2018 Audi SQ5 In-Depth review by Car and Driver

While we recently reported that Motor Trend was testing the Audi Q5 and SQ5 in their SUV of the Year competition, we noted how MT felt the Q5 was a bit too dull but that the SQ5 was actually quite interesting. Well now there’s a full in-depth review from Car and Driver of the Audi SQ5 as it was tested against its competitors as well. So how does it perform?

Overall, Car and Driver gave the Audi SQ5 four of five stars, so they clearly felt that it’s a good car. And indeed, it is a good car. It’s fast, fun and luxurious while being practical and usable. Admittedly, it does have fake exhaust pipes and that knocks it down several pegs. So, it might not be able to beat all of its competitors, as they’re very good. They consist of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43, Jaguar F-Pace S, Porsche Macan S and Cadillac XT5 Platinum. So let’s jump in and see what they thought.

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Under the hood, the Audi SQ5 uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine that makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine is paired with a ZF-sourced eight-speed auto that powers all four wheels. When put all together, the SQ5 can get from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds. That’s good enough to beat the Caddy and tie it with the Jag but is slower than the Porsche and Mercedes, the latter of which rockets to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

In terms of braking performance, the SQ5 really impressed crushing the 70-0 braking test with a stopping distance if 148 ft. The second-closest was the Mercedes, doing it in 154 ft. For perspective, the Incredibly fast Mercedes-AMG GT C takes 151 ft and that’s a genuine sports car.

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When it comes to actual handling, the SQ5 impressed more. It matched the skidpad numbers of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43, tying it for first. It is also fun to drive, with positive, accurate steering and tons of grip. The front end washes a bit at the limit but it’s mostly a fun-to-drive performance SUV with impressive dynamics. It’s also quite comfortable, making it far more luxurious that, say, the Porsche Macan S. The Audi SQ5 also impressed with its luxurious interior and awesome cabin tech.

The Audi SQ5 is a really good car, one that combines performance, luxury, speed and technology in a handsome package. It’s not as sharp to drive as the Macan nor is it as fast as the Mercedes. But it’s a fantastic all-around, everyday performance SUV. Customers will love it. Even if it does have fake exhaust pipes.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.