Glitch in the matrix
We Like: Dashboard of the future, screaming SQ5 performance.
We Don’t Like: Harsh stability-control intervention, dull Q5 personality
On the surface, the Q5 has a lot going for it: a future-is-now instrument panel, high-style interior details, and a rip snortin’ SQ5 performance model. What it doesn’t have—or at least our tester didn’t—was properly operating stability control and collision-avoidance software.
The Q5 had a startling habit of slamming on the brakes mid-corner in response to nonexistent threats, a behavior every judge experienced when driving moderately quickly on the handling evaluation loop. Audi technicians later reported a busted “level sensor,” which reads how much the vehicle is pitching or yawing and informs the stability control’s response. Audi says it’s never seen this problem before and that it was unique to our tester. Unfortunately, we were not able to repair the Q5 on-site or acquire a replacement vehicle during our evaluation.
The SQ5 had no such problem; it loved the handling track. However, our awards are presented to the full vehicle range, and the SQ5’s fun factor didn’t invalidate the Q5’s problems. Nor did it hide that beyond the digital dash, the Q5 doesn’t break any new ground for the class or for Audi in general.
“This is fundamentally an evolution of the existing Q5—and looks and feels it in every way,” Angus MacKenzie said. “We’ve kind of seen it all before. It doesn’t move the needle in terms of Audi design and engineering. The drive experience is somewhat anodyne in the regular Q5. The SQ5 is a stormer but is comprehensively bested by the AMG GLC43 Coupe, which is quicker, steers better, and grips harder.”
Read about other 2018 SUV of the Year contenders:
|2018 Audi SQ5 V6 T||2018 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$68,175||$56,500|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||3.0L turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6||2.0L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed automatic||7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4,464 lb (54/46%)||4,179 lb (53/47%)|
|WHEELBASE||111.2 in||111.0 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||183.9 x 74.5 x 65.3 in||183.6 x 74.5 x 65.3 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.0 sec||5.9 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||13.5 sec @ 101.8 mph||14.5 sec @ 94.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||112 ft||136 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.88 g (avg)||0.79 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.7 sec @ 0.73 g (avg)||27.2 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||19/24/21 mpg||23/27/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||177/140 kW-hrs/100 miles||147/125 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.93 lb/mile||0.79 lb/mile|