2018 AUDI SQ5 – HIGH PERFORMANCE SUV FOR THE DISCERNING By Veeno Dewan

Audi says the faster and better handling version of the completely redesigned 2018 Audi Q5, the new SQ5 will set a new standard in the luxury performance crossover segment.

For 2018, the midsized Audi Q5 has a revamp with a Sport-tuned version   called the SQ5 with unique appearance details, inside and out, a Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, and more performance-oriented equipment.  Audi says. “It’s a faster and better handling version of the completely redesigned 2018 Audi Q5, the new SQ5 will  set a new standard in the luxury performance crossover segment”.

The external differences between the standard Q5 and the SQ5 are characterized by   unique platinum gray accents on the grille, side mirrors and rear roof spoiler. The 2018 Audi SQ5 offers new 3D LED headlights, as well as LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. Bigger aluminum wheels are also standard equipment on the SQ5. Motivation is courtesy of an as   3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine developing 354 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, available from 1,370 rpm to 4,500 rpm.  The 8-speed automatic transmission transmits power to the rear-biased, active torque distribution via Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system.  Audi’s Drive Select technology is also standard, giving the driver a choice between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual modes for different driving modes.

Inside, the SQ5 offers a superb looking interior fitted with a standard 3-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel, and matte brushed aluminum dashboard trim, and stainless steel doorsill trim.  Performance front sport seats with extra side bolsters are standard for the SQ5, and can optioned with a really cool diamond-stitched leather design. Carbon Atlas interior trim is also available on the SQ5.  The front cabin pretty roomy , while the  rear seat accommodates three adults and with the 40/20/40-split/folding seats upright, the SQ5 handles 759 litres of cargo. With the rear seats down capacity increases to 1,710 litres.

The equipment list for the interior includes Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system with navigation and handwriting recognition. There is also Audi’s smartphone interface technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A Bang & Olufsen premium audio system delivers amazing audio performance. Options include Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation with an exclusive “Sport” display mode exclusive to the SQ5. This mode adds a boost gauge and a lap timer while putting the tachometer and speedometer front and center on the display. Audi also offers a full-color heads-up display for the SQ5, as well as adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability, and a traffic jam assist system that automatically stops, goes, and flows with congested traffic.

An optional S Sport Package offers even more performance with equipment such as: a sport rear differential that variably splits torque between the rear wheels, and if needed can redirect almost all of the engine torque to a single rear wheel to maximize driving dynamics. A sport-tuned version of the optional adaptive air suspension is also included in this package, adding ride height adjustment to lower  the SQ5 1.2 inches in Auto mode or higher for extra ground clearance in Allroad and Lift/Offroad modes.

Standard safety equipment for the Audi SQ5is high and includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and an automatic emergency braking system.   The SUV also includes a standard blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, and Pre-Sense rear technology that can detect an impending rear collision and prepare the cabin and occupants for impact.

On the road, Audi’s new 3.0L V6, with a twin-scroll turbocharger, allows peak torque earlier for faster acceleration. Meanwhile, the transmission offers slick, fast transitions and is even better when Sport mode is selected.  The latest Audi SQ5 offers true family practicality, with a compact footprint. Performance is high and the technology and engineering superb. The jewel like cabin and Audi cache make the SQ5 something very special. Highly recommended.

 2018 Audi SQ5 Priced from $54,499 to $61,000 depending on options and specification