Which to Buy: Audi S5 Sportback vs Audi SQ5

Now that the recently launched Audi SQ5 has debuted, it’s garnering quite a bit of attention. For good reason as well, especially in America, as performance SUVs have become incredibly popular as of late. And as far as performance SUVs go, the Audi SQ5 is pretty awesome. It looks great, is properly quick, handles well for an SUV and packs quite a bit of practicality. On paper, it’s the full package. But is it worth getting over the Audi S5 Sportback?

The reason we ask is because both cars share the exact same powertrain and drivetrain while costing almost exactly the same (the SQ5 is actually $100 cheaper). The only real difference between the two is body style. So since the Audi SQ5 is larger than the S5 Sportback but costs the same, does that make it the better buy?

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Well, it’s not as simple as all that. But before we get into why, let’s take a look at the specs of both cars. Because they both share the same powertrain and drivertrain, their specs are basically identical. Under the hood of both cars lies a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine that makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That blown-six is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that drives all-four wheels, via Quattro. In both cars, an optional sport rear differential can make things sportier.

As far as performance, they’re similar but the S5 Sportback is obviously a bit quicker, thanks to it being smaller and lighter. The Audi S5 Sportback gets from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds while it takes the SQ5 5.1 to do it. On the flipside, though, the SQ5 has more trunk space, a larger back seat and is available with a more comfortable air suspension. So each car has its own set of pros and cons. But which one is the better buy?

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Obviously, it comes down to your personal situation, as the SQ5 works better for a larger family. The S5 Sportback is the more stylish and exciting choice of the two. However, we’re going to go ahead and say that the Audi S5 Sportback is the better choice of the two. Mostly for the fact that it’s better at what it’s supposed to do. The Audi S5 Sportback feels, drives, performs and looks like a proper sports car. The Audi SQ5 is an SUV with a sporty engine but doesn’t actually drive all that sporty. Plus, with the sportier engine and suspension, the SQ5 becomes less successful as an SUV. So it’s a bit compromised at being an SUV and a sports car. The Audi S5 Sportback does what it’s supposed to do and does it well. It’s the more successful car at its intended objective.

Also, it’s not as if the S5 Sportback isn’t practical. It comes with four doors and can seat four adults in reasonable luxury. You can probably even squeeze three kids back there in a pinch. Plus, it doesn’t have a traditional trunk, but a more practical hatchback. So it’s not nearly as impractical as a traditional sports coupe. Plus, it’s such a unique and interesting car that its ownership experience will likely be better. For those reasons, we think the Audi S5 Sportback is the better buy.

CategoriesS5 SQ5
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.