Crossovers like the Audi SQ5 Sportback are as popular as ever. Thanks to high demand, all the major manufacturers have jumped on the trend. However, this SQ5 isn’t just your typical crossover.
The S in SQ5 makes it sportier than the standard Q5 to the tune of 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The base Q5’s engine has to make do with only 261 horsepower to compare. The particular Audi we tested is also a Sportback, which gives you a more “coupe-like” rear hatch. The base price for an SQ5 Sportback is $56,100, $3,200 more expensive than the standard SQ5.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the Sportback is worth the extra money on principle. As for the overall design, there is a lot to see. This particular Audi is finished in District Green Metallic, and features bright red brake calipers behind standard 20″ ten spoke wheels.
Each of these design elements gives the SQ5 a sportier appearance than your average crossover. Then again, the fake quad exhaust tips don’t exactly scream performance. Thankfully the interior makes up for the fake exhaust and then some.
The quality of materials and Audi’s sharp looking virtual cockpit stand out. If there’s one complaint about sitting in the SQ5, its the lack of personality. The cabin is exceedingly German and well pieced together, but it doesn’t feel special. The only details that let you know this is a “sport” model are two extremely subtle S badges.
Two questions come to mind immediately when we see “coupe-like” crossovers. How does the roofline impact trunk space, and how does it impact rear headroom? At 5’10” the SQ5 Sportback’s headroom is perfectly reasonable, though those six-foot-two and above would probably be pushing it.
Trunk space in the Sportback is limited with the seats up, only 24.7 cubic feet. If you fold the rear seats down you’ll have all of 51.9 cubic feet, which is without a doubt enough room to carry some things. Whichever things you do load into the SQ5 will ride comfortably thanks to the Audi’s comfortable but planted ride quality.
Competition and Verdict
The Audi SQ5 Sportback competes directly with the Mercedes AMG GLC 43 Coupe and the BMW X4 M40i. Both the Mercedes and the BMW make over 380 horsepower as compared to the Audi’s 349. However, the Audi is considerably less expensive to start. The BMW x4 M40i starts at $61,700, and the Benz at $64,900. By comparison, the Audi SQ5 Sportback’s $56,100 base price seems like a bargain.
The SQ5 is a good overall package that does a bit of everything, and it does so without sacrificing much fuel economy (20mpg combined). If you’re in the market for a luxurious and fun-to-drive crossover it is certainly worth a test run. For a more detailed look at the SQ5, check out the video linked below!