Is the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 a threat to the Audi SQ5?

The Audi SQ5 has basically been the only small fast SUV on the market for some time now. With its 3.0 liter supercharged V6, the Audi SQ5 makes 354 hp and gets from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. You’d be hard pressed to find an SUV in the SQ5’s segment that can keep pace with it. The only SUVs on the market that could beat the SQ5 for speed cost twice as much. So it has really been the only option in its segment.

Audi SQ5 TDI plus

Well, it seems as if the folks in Affalterbach have something to say about that. Enter the Mercedes-AMG GLC43.

Mercedes-Benz recently launched its new GLC Class SUV to compete with the Audi Q5, among others. This new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 is a hopped up variant packing a twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter V6 that develops 362 hp and can do the sprint from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds. That twin-turbo V6 is shifted through a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox that sends the power to all four wheels, via Mercedes’ 4Matic.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (X 253), 2016

So the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 has quite the edge on the Audi SQ5, in terms of both power and performance. It’s also much newer, built on a newer platform and has better technology. Admittedly, the current SQ5 is built on a Q5 platform that is much older than the current GLC Class, so that has a lot to do with the AMG’s advantage.

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In terms of looks, the GLC43 definitely looks fresher than the SQ5, though that also has to do with the age of the two cars. The current Q5/SQ5 design is getting a bit stale, as we’ve been seeing it for years. A new one is on the way but, as it stands now, the GLC43 is the better looking car. The same can be said for the interior, where the GLC43 has a far more modern design and better interior technology. But, then again, it should, being that its considerably newer.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (X 253), 2016

It’s kind of hard to compare the two cars right now, as the current Audi SQ5 is on its last legs and is going to be replaced next year. But the current SQ5 is the car that Mercedes-AMG is benchmarking, so it’s really all we have to compare it to. The next generation Audi SQ5 will be built on Audi’s new MLB platform and will be lighter, leaner, faster and packed with even more tech. So that’s the car that’s going to be able to really compete with the new GLC43. However, as it stands right now, it looks as if the GLC43 is the superior car to the Audi SQ5. Audi fans are just going to have to wait until the new version of the SQ5 to compete with this new Mercedes-AMG GLC43.

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.