The 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback packs a powerful punch in a small package


Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles , Chasin Kars & Tysons Exotics


The annual Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) Rally returned for 2021 and I jumped at the chance to get some seat time in the 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback. Having been very impressed with my test drive, I immediately reached out to Audi for a loan to complete a full review, so that I could really dig in and see what this beast had to offer. The 2021 Audi SQ5 surely left its’ mark on me and others whose paths I crossed during the time that I had it.

The Audi SQ5 Sportback is a compact luxury crossover SUV that was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. It is the sibling to the Q7, Q4 and Q3. The vehicle was designed for United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Ukraine markets. The SQ5 is part of the Volkswagen Group MLB platform. Onlookers often called it the “Baby Urus.” That is some pretty good company right there

So let’s start off with the exterior. The model that we reviewed came in a Mythos Black metallic hue. Upon first look you will notice the prominent grille, front and rear bumpers, HD Matrix LED Headlights, OLED Taillights and the menacing dual exhaust look.  I really enjoyed the design of the Q5, as it is aggressive but luxurious at the same time. It sits on 21” titanium finish, 5-twin-spoke- design wheels, with red brake calipers that are part of the Prestige package. At the Halloween edition of “Cars and Brunch”, patrons commented about how much they liked the new Sportback look.

The interior of the SQ5 matches the style and quality of the exterior. This luxury SUV seats five passengers, with plenty of head and legroom in the two rows. The Prestige package model that we reviewed decked the interior out with Fine Nappa leather seats, carbon atlas inlays, leatherette covered center console and armrests. The head-up display, Audi virtual cockpit, LED lighting interior plus package and the top view camera system were nice additions as well.  The 2021 SQ5 Sportback offers 24.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 51.9 cubic feet with them folded down. Those values are a little below average for the luxury compact SUV class. I would have liked more storage space is in the driver’s armrest. In a time now, when we are carrying masks, hand sanitizer and wipes, we need a bit more storage space that is near us.

The infotainment system is pretty nice in the Audi SQ5. There is a virtual cockpit along with the center console being complete with the MMI infotainment system with 10.1-inch touch screen. I loved the look and feel of this setup. The infotainment system has the Audi Smartphone interface with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a navigation system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth and USB ports. There is also a Bang & Olufsen 3D surround-sound stereo that blasts crystal clear sound throughout the cabin.

The SQ5 Sportback comes with a 3.0 TFSI, 349-hp turbocharged V-6 engine. This engine makes very good power and can get up to speed fast. The standard Quattro all-wheel drive ensures that all the power is applied to the road. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts rather smoothly. Leading up the “Cruise for a Cause” charity ride, we put it to the test while being amongst Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, McLaren’s, Porche’s and more than enough M and AMG power to fill a German stable. The Audi SQ5 handles well and feels nimble when carving up the corners. The SQ5 gets 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined. This is fairly good gas mileage for a sporty vehicle.

Audi is high on safety and the SQ5 hit the mark. The SQ5 comes with front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera. There is also Audi Pre Sense Rear (blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert) and Audi Pre Sense Side, which uses sensors to detect an oncoming side impact. There is a vehicle exit warning system, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, intersection assist, lane keep assist, a surround-view parking camera system and traffic sign recognition.

As a parent of young children, the child car seats are extremely important to me. There are five complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. This was a plus for me and very easy to use.

The Audi SQ5 is in a competitive class going up against the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3 M40i , Mercedes-AMG GLC43,  BMW X5 M and the Volvo XC60. Audi backs the SQ5 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty, a 12 year limited warranty against corrosion perforation and 4 years roadside assistance coverage.The model that we tested came in at $73,990.00 .

I really enjoyed the Audi SQ5 Sportback with its’ smooth handling and quick acceleration. The interior is luxurious and the infotainment system is top notch. Audi definitely ranks near the top of its class. Please enjoy the photo gallery.


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