Whenever Audi makes an S model, it doesn’t go for huge power, but more than enough for most people and situations. This is complemented by strong brakes, S-specific front and rear aerodynamic treatments, and dedicated suspension setups.
In this instance, the Q5 premium compact crossover provides the foundation, with polished Audi styling, SUV practicality and the elevated driving position loved by so many people. As a complete package, the SQ5 works exceptionally well.
What’s New for 2019?
The SQ5 has a new entry-level trim: Premium. This now makes three trim levels, with equipment being redistributed between them. The top Prestige trim now receives self-steering Park Assist as standard. Audi has also changed its horsepower ratings, so the 2019 SQ5 enjoys 349 hp, whereas the 2018 version had 354. No difference to the engine, though, and torque stays the same. See the 2019 Audi SQ5 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Truly enjoyable to drive, regardless of the fact that it’s a crossover
- High-quality interior
- Excellent V6
What We Don’t
- Advanced driver aids are only available as options in the top trim
The SQ5 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 developing 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This goes to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
The 5-seater 2019 Audi SQ5 luxury/performance compact crossover comes in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
The Premium ($53,395) has 20-in alloy wheels, an adaptive sport suspension, full LED exterior lighting, aluminum roof rails, keyless entry and ignition, heated side mirrors, a tilt-and-telescopic and flat-bottomed steering wheel, Drive Select (providing adjustment for steering, transmission and throttle responses), a self-dimming rearview mirror with a digital compass, ambient LED cabin lighting, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated 4-way power-adjustable front sport seats, leather and Alcantara (synthetic suede) seating surfaces, slide/recline/split/fold (40/20/40) rear seats, an MMI infotainment system with a 7-in display, Bluetooth phone connectivity and music streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, forward-collision mitigation, a garage door opener and a powered lift gate.
A Convenience package brings blind spot monitoring, rear-collision mitigation, self-dimming side mirrors, memory settings for the driver’s seat, an advanced key for remote starts and lift gate opening, plus satellite radio.
The Premium Plus ($57,795) adds a panoramic sunroof, advanced key, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, navigation, touchpad with handwriting recognition, Wi-Fi, a Virtual Cockpit (12.3-in configurable driver information display, including a Sport mode), wireless charging, a phone signal booster, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, rear-collision mitigation, voice control, a 10-speaker, 180-watt audio setup, a CD/MP3 player, two USB ports, two SD card slots and AM/FM/HD/satellite radio.
The Prestige ($63,095) adds a head-up display, a top-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam Assist (a partially autonomous system that steers and brakes in stop-and-go conditions between standstill and 40 mph), active lane-keeping assist, power-adjustable steering column, heated, self-dimming, power-folding mirrors with memory, automatic high beams, self-parking system, road sign recognition and a Bang & Olufsen 19-speaker, 755-watt audio upgrade.
Premium Plus and Prestige trims are eligible for an S Sport package that includes a sport rear differential and a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension.
Other options include 21-in alloy wheels, variable-ratio steering, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and Nappa leather upholstery.
Maximum cargo space is 60.4 cu ft. With the rear seats in place, the luggage area measures 26.8 cu ft. That’s OK, but not as good as the BMW X3, for example (62.7/28.7 cu ft.).
The SQ5 features standard stability control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, hill descent control and six airbags (front, front-side, full-length side-curtain). Rear-side airbags are optional.
The SQ5 has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the regular Q5 has. The NHTSA gave it a maximum 5-star overall rating, with top scores for front and side impact protection. The IIHS made the Q5 a Top Safety Pick after it took the top score of Good in all the major categories.
Behind the Wheel
The SQ5 performs almost like a sports car, sprinting from standstill to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. Maximum torque comes in at a low 1,370 rpm, providing substantial thrust whenever the need arises.
The quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system is calibrated to direct 60% of available muscle to the rear wheels for a well-balanced feel. However, this intelligent system can send 85% of torque to either axle if conditions demand.
The optional sport differential can also route all torque from one rear wheel to the other, bringing even more capability to the SQ5’s already impressive cornering talents. The sport front seats provide superb lateral support, making the driver feel even more confident through the turns.
The optional adaptive air suspension, meanwhile, also has an off-road mode and can adjust ride height as well as suppleness.
Cabin materials and interior design are of Audi’s typical top-notch quality, while rear passenger space and cargo volume are generous. The SQ5 makes the most of its rear compartment by providing slide and recline functions for the back seat, along with the luxury of separate rear temperature controls.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Jaguar F-Pace S — Has a sublime suspension, a great supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 380 hp, and plenty of space.
Premium Plus trim gains some standard equipment during this 2019 shakeup, so it starts to look even more attractive. But someone with the funds for that could probably stretch another few grand and get the Prestige with the extra driver aids. If 21-in wheels are highly desired, at least test drive that setup before taking the plunge, because they will affect ride quality. Find an Audi SQ5 for sale