The 2018 Audi SQ5 is a sporty crossover based on the completely redesigned Q5 — one of the most popular models in Audi’s stable of vehicles. It’s intended to offer that elusive blend of crossover utility and fun-to-drive performance.
Performance-focused SUVs aren’t new, but Audi really created the category with the SQ5, proving it can take its motorsports learnings and bring it to any vehicle in its lineup. This latest SQ5 is easily the most impressive one yet to help it take on a slew of competitors, namely Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and Porsche.
For 2018, the SQ5 rides on a new platform that also underpins the S4 and S5. Not only does it receive a new exterior and interior design, but this platform is also lighter. The newest rendition also gets a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, adaptive air suspension, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, Audi’s enhancements result in a vehicle that’s quicker, more nimble, and even more efficient than the previous generation.
The SQ5 is offered in two trim levels. The Premium Plus ($54,300) gets a slew of standard content, including 20-inch five-spoke wheels, Quattro all-wheel drive with active torque distribution, Audi drive select with five drive modes, leather/Alcantara sport seats, a power, hands-free liftgate, panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Upgrading to the Prestige ($58,500) adds dual-pane acoustic glass for the front side windows, a color head-up display (HUD), premium sound system, navigation, digital driver display, and a surround view camera system. A $3,000 Sport package is available as well, adding red brake calipers, adaptive air suspension, and a sport rear differential.
The aforementioned 3.0-liter V6 serves up 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That unit is paired with eight-speed automatic transmission, promising greater efficiency and smoother gear changes than the previous generation’s dual-clutch unit. Thanks to its powertrain and platform updates, the 2018 SQ5 is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. It can also sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds before reaching a top speed of 155 mph.
For those in search of a truly fast compact luxury SUV brimming with technology features and plenty of practicality, the 2018 Audi SQ5 is on sale now.