Car of the Year
Audi SQ 5
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – The Audi SQ5 leaps ahead with an exhaust note that would have Beethoven running back to his composing desk.
My initial reaction to this marvelous addition to the Audi lineup and one strong reason why this performance driven sport utility topped the long list of vehicles driven in 2017.
Add in a luxurious and logically laid out interior, impeccable build quality, and Audi has reached out with both arms open to those who want an SUV but also want something that is fun to drive.
Helping the cause is a re-engineered 3.0-liter V6 that produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Want more?
The eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission proved to be a fine performer when a twisty back road beckoned and wrists were ready to engage the paddle shifts.
A total of 354 hp @ 5,400 – 6,400 rpm
Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,370 – 4,500 rpm
Top track Speed of 155
And again, folks, were are not talking about a high performance Audi sedan here but an SUV.
Quattro all-wheel drive is standard and handling was excellent. The S sport package brings a rear differential that can actively split torque between the wheels of the rear axles, with the ability to direct nearly all torque to one wheel, something just might come in handy on a number of occasions.
There are five different drive modes – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual and Offroad. SQ5 models can be equipped with the available sport adaptive air suspension also add a Lift/Offroad and Allroad mode. But as a fellow auto writer said, “no one is going to take this off road.”
Drivers can quickly get comfy in the “Sport” front seats, the flat bottom steering wheel was a nice touch, and in certain models they face what Audi calls a virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
Three unique modes are available for viewing vital data: Classic, Infotainment, and on the SQ5 a Sport mode is added.
In the “Sport” mode the tachometer and speedometer come front and center of the display along with boost gauge and lap timer. Also available is a full-color head-up display which projects relevant driving information directly in the driver’s field of vision.
That should help you avoid a “blue light special” in the rear view mirror if your exuberance exceeds the posted speed limit.
Fit and finish were first rate, and buyers have a choice of standard matte brushed aluminum inlays or carbon inlays.
The SQ5 comes standard equipped with a power tailgate with hands free opening and closing.
Do check the box for the available 19-speaker, 755-watt Bang & Olufsen system that would leave both Bang and Olufsen smiling.
Standard Audi smartphone interface for compatible devices provides Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto integration via USB connection.
Plus all the expected safety equipment with a base price of $54,300 for the Premium Plus model, and $58,500 for the upscale Prestige model. That does not include $950 for delivery to your local outlet.
Now you might enter an Audi showroom destined for the Q5 and an excellent choice it is.
But look yonder to the one with the platinum gray single frame grille with “aluminum optic double horizontal blade bars”, Audi’s term not mine.
It would be easier to look to the rear for the chrome SQ5 designation. Take one out. Take it home budget permitting.
For its marvelous performance, excellent handling, luxury interior, and outstanding build quality this is one of the greatest Crossover/SUV’s on the market.
And an easy choice for Car of the Year.