2017 Audi SQ5 Review

SQ5

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2017 Audi SQ5 Overview

If you’re shopping for a crossover that drives like a sports sedan and the 2017 Audi SQ5 catches your eye, jump on it. The SQ5—the high-performance version of the popular Q5—is scheduled for a redesign for 2018, and the exterior lines, which have stayed the same for years, will probably change. So if you like the looks of the 2017 SQ5, now is the time to act.

With some major changes on the horizon, not much is new for the 2017 SQ5. The top-of-the-line Prestige trim now comes standard with adaptive cruise control and Audi’s “dynamic” steering. A newly available Black Optic Plus package adds a matte black rear diffuser and a high-gloss black rear spoiler, exterior mirror housings, and door handles.

If you’re looking at the SQ5 instead of the Q5, what’s under the hood is important, and there’s some impressive gear powering this sporty crossover. A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission to crank out 354 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. The SQ5 comes standard with Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and it can reach 60 mph in a tidy 5.1 seconds with fuel-economy numbers of 17 mpg city, 24 highway, and 19 combined.

Its acceleration is certainly impressive, and the SQ5 can handle that quickness in corners thanks to a sport-tuned suspension and 20-inch high-performance tires. The stiffer suspension detracts from the ride comfort delivered by the Q5, but that’s a welcome trade for this kind of performance.

The enormous trapezoid grille on the front of the SQ5 is the first thing to catch the eye, while the LED accents on the mirrors add a subtle touch of style. With creases streaking across the upper and lower parts of the doors and a sculpted rear, the SQ5’s silhouette is striking, with quad exhaust outlets and more LED lighting to complete the look.

The SQ5’s curvy rear end means that the trunk offers just 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat—somewhat less than some of its competitors. There’s ample room for 4 adults, however, and with 7.9 inches of ground clearance, it can handle deep snow or rocky dirt roads.

The front seats of the SQ5 offer great support for long rides, and the cabin has the kind of high-quality, well-made feel you’d expect from Audi. There are also plenty of reminders that this is a high-performance vehicle—a flat-bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped shift knob, simulated suede upholstery, and “SQ5” badging.

Standard features for the SQ5 Premium Plus trim include heated auto-dimming mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless ignition, heated 12-way power-adjustable front sport seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and a 10-speaker sound system with SiriusXM satellite radio, CD/MP3 capabilities, an Aux jack, and an SD-card slot.

Stepping up to the SQ5 Prestige trim adds the Technology package (an option on the Premium Plus), which includes front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, a reversing camera, Bluetooth audio connectivity, HD Radio, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, an MMI infotainment system with navigation, and Audi Connect with Google integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The 2017 SQ5 earned Top Safety Pick + status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 4-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Standard safety equipment includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes (ABS), front thorax side airbags, and head curtain airbags.

Updated

After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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