2023 Audi SQ5 / SQ5 Sportback Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

Performance luxury SUVs like the 2023 Audi SQ5 and SQ5 Sportback provide an easy way to celebrate your car enthusiast roots when your lifestyle evolves to include the traditional trappings of adulthood. Essentially a hot-rodded version of the regular Q5 SUV, the SQ5 wears a snazzier wardrobe and packs a turbocharged V-6 engine under hood that makes a stout 354 horsepower. Its suspension has been tweaked for sportier handling, but rivals such as the BMW X3 M, Porsche Macan, and Mercedes-AMG GLC-class all push this performance SUV formula farther with sharper handling and punchier acceleration. If your goal is to enjoy a twisty road while keeping the kiddies asleep in the back, though, the soft-riding SQ5 is probably the one to have. Inside, Audi aims for maximum impact with a host of technology and luxury features, including an available digital gauge display, rich leather, and popular driver-assistance features.

What’s New for 2023?

Adaptive cruise control is standard on all SQ5 models starting this year, and the mid-range Premium Plus trim now includes a Bang and Olufsen stereo system. Chronos Gray is a new color for the SQ5’s exterior and replaces last year’s Quantum Gray color.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We’d go with the Premium Plus trim, but we’ll let you decide if the regular squareback SQ5 or the fastback SQ5 Sportback is for you. This mid-range model comes standard with plenty of luxury features, including a Bang and Olufsen stereo system, a heated steering wheel, a lane-keeping assist feature, and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The SQ5 keeps things simple with one powertrain. Audi’s throaty turbocharged V-6 makes good power, and standard Quattro all-wheel drive puts that power to the road. This dynamic duo is let down occasionally by its eight-speed automatic transmission, which can be slow to change gears and sometimes serves up syrupy shifts. The SQ5’s 5.1-second zero-to-60-mph run is objectively quick, but it’s not nearly as speedy as the 4.5-second effort of the GLC43. With its accurate, firm steering, there’s fun to be had tossing the SQ5 through the twisties. Even entry-level SQ5s have a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that can direct up to 85 percent of the available torque to the rear wheels. The SQ5’s ride is compliant and comfortable—a compliment in this class—but a little too soft for aggressive performance driving. We suspect that most buyers in this segment would be perfectly happy with the SQ5’s straight-line speed and its pothole-vanquishing ride, but uncompromising drivers should consider the 10Best-winning Porsche Macan.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The SQ5’s EPA fuel-economy ratings aren’t particularly impressive, but most competitors have similar numbers. Also, the SQ5 outperformed said numbers in our real-world highway fuel-economy test. Our Prestige test vehicle delivered an impressive 28 mpg highway over the course of 200 miles at a steady 75 mph, outpacing even the Cadillac XT5 which offers nowhere near the same amount of performance as the Audi. For more information about the SQ5’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The SQ5’s exterior may be a little dull, unless you opt for the sexier Sportback body style. But inside, both come standard with sculpted sport seats and their available quilted-leather coverings leave no doubt as to this crossover’s upscale intentions. Heated, power-adjustable front seats are standard in every SQ5, as are three-zone automatic climate control and Audi’s practical, attractive design. Other comforts will cost extra and can include heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and additional leather trim for the front row. We fit the same six carry-on boxes into the SQ5’s 27-cubic-foot cargo area as we did in the Macan’s 18-cubic-foot luggage compartment. Call that an impressive result for the Macan or a disappointing one for the SQ5, but either way, it puts the Audi near the bottom of its class for real-world carrying capability. The Sportback variant reduces storage space behind the rear seats by 3 cubes (25 total), and folding them flat opens up 52 cubes of cargo volume.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The SQ5’s standard infotainment offerings include two USB ports, three 12-volt outlets, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. By choosing the mid-range Premium Plus or the top Prestige version, drivers can enjoy premium features such as a Wi-Fi hotspot and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display. Among other tricks, this upgrade to the gauge-cluster display provides a satellite street view of the directions from the MMI’s navigation system, so drivers never need to guess whether they’re on the right track. This is a little gimmicky in a world where nearly everyone’s pocket holds a GPS-equipped smartphone, but it’s a trick that (for now) places Audi a cut above the competition. Added USB ports for back-seat passengers would be welcome.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Audi provides several collision-avoidance technologies as standard in this model, with more driver-assistance features available to those who are willing to pay for them. For more information on the SQ5’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard front and rear automated emergency braking
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Standard adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Audi’s warranty coverage tracks closely with that of most competitors, but it provides no complimentary scheduled maintenance compared with the five years of maintenance offered by the Jaguar F-Pace.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Specifications

Specifications

2021 Audi SQ5

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

BASE PRICE

Premium, $53,995; Premium Plus, $58,395; Prestige, $63,595

ENGINE TYPE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement

183 in3, 2995 cm3
Power

349 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque

369 lb-ft @ 1370 rpm

TRANSMISSION

8-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Length: 184.3 in
Width: 74.5 in
Height: 65.6 in
Passenger volume: 99–103 ft3
Cargo volume: 26 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 4400 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)

60 mph: 4.7 sec
100 mph: 12.9 sec
1/4 mile: 13.5 sec
Top speed: 155 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 20/18/24 mpg

More Features and Specs