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Audi Q5/SQ5: Ready to Ride

September 2017, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

2018 Audi Q5
2018 Audi Q5

Nearly a decade after its 2009-MY debut and six years after a 2012 facelift, the Audi Q5 and its high-performance variant, the SQ5, are completely redesigned for 2018. The new compact luxury SUV adds a dash of style, sophistication, and panache to the segment, where it battles such competitors as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and Volvo XC60.

The Q5 and SQ5 set themselves apart with a range of trim levels, a long list of stand-alone options and packages, and uptown design language within and outside the luxury-appointed cabin. Critics have praised the new vehicles’ look, feel, and driving dynamics, crediting the new MLB evo platform (shared with the A4 and A5 sedan and coupe) for a stiffer, more refined ride.

Specs for the 2018 Audi Q5
Specs for the 2018 Audi Q5

The Q5 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four that delivers 252 horsepower (hp) and 273 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. It is rated at 23 miles per gallon (mpg) in stop-and-go driving and 27 mpg on the highway. The hybrid powerplant gives away a few horsies but adds torque; fuel economy ratings were not available at press time.

The SQ5’s 3.0-liter turbo V-6 ups the ante to 354 hp and 369 lb.-ft. and is paired with an eight-speed automatic. Fuel efficiency numbers fall to 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the open road.

Base Premium trims get 18- or 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, and triple-zone climate control. Upgrading to Premium Plus brings extras such as keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats with driver memory, and auto-dimming and power-folding sideview mirrors.

The 3.0T Premium Plus and Prestige editions include such features as adaptive headlights and cruise control, rear sunshades, and a heated and cooled cup holder, as well as Audi’s technology package, which includes a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, upgraded infotainment, and Wi-Fi.

Audi also offers a luxury package and, on 3.0-equipped models, a Black Optic package highlighted by 20-inch wheels and a flat-bottom, track-style steering wheel. The SQ5 gets interior and exterior styling cues, including shift paddles, and sporty seats.

The 2018 Audi Q5 and SQ5 are available now. MSRPs start at $41,500 for a 2.0-liter Q5 and $54,300 for the 3.0-liter SQ5.

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