Audi SQ5 ticks all the boxes
The Audi Q5 range was recently updated and with it came the updated SQ5, we got our hands on the test unit and spent some time with this mid-sized performance based SUV. Is it still a viable option in a segment dominated by the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and the BMW X3 M40i?
The SQ5 differentiates itself from the other Q5 models in that it makes use of sportier bumpers, larger wheels with red brake-callipers and those iconic four-tailpipes at the rear. Sadly, the latter are fake, the actual pipes can be found behind the bumper…
Nevertheless, the front of the SQ5 has been given a refresh and now features revised headlights with LED technology. This is further complimented by a redesigned single frame grille with larger octagonal structures. The far edges of the bumper make use of larger trapezoidal inserts to add an element of width and sportiness.
The rear lights are also different to that offered on the standard SUV model and, if so requested, will make use of OLED technology, a first in the segment. To add to the drama, the Q5 offers an animated rear light signature which includes a dynamic lighting scenario. An additional sporty graphic is displayed in the rear light cluster when “dynamic” mode is chosen in the Audi drive select system.
The interior of the Audi SQ5 features, as is the case with Audi products, a neat and well-put together interior with subtle sporty touches. Some highlights for us include the digital instrument cluster and the addition of a new, larger 10.1 inch touchscreen infotainment system. The system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the latter being wireless. A wireless charging tray can be found in the centre console. The overall experience is finished off with ambient lighting throughout the interior. In fact, the lighting on the lower dash just above the climate control system will change from blue to red when the temperature is adjusted. As for practicality, the standard Q5 SUV offers a luggage capacity of 520-litres which can be extended to 1520l.
The SQ5 should fulfil your appetite with its 3.0-litre, 260kW and 500Nm motor. It will hit 0-100km in just under 5 seconds and features a sublime 8-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. Out on the road the car offers a surprisingly comfortable driving experience, even in its most sportiest setting. We also like how easily accessible the power is. You don’t need to reach very far in order to exploit the vehicle's potential.
Overall the SQ5 offers an enjoyable experience that is not overly excited by a car that’s constantly on edge. Even in Dynamic mode the SQ5 can be a dignified companion, however, flex your right toe and it will not question your intentions as it rockets towards the horizon.