Saturday, August 12, 2017

Audi SQ5 (Typ FY)

Now based on the second-generation Audi Q5, the all-new SQ5 shows that even a mildly high-performance crossover like this can be a lot more enjoyable to drive as a sportscar while maintaining its daily driver usage as a crossover. So, is the new model better than the previous one? Let's investigate.

2018 Audi SQ5
2018 Audi SQ5

Ever since the second-generation Audi Q5 crossover arrived on the scene several moments ago, I have strong belief that it's amazingly more affordable to buy than the Mercedes GLC, your auntie's next favorite luxury crossover, while it behaves pretty much like the GLC. In this new SQ5 though, this car wants a piece of that action with Mercedes-AMG's GLC43 by doing some similar stuff the GLC43 does in its spare time.

In comparison with the normal Q5, the SQ5 features a much mild and tangy exterior design which is as sharp as a soccer mom in a gym outfit, going out to do some MMAs with some sparring partners or even her next-door neighbor who brings them nothing but Danishes on the silver platter. On the inside, it still feels like a normal Q5. The five-seater capacity, the generous boot space, the MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch, the Virtual Cockpit dashboard, it's all there to keep them waiting.

Time for something that is worth surprising because in the old SQ5, it has a 3.0 TDi engine with two turbochargers that produces 313HP of power and 650Nm of torque. In the new one though, in tune with the times, the diesel engine has been off to the great junkyard in the sky and in place, there is a new 3.0L V6 TFSi petrol engine that powers it, sacrificing torque for added power, 354PS of power and 500Nm of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. With this powerplant along with its quattro permanent AWD, it does 0-100kph in 5.4 seconds and top speed normally limited to 250kph. It may sound quick for an SUV but it's less pulley compared to the previous SQ5 and it's slightly less fuel efficient as well, 8.3 l/100km compared to the old SQ5's 7.2L/100km. When compared to the similarly-sized Mercedes-AMG GLC43, the SQ5 will be getting left behind in the dust bowl in a red state and looks like now it's not the time to explain these two for the time being.

Because the latest Q5 utilizes the same new platform as the latest VW Tiguan, it's now more nimble and more durable compared to the last one, and for the SQ5, the quattro all-wheel drive and its sport-tuned dynamics makes it as lean and as sharp as an Audi S4 in every tangible way. It maybe great to use in any road condition and it can as addicting as a weekend at the arcade but understeering is very likely and even if you try to hard to get this round the corners, it's a distant struggle to get it right and with so much grip, have it your way because it can be very mild and menacing for a crossover like this.

In terms of overall enjoyment as a sportscar, the SQ5 is a royal pain in the arms because it has so much grip in it but as a everyday car, the SQ5 is not half bad, especially when it comes with the same driver assistance tech as the standard Q5.

Should you buy it? The new Audi SQ5 starts at 65,400 Euros, which is four grand more than the more superior Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and for such pricing, it's no doubt that this new SQ5 won't be cutting against its rival to the teeth but it's a fair start. While the transition from diesel to petrol is quite a surprising feat because Audi's had enough of the diesels following scandals that ruined its reputation, how much more does the SQ5 lose apart from its torque? No one knows but explanations are a lot harder than sampling this new model that despite its transition, it never lost some of its impish character from its predecessor and while the GLC43 can beat it in the game of "top trumps", the SQ5 can cheek squeak its way through the end of a week like MMAs in a pajama party. See if I care about it.

Photo: AUDI AG

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