2017 Audi SQ5 review with video


TAudi SQ5he basics:

As tested: $69,400 + taxes
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 11.1 L/100 kms (25.4 MPG)
Competition: BMW X3, BMW X4, Meredes GLA45 AMG, Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60, etc.

For people who want a luxury SUV with a heavy dose or performance, the options are starting to blossom. And a few years back now, the Q5 was the first Audi that got the S-line treatment from the company – bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, sportier seats, a sport tuned transmission, and of course, gobs of power via a 354 horsepower supercharged 3-litre engine. So, yes, expect the same family friendly, well-made versatility, top notch all wheel drive system and top safety marks as you’ll find in the typical Q5, but be prepared for a kick in the pants when you put your foot down. That said, the Q5 has been around since 2009 and it’s been a good long while since it’s seen a redesign. So its current incarnation is starting to feel like it needs a reboot.

The new 2018 Q5

The new 2018 Q5

Well, guess what? There’s a totally new 2018 Q5 coming – in the spring of 2017 according to Glenmore Audi, the company that leant us the SQ5 for the week. It’s going to be bigger, lighter, more efficient, packed with more technology and have a better infotainment system. But, for the first time ever, the Q5’s production is getting moved from Germany to Mexico and that has long-time Audi buyers wondering if it’s better to jump into the tried and tested Q5 before it’s gone for good… or wait to see what the new Mexican-made version has to offer. That’s going to be a personal decision. All I can say, is that this SQ5 we’ve been zipping around in this week has left a big old #$%-eating grin on my face. So while I’m sure the new Q5 will come in a slick new package, the fun factor in this SQ5 had me overlooking some of those features that are in need of an update. For our full review, take a look at the video above. Then scroll through our rapid fire list of pros and cons below.

Audi SQ5Pros:
– Solid build quality throughout the cabin with excellent attention to fit and finish
– Audi’s Quattro all wheel drive system is standard regardless of which Q5 or SQ5 trim you choose
– While the typical Q5 is no slouch in the corners, the SQ5’s sport suspension leaves it glued to the road despite a SUV-like ground clearance
– When you put your foot down, the torque is what really stands out, with power at the ready any time you want it
– Despite being a serious speedster, we still averaged 11.1 L/100 kms over the week (Audi says you should expect 9.9-14.2 L/100 kms)
– Unlike many vehicles that get the sport-line treatment, the SQ5 doesn’t lose the normal Q5’s impressive 4,400 lb towing capacity – far more than many other competitors in this segment
– A roomy second row accommodates rear passengers very well but it’s going to be a squeeze with rear facing car seats
– It has a Top safety pick + rating from IIHS
– The Q5’s 824 litres of cargo capacity behind the second row is very generous for fitting family gear – although not quite as good as the 974 litres of trunk space we saw in that Subaru Forester a couple weeks back

Audi SQ5Cons:
– The big sport brakes require specialized rims, which are quite a bit more expensive than the rims on the typical Q5. So if you want a spare set of winter tires and rims, it’s going to be spendy
– While the sport suspension is great for cornering, you’re going to feel every little bump on rougher roads
– The sport seats are also very firm. I actually quite liked them but they’re not going to be for everyone
– There’s a lot of older tech on board. The navigation is convoluted (and a $2,800 option), voice recognition did not pick up my commands, the infotainment screen is very small compared to the competition, and the virtual cockpit that we tested in the new Audi Q7 is so good, it made the old school digital read out in front of the driver just look rather stale in the Q5

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (64 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 39.5/50= 79%

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