Car Review: Audi turns up the style and speed with SQ5 Sportback

The Audi Q5 has been a stalwart for the German automaker since its launch more than 20 years ago. The stylish compact crossover combined luxury and utility in a handsome package. There have been several versions and now there’s a new model hitting the streets that has a more stylish look.

The Sportback version amps up the look of the normal racy SQ5 model. A coupe-like body replaces the normal blocky and more off-road style of the Q5. The body curves are more evident and the rear end slopes dramatically offering a vibe more like a sports-car than other Q5s on the road. This SQ5 Sportback also comes with a set of optional 21-inch wheels that really look at home, filling up the flared fenders. The Mythos Black Metallic paint combined with quad exhaust tips give this Audi a more menacing look.

Choosing the SQ5 version really ups the performance with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a suspension that is tuned for fast driving and not off-road adventures. The optional S sport package really wakes this family ride up on the road. The adaptive air suspension is great in the curves, but also gives a smoother ride than you might expect from crossover that’s this sporty. The Quattro all-wheel drive system gives you confidence in all weather and road conditions. The SQ5 Sportback also is equipped with some powerful brakes that bring this speedy ride to a halt quickly.

Jump inside and the SQ5 Sportback ups its luxury game as well. Choose the Prestige trim level and gain a host of upgraded technology for the driver and passengers. I liked the simple, but effective, heated and cooled front cup holder, which is a unique touch on this decked out interior. Nappa quilted leather seats look inviting and keep you in place nicely. Just watch your head when getting in and out of the back seat — that stylish body does cut down on height. The storage space also suffers so large items might be hard throw in the back.

Cost: $56,100; as tested $73,990

MPG: 18 MPG City; 24 MPG Highway. I managed 21.1 MPG in 332 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $8,600 prestige package; $595 Mythos black metallic paint; $3,000 S sport package; $1,150 dynamic steering; $1,000 21-inch black optic wheel package; $500 carbon atlas inlay; $1000 fine Nappa leather; $600 black optic package; $350 rear side air bags; $1,095 destination charge

Safety: parking system plus with park assist; head-up display with sign recognition; intersection assist; adaptive cruise assist with traffic jam assist; Audi active lane assist; Audi side assist with pre sense rear; Audi pre sense city low speed collision assist; top view camera system; rear cross-traffic warning

Things to know: Audi SQ5 Sportback is stylish crossover that comes with a coupe-like roofline.

Pros:

  • Performance from a turbocharged V6 makes for a fun family ride
  • Updated interior with a nice combination of luxury and sport
  • Has a sporty look with the Sportback body style, more car and less SUV styling

Cons:

  • High price tag for the SQ5 when you check off on the options
  • You lose some space with the coupe-like body style
  • Lower MPG when you choose the sporty SQ5 models

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