for up to five people and it comes with large trunk space. Secondly, it is a really safe car with a stellar 5-star crash safety rating.
It is also a really comfortable, quiet car to travel in that gets loads of family-friendly features such as USB charging ports, lots of interior storage spaces, easy-to-reach IsoFix mounting points, rear-seat infotainment, and multi-zone A/C.
Is the Audi Q5 an off-road SUV?
The Audi Q5 can do off-roading, but that is not really something the Audi Q5 is known to do. Most people who buy these types of SUVs don’t take them off-roading as that is not what they are designed to do. Granted, the car comes with adjustable ride height, hill descent control, AWD, and dedicated driving modes, but for this price, you can get a much better off-roader.