New for 2015The 2015 Audi SQ5 gets minor trim package and feature changes, adding HID headlights, a power liftgate, an optional 19-inch wheel package, a high-gloss black package, and two new SQ5-only exterior colors: Sepang Blue Pearl and Daytona Gray Pearl.
Vehicle OverviewThe Audi SQ5 is a high-performance compact crossover with two rows of seating. The Audi SQ5 competes in the midsize luxury performance segment, and is the fastest SUV in the automaker’s lineup.
SummaryThe 2015 Audi SQ5 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 354 hp and 346 lb-ft, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic and the automaker’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The SQ5 can tow up-to 4,400 pounds, and gets a EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway; keeping some of the versatility but not as much of the efficiency of the Q5.
The SQ5 may be on the sportier side of Audi's crossover lineup, but it still offers luxury touches including three-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, leather/Alcantara seats, a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, Bluetooth with streaming audio support, and heated/ventilated front seats. Notable safety features include adaptive HID headlights with LED daytime running lights and taillights, adaptive cruise control, Audi Side Alert (blind spot monitor), and a parking system with front/rear acoustic sensors and a rearview camera.
The 2015 Audi SQ5 received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing the Q5 received four ratings of Good (the highest possible rating is Good).
What We ThinkThe 2015 Audi SQ5 occupies a space above the more pedestrian compact crossovers, but below the rocket-ship-like hot-rod midsize SUVs. Instead of treading in BMW X5M and Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG territory, the smaller SQ5 finds a middle ground above the GLK350 and X3 xDrive35i, with more power, more capability, but at a price far south of the X5M and ML63 AMG (to be renamed the GLE-Class for 2016).
In a Driven review of a 2015 Audi SQ5 we noted, “The Audi's layout, performance, and personality are far closer to a VW GTI than a Ford Explorer. Yet this German hatch is scaled, gussied, and powered up for American tastes: No hot hatch in history could carry five people and their gear so readily, or lap up miles with such luxurious haste.”
We were also quick to point out that “body roll is practically nil thanks to firmed-up springs and hydraulic dampers. … The V-6 poured power like a bottomless boat of gravy. Tire and wind noise barely intruded even at mega speeds. And a new exhaust manifold and two-mode, quad-pipe outlet provide the rowdiest soundtrack yet from the usually subdued 3.0T.”
We also praised the handling, saying “The electric steering, best left in the middle "standard" mode, can seem aloof at everyday speeds, but as g-forces approach Squealville and the Audi holds the center like Bill Clinton on the campaign trail, the steering's sheer precision makes it easy to forgive any feedback shortage.”
Flaws include a finicky key fob compromised handling over rough and broken roads. 21-inch wheels are likely to blame. While the EPA gave the SQ5 a harsh 17/24 mpg “slapdown,” we saw 25 mpg in our testing while cruising in top gear.
"Call the SQ5 what you will: SUV, crossover, tall hatch, sport wagon. Free-spending hot-hatch lovers, all grown up and craving luxury and space, will want to call it their own," we wrote in a review.
- Lots of grip
- Subtle, but attractive, styling
- Most powerful iteration of the supercharged V-6 yet
You Won’t Like
- Rough ride with 21-inch wheels
- Finicky key fob
- BMW X3 xDrive35i
- Mercedes-Benz GLK350
- Acura MDX
- Land Rover Range Rover Evoque