If you’re looking at performance crossovers/SUVs, the Audi SQ5 is impressive throughout. No doubt – it’s bonafide refreshing to drive a crossover that’s so well-composed & feels like it actually wants to be driven. There aren’t too many crossovers like that in today’s plain-vanilla vehicle world, so when you do find ‘em… it’s a good feeling.
Making 350hp, the 3.0 turbocharged V6 runs!
And the engine is unique to the SQ5 over the base-model Q5’s 2.0 4-cylinder. In Sport Mode, the 3.0T obviously pairs very well with the SQ5’s all-wheel-drive system, as well as it’s deliberate-shifting 8-speed ZF transmission. I dunno… a responsive automatic ZF transmission just seems more acceptable & appropriate to me if it’s at least in a performance crossover/SUV versus a sports car. Although in my opinion, the B9 SQ5 would possibly be even more enticing with a dual-clutch trans.
The Audi SQ5 doesn’t just feel like a crossover with a bit more power & some gimmick ‘sport’ badging. It really is more…
On the ‘crossover’ end of the spectrum
The Audi SQ5 has the quality of being effortless to just ‘jump in & go’. Traffic, car pool lines, pop-up changes in plans, weather-changes… they all just roll right off your back unnerved. As I get older, I more & more understand the value in that lol.
But sliding back over to the ‘performance’ end of the spectrum
The Audi SQ5 keeps you engaged as a driver. It gives you the kind of driving-satisfaction & reenforcement that only performance can deliver – those core elements. Sharpening the mind… rather than sedating you & distracting you like the vast majority of crossovers on the road. It brings your attention into the moment. It’s the kind of crossover where you’ll want to roll the windows down.
When breaking out of the congestion & finding some free space on a backroad, the Audi SQ5 is quick to pull on the leash.
It wants to go! You don’t feel the bulkiness of a crossover in this element; you feel responsiveness. The suspension is firm, yet forgiving. The power surges, the traction bites, the steering is tight, and the transmission is quick & deliberate. The Audi SQ5 really is fun to drive. I also hear that the Audi infotainment recently got a much-needed update, although I really don’t care about that sort of stuff so… I’m happy if you’re happy?
The Achille’s heel with any performance SUV/crossover, is that it ultimately has to make some compromises.
You can’t make a true sports car while being concerned with things like passengers & cargo space & daily livability, etc. But – the Audi SQ5 makes these compromises very, very strategically.
Plus honestly – sports cars themselves have made too many compromises over the last decade (IMO). They’ve kind of been their own Achille’s heel. As far as I’m concerned, the death of the manual transmission is the death of the true, gritty sports cars. And as such, I’m much more likely to hold onto my older/vintage sport cars… rather than selling them for an inflation-priced new paddley pop-pop, 2-pedal, 2-seater with arguably no soul. Therefore – a performance SUV does have a growing place in the market for enthusiasts like me. An enjoyable/potent daily that can handle road trips, can carry the family, and has some good aftermarket support… all while letting me keep my recreational sports cars of yesteryear.