2021 Audi SQ5 First Test Review: “S” Is for “Sporty” and “Suave”


With SUVs being so fashionable now, producers have the problem of becoming a number of fashions into a large number of niches to fulfill all types of consumers. Take Audi, for instance, whose Q5 represents about 25 p.c of the marque’s U.S. gross sales. A part of that has to do with the mannequin’s three very totally different powertrain variants: the common Q5 45 TFSI, the gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid Q5 55 TFSI e, and the dynamic SQ5. Within the hottest phase of the sport, you gotta fulfill everybody.

The 2021 Audi Q5 lineup will get a midcycle refresh that slightly changes its appearance inside and out, not to mention slightly boosts the model’s performance. The 2021 SQ5, which we’ll deal with on this assessment, improves upon the 2020 mannequin, and after taking it to the observe, we will affirm it additionally handles like a champ on our figure-eight course.

2021 Audi SQ5: The Numbers

In our testing, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that places down 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque launched the SQ5 from Zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, precisely the identical time Audi bought with its personal stopwatches. The SQ5 additionally accomplished the quarter mile in 13.Four seconds at 102.9 mph. These are fairly good numbers for a 4,400-pound SUV and it means the SQ5 can keep neck and neck with the competitors. The final Mercedes-AMG GLC43 we examined—a 2017 mannequin—bought to 60 mph in the identical 4.7 seconds and crossed the quarter mile in 13.Four seconds at 104.Three mph. Discuss being aggressive. Since then, nonetheless, Mercedes has added 23 horses to the GLC43, which now makes 385 hp (torque stays the identical at 384 lb-ft). We have now but to check an up to date GLC43, so we’ll have to attend and see how a lot sooner (if any) it’s.

Highway take a look at editor Chris Walton was impressed by the SQ5’s dealing with. “Wow! What a delight on the determine eight,” he mentioned. “Actually, a tremendously enjoyable expertise that I used to be not anticipating. Porsche ranges of enjoyable and predictability.”

Whether or not it’s on the observe or the streets, the 2021 Audi SQ5 is enjoyable to drive. Like we said in our First Drive, the SQ5 feels extra like a sizzling hatch than a sizzling SUV, with restricted physique roll and sharp steering response. On twisty roads, the SQ5 leans in properly, its tires sustaining good grip and supplying you with the boldness to push the SUV even tougher. The low-end torque permits the SQ5 to drag itself out of corners with ease, however the transmission takes a little bit of time to downshift, even in Dynamic mode. No less than Audi matches the SQ5 with shift paddles, which permit the driving force to override the gearbox’s torpid nature.

You’re most probably shopping for an SQ5 since you need extra energy, however if you need to cruise peacefully, this Audi additionally delivers. Regardless of its 21-inch wheels, the SQ5’s trip is settled and peaceable on the freeway. After we drove about Portuguese Bend, an space of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California the place frequent land actions perpetually rumple the pavement, we famous the Audi’s suspension dealt with medium undulations effectively.

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2021 Audi SQ5: Contained in the Beast

You’ll know you’re within the SQ5 due to the variety of badges positioned concerning the cabin. From the steering wheel to the shifter to the seats, the considerable S logos visually differentiate the SQ5 from its much less highly effective siblings. In addition to that, all Q5 and SQ5 fashions include the identical 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s appropriate with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This display screen replaces the priorly accessible 7.0- and eight.3-inch shows and is positioned inside straightforward attain of the driving force. The MIB3 infotainment system is straightforward to make use of and quick to reply, and it now provides a voice management system that learns and acknowledges pure instructions for car controls.
































Though the SQ5 (in addition to its Q5 stablemates) doesn’t get the flamboyant dual-screen heart console present in Audi’s greater fashions, equivalent to the Q7 and Q8, the cabin nonetheless feels tech-savvy. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster (or Digital Cockpit in Audi-speak) is enhanced with a greater decision that makes the setup’s Google Satellite tv for pc pictures even crisper. Our take a look at automotive included the Status package deal and got here with the elective coloration head-up show. The 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system had us cranking up the amount each time we performed our favourite songs.

Inside house is usually respectable. The largest compromise is to second-row foot room because of the cumbersome drivetrain hump. Apart from that, although, there’s loads of house for adults. Rear-seat passengers will respect the ethereal cabin due to the massive home windows, however the largest draw back is that the seats don’t fold in a completely flat place.

2021 Audi SQ5: Definitely worth the Value?

The up to date SQ5 brings a recent design in and out whereas balancing dynamics and refinement for on a regular basis driving. It’s a fantastic possibility for individuals who need extra punch than the Q5 affords. Plus, with a beginning value of $53,995, it’s an affordable worth—at the least in its base type. Costs escalate shortly, although, with our top-of-the-line SQ5 with the Status package deal stickering for $71,790.

The SQ5’s primary mission is delivering a enjoyable driving expertise. This Audi not solely does that, but it surely additionally gives a suave trip if you need it. Few SUVs handle to do that in addition to the SQ5 does.

2021 Audi SQ5
BASE PRICE $53,995
PRICE AS TESTED $71,790
VEHICLE LAYOUT Entrance-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.0L/349-hp/369-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automated
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,452 lb (54/46%)
WHEELBASE 111.Zero in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.Three x 74.5 x 65.5 in
0-60 MPH 4.7 sec
QUARTER MILE 13.Four sec @ 102.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 104 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.94 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.Three sec @ 0.73 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 18/24/20 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 187/140 kWh/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.96 lb/mile

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