What We Like
Expressive, rorty V6
Soft air suspension
Sprightly managing for its sizing
What We Dislike
Steering could use more truly feel
Not significantly quicker than a Q5 Sportback
The Audi SQ5 is a grand tourer for present day SUV-oriented consumers, and it’sÂ surprisingly entertaining to drive as effectively, in spite of its measurement and body weight.
The idea of a grand tourer has usually resonated with me. I’ve generally appreciated a vehicle that has the legs to protect extended distances with ease, even though giving generous occupant comfort. At the exact time, it need to also have the capacity to cater to spirited driving when the situation or the driver calls for it.
Grand tourers arrive in several kinds. Bentley’s illustration is the aptly named Continental GT, Mercedes-Benz has the CLS, BMW has the 8 Sequence Gran Coupe, and Audi has the A5 and A7 Sportback types.
But let’s be truthful – a grand tourer in coupe, sedan or fastback form will not have the similar attraction to the vast majority of consumers that an SUV does.
Blending physique types
This is likely exactly where a design like the SQ5 will come in. From afar, it resembles a sportier-hunting Q5.
Wander about it and you may observe how the roofline, relatively than staying straight, slopes to the rear. The windscreen right here is steeply raked rather of vertical. That’s why the SQ5 has a Sportback designation.
Below is also wherever issues can grow to be complicated for consumers. The SQ5 is an SUV, but carmakers like to come up with snazzy phrases this kind of as ‘Sportback’ and ‘coupe-SUV’, which makes potential buyers wonder how both of those system types can exist in a person motor vehicle.
(Never get me commenced on the other misnomer regarded as the ‘four-doorway coupe’. There is no this sort of detail.)
So, if the SQ5 Sportback is complicated, just imagine of it as a large-overall performance SUV. It undoubtedly has the package that hints at its likely.
Claimed kit commences with a huge octagonal grille in entrance, massive 21-inch tyres that fill the sizeable wheel arches, and tasty quad-exhaust guidelines built-in with the rear bumper.
Huge brake rotors with purple callipers peek out from behind the wheels, and Audi has tastefully retained the ‘S’ badging to a minimum. In simple fact, there are only two on the exterior: 1 on the grille and the second on the tailgate. Subtlety is usually stylish.
Cushiness and sportiness
The SQ5’s inside is common for the manufacturer. It truly is very well-produced, properly laid out and straightforward to get the dangle of. Even the buttons make enjoyable clicks when pressed.
The entrance sports seats are nicely padded and a lot more importantly, can be quickly adjusted to get the optimum driving situation, which is key in a large-functionality product.
Nifty devices includes the brand’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit as well as (electronic instrument panel), a head-up exhibit, and a Bang & Olufsen hello-fi technique. But as we shall before long see, the amazing audio the latter can enjoy is considerably less desirable compared to the drivetrain’s soundtrack.
Occupants will locate a good deal of legroom to extend out at the rear, though the sloping roof indicates travellers taller than 1.8m could discover headroom lacking.
The boot capability, on the other hand, is generous: 500 litres with the backrests in place, and 1,480 litres with the rear seats folded.
That reported, the boot quantity is continue to significantly less when compared to that of the Q5, which presents 520 litres and 1,520 litres respectively. Looking far more athletic has its rate, while luckily, it is not taxing.
Beneath the bonnet is what differentiates the SQ5 Sportback from its Q5 and Q5 Sportback siblings. It has a turbocharged 3-litre V6, whereas the other two models have turbocharged in-line 4 models.
This 6-cylinder powerplant, which also does duty in the S4 Sedan, provides 349bhp and a meaty 500Nm, with the latter figure accessible from just 1,370rpm.
Paired to an eight-pace automated gearbox, the SQ5 Sportback hits the century mark from rest in five seconds, or 1.3 seconds quicker than its Q5 sibling.
Having said that, velocity and acceleration are not what this SUV’s specialties are. 50 percent the rationale you acquire an SQ5 Sportback is simply because of its addictive engine notice.
This specific V6 is continuously thrumming, in particular when the generate method is set to ‘Dynamic’.
It is best sampled utilizing the manual override functionality, wherever you can do foolish things, these as maintaining the transmission in a particular gear (normally next, third or fourth) so you can regularly generate a wide variety of scrumptious noises.
All the things seems great even up to 5,000 or 6,000rpm. And you will want to extend the motor because you can make these ‘braap braap’ seems when you downshift. Evidently, gas costs are going to be an problem.
What will not be an situation, although, is convenience. Outfitted with Adaptive Air Suspension with S-specific tuning, the SQ5 Sportback is cushy even when the Dynamic placing is chosen.
Bumps are easily dealt with and these bothersome speed bumps can just as easily be cleared as well. If you assume it really is far too organization, there’s usually a Convenience solution to cosset your bum. A vehicle like this would be welcome on a lengthy travel up North.
Of course, when the mood strikes, the SQ5 Sportback is delighted to indulge your spirited ways. Irrespective of weighing in excess of 1.8 tonnes, the SUV felt useful about twisty places this kind of as Orange Grove Highway.
Though you can find not considerably experience from the helm, the steering is accurate and lends you the self-assurance to stick to the turns, recognizing that the car can just take it with significantly less lean than expected. It does even much better in long and light sweepers.
You could go on a street vacation in common Q5. But it will not likely be as adept or athletic as this SUV.
That is what the SQ5 Sportback provides. It can be obtained the powerplant that fans want, with the SUV entire body, ease and comfort and flexibility that modern shoppers find.
In other words and phrases, it is really a modern-day interpretation of a grand tourer. I just hope they you should not try to come up with some other snazzy name for it.
Searching for sporty SUVs? Here are some other alternatives to consider
The Audi e-tron S Sportback provides rate and area and allows you preserve trees
Audi SQ7 defies logic, but would make great perception
Maserati Levante Trofeo is fast and feels exotic
Porsche Cayenne Coupe drives like a Porsche must
Volkswagen Touareg presents astonishing bang for buck