Canadian publication, Driving, has just recently conducted a head-to-head test of the Audi SQ5 and the Porsche Macan S. Both siblings under the Volkswagen auto group, these two cars share a lot of similarities. However, where these two differ is in the way that they drive, their characters are quite different.
The Audi SQ5 is the top-of-the-line Q5 variant. Packing the same Supercharged 3.0 liter V6 as the S4 and S5, the Audi SQ5 makes 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. This power allows the slightly portly SQ5 to nail 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The Porsche Macan S does the same sprint in basically the same time, despite being down 14 hp and 8 lb-ft of torque. Thank the Macan’s 140 kg (308 lb) lower curb weight and 7-Speed PDK transmission, compared to the Audi’s 8-Speed ZF auto, for that.
The Audi SQ5 is one of the better handling SUVs on the market. With a stiff suspension that eliminates body roll and sharp steering, the SQ5 becomes a willing dance partner. But it can’t compete with the Macan S in the twisties. With the Macan’s significant weight loss over the SQ5, and typical Porsche magic, it’s able to out-handle the SQ5, in terms of sheer fun and driving enjoyment. While the SQ5 is a good handling crossover, the Macan S defines the segment.
Where the Audi SQ5 regains some ground is in the practicality department. The Audi SQ5 has a 824 liter of cargo space, while the Porsche Macan S has, a comparatively tiny, 501 liter cargo area. The Macan’s stylish hatchback-style rear end is the culprit here. The Audi SQ5’s interior is also a bit more user friendly. While the Porsche Macan S’ interior is quite nice, it’s not nearly as ergonomic or easy to use as the Audi’s. The Porsche is also incredibly expensive to option out. Most of the Porsche’s options are as-standard equipment on the Audi, at $65,595 ($50,156 USD). So to give the Macan S the same level of luxury in the cabin, it must be priced significantly higher than the SQ5.
Driving claims the Audi SQ5 as the victor and we don’t see much of an issue with that. The SQ5 is 90 percent of the performer that the Macan S is, but it’s significantly less expensive and more practical. The Audi SQ5 offers a better all-around package for less money and still delivers a dynamite driving experience. The Porsche Macan S is hands-down the best handling crossover on the market, but its price and lack of practicality hinder it in this test.