The 2020 Audi SQ5 is a premium compact crossover with a performance tilt. It’s more powerful and sportier than the regular Q5, and it counts vehicles like the BMW X3 M40i and Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 as its main competitors.
Powerful with polished handling and suspension dynamics relative to the Q5, the SQ5‘s overall very livable package is rounded out by strong brakes, and S-specific styling elements inside and out. As a complete package, the SQ5 offers a great mix of luxury and performance when you want it.
What’s New for 2020?
Along with the Q5, the SQ5 stays pretty much the same for 2020, with re-shuffled packaging being the only real change of note. Automatic high beams are now standard, and a new Convenience Plus package adds wireless phone charging and front and rear parking sensors. The Driver Assistance package is now available on the Premium Plus trim. See the 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
- Safety features offered as standard on basic economy cars are only available starting on the Premium Plus model, where they’re an optional extra.
The SQ5 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 developing 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission complete 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 2020 Audi SQ5 luxury/performance compact crossover comes in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
The Premium ($53,895) 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 programmable garage door opener and a power lift gate. While more common active safety features like adaptive cruise control are limited to the top-spec Prestige model, the SQ5 gains standard high beam assist for 2020.
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. A new Convenience Plus package adds wireless phone charging and front and rear parking sensors.
The Premium Plus ($57,895) 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 Premium Plus can be optioned with an available Driver Assistance package that comes with full-range adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.
The Prestige ($61,645) adds a head-up display, a top-view camera system, standard full-range adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping assist, power-adjustable steering column, heated, self-dimming, power-folding mirrors with memory, a 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, 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 about on par with the competition.
Automatic emergency braking and automatic high beams are standard. A Convenience package is required for things like blind spot monitoring and rear collision mitigation. If you want parking sensors you have to check the box for the Convenience Plus package. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist; features that come standard on a $20,000 Toyota Corolla, are only available starting on the Premium Plus model, where they’re an optional extra.
The SQ5 comes standard with six airbags (front, front-side, full-length side-curtain). Oddly, you have to pay extra if you want rear side airbags.
The NHTSA gave the regular Q5 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 SQ5’s 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.
The cabin materials and interior design are of Audi’s typical top-notch quality, while the 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
2020 BMW X3 M40i — For practicality and driving thrills, this 355-hp machine is a must-consider. If a little more individuality and sleekness are desired, check out the new-for-2019 X4 M40i.
2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 — Available as a regular crossover or in fastback "coupe" style, the GLC 43 enjoys 362 hp.
2020 Jaguar F-Pace S — The 2020 F-Pace has a sublime suspension, a great supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 380 hp, and plenty of space.
2020 Porsche Macan S — The new 348-hp Porsche Macan S is not quite as roomy as the SQ5 (the roof slopes more), but it’s a thrill to drive, and the interior is beautiful.
The SQ5 is a good option for anyone with a good chunk of change to spend on a fast SUV, but not wanting to shell out the extra coin for a Porsche Macan. The Premium Plus trim is the sweet spot for the SQ5 given that it offers good equipment at a relatively reasonable price. But most buyers will likely be tempted to stretch another few grand and get the Prestige with its extra features like a heads-up display and 360-degree camera system. If you like the look of the optional 21-in wheels, at least test drive that setup before taking the plunge, because they will affect ride quality. Find an Audi SQ5 for sale