The entire Q5 vary will get a couple of styling updates for 2021.

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The Audi SQ5 positive sounds candy on paper. It has 88 extra horsepower than the usual Q5, complemented by an extra 96 pound-feet of torque. The SQ5 will even do the 0-to-60-mph jaunt a full second faster than its less-powerful sibling. However actually, you’d by no means know.

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Easy and cozy rideGreat infotainment techQuiet, comfy cabin

Do not Like

Turbo engine wants extra soulLess cargo area than rivals

For all of the issues the SQ5 does effectively, it has a serious deficiency in a single key space: drama. It is an issue that is not distinctive to the SQ5; a lot of Audi’s sporty fashions are just too buttoned-up for their very own good. However this lack of visceral pleasure appears significantly egregious within the SQ5. And that is a disgrace, as a result of objectively talking, this compact luxurious crossover is de facto good.

The SQ5’s 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 makes 349 hp and 369 lb-ft — fairly huge will increase over the usual Q5’s 2.0-liter I4. Audi says the SQ5 will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, which is simply as fast as its two predominant rivals, the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The difficulty is that the V6 presents subsequent to nothing in the way in which of aural accompaniment. There is no hearty engine word, no raspy exhaust. There is no actual turbo punch, both, simply a particularly exact and linear software of thrust. The SQ5 is {powerful}, however every thing is so easy and predictable, it would not really feel {powerful}.

The whole lot else concerning the SQ5’s driving expertise is an identical story. The journey high quality is tremendous easy, the physique would not roll underneath laborious cornering and the brakes are surefooted and robust. The steering is fairly mild and completely numb, and whereas the SQ5 can maintain its personal if you happen to take a nook rapidly, this SUV simply would not really feel prefer it cares about having a very good time. It is a straight-A pupil held again by its personal apathy.

If there’s an upside of this shrug-and-a-meh enthusiasm, it is that you’re going to discover it straightforward to fulfill and exceed the EPA’s gasoline financial system estimates. Because the SQ5 would not goad you into driving with gusto, you may haven’t any hassle matching the 18 miles per gallon metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 20 mpg mixed rankings. In reality, after per week of testing, I averaged 24 mpg. You will not get that in a GLC43 or X3 M40i. Then once more, you will not be having as a lot enjoyable.

The turbo V6 is {powerful}, however a bit of too quiet.

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Fittingly, I suppose, the SQ5 would not look all that sporty, although I am not too upset about that. The usual Q5 is a good-looking factor, and the SQ5-specific updo is tasteful. The decrease air intakes look considerably extra aggressive, and 20-inch wheels come normal, with bigger 21s obtainable if you happen to’ve acquired additional money to blow. The SQ5 will get the entire base Q5’s 2021 mannequin yr styling enhancements, too, together with redesigned headlights with normal LED illumination and a modestly tweaked rear bumper and diffuser. There are some new colours on the choices listing, as effectively, together with the superior District Inexperienced you see right here.

The SQ5’s inside is loads like its exterior: Clear and good-looking, with little in the way in which of superfluous aptitude. This take a look at automobile is unfortunately awash in a sea of black and grey supplies, which makes the entire cabin look fairly darkish and drab. (Bolder colour schemes can be found.) Additionally, there are 5 – 6 totally different shades of grey on this instance — the sprint, door playing cards, seize handles, seats, carbon fiber trim and piano black console are all ever so barely totally different from each other. If this monochromatic tapestry is meant so as to add visible curiosity to the SQ5’s cabin, it positively would not work. A minimum of all of the stuff you’ll truly contact are genuinely prime quality, and the buttons and knobs on the middle console have a satisfying click on to their motion.

Up entrance, the leather-based sport seats are tremendous cozy for lengthy drives. Rear passengers will not have something to complain about, both, until they’re Ninety fifth-percentile tall. The SQ5 presents 25.8 cubic ft of cargo area with its rear seats upright, which is greater than the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 however lower than the BMW X3 M40i. Fold the seats flat and you will have 54.1 cubic ft of area to work with, though on this configuration, each the BMW and Mercedes supply extra room.

As colourful because the German winter sky.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Q5’s 2021 mannequin yr replace brings up to date infotainment tech to the social gathering, with Audi’s MIB 3 multimedia system housed on a ten.1-inch touchscreen atop the sprint. I like this interface — it is neatly organized, colourful and brilliant, and most significantly, fast to answer inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, as effectively, although solely the previous connects wirelessly.

The infotainment is not the cabin’s most spectacular little bit of tech, by the way in which. That honor goes to Audi’s Digital Cockpit, which is not a brand new little bit of infotainment wizardry, however it’s nonetheless top-of-the-line. A 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster sits behind the steering wheel, providing Google Earth maps and tons of auto and multimedia information. You may handle a variety of the infotainment heavy lifting by this interface, with out ever needing to take your palms off the steering wheel.

Talking of tech, the SQ5 comes with lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and ahead collision warning normal. You have to pony up for a better trim degree to get niceties like full-speed adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, parking help or a 360-degree digital camera, which seems like a bummer on a luxurious SUV that begins at $53,995 (together with $1,095 for vacation spot). I am going to remind all the posh carmakers that a variety of these choices come normal on less-expensive Hondas, however no matter, you do you.

I am actually into this new District Inexperienced paint.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Go for the gold and you may possibility a 2021 SQ5 Status like my take a look at automobile up above $70,000. With issues just like the S Sport pack, dynamic steering, 21-inch wheels, Black Optic pack and Nappa leather-based seats, the SQ5 pictured right here comes out to $71,790 delivered. Oh, and if you’d like all this SQ5 goodness in a extra enticing however much less useful form, Audi will promote you the entire package and caboodle in swanky new Sportback guise for an additional $3,200.

Finally, as a result of the SQ5 lacks a lot in the way in which of uncooked leisure, I am not likely positive it presents sufficient of a draw over the usual $44,395 Q5. Truly, if it is outright energy you are after, the Q5 plug-in hybrid ought to be your jam, with 362 hp, 369 lb-ft, 19 miles of all-electric vary and higher total gasoline financial system. Did I point out the Q5 PHEV additionally prices $1,000 much less? The 2021 SQ5 is a champ at its core competencies, however with none added emotion, I am unable to consider a purpose to get it over Audi’s already-excellent Q5.

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