2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback SUV Test Drive

The 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback is an all-new model representing the evolution of the standard SUV to a more stylish interpretation of the Utility Vehicle. 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback

Reflecting a growth segment in the auto market, Audi has redesigned the top-selling SUV Q5 by tapering the roofline to the rear of the B pillar. The effect is very similar to the proliferation of 4 door coupes in the sedan market. Buyers are increasingly looking for a more stylish package and the new Q5 Sportback delivers in spades.
The Audi SQ5 features Audi’s signature octagonal honeycomb front grille framed by customizable LED Matrix front head lights. Large front air intakes sit low on either side of the front air splitter that sits below the front grille. Audi has also revised the rear OLED taillights to punctuate the refreshed styling of the 2021 Q5 lineup.
Aside for the cosmetic upgrades, at the heart of the SQ5 is the turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine that replaces the inline 261 hp, turbocharged 4 cylinder power plant found in the base Q5 models. The V6 produces 349 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque and is shuttle to all four wheels through Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system and an 8-speed tiptronic transmission. The muscular power-train motivates the SQ5 along to 100 kms/hr from zero, in 5 seconds flat.
Settling into the driver’s seat of the SQ5, it becomes instantly clear that Audi is still at the pinnacle of cabin design. Controls make sense and are intuitively laid out.

Upmarket sporty bucket seats are covered in premium Nappa Leather. The dashboard and console surfaces are accented with optional, carbon fibre inserts. The impressive interior is flooded with natural light from the panoramic glass sunroof arcing over the passenger cabin.
In addition to the styling updates for the 2021 mode, Audi has installed it’s third-generation MIB3 infotainment system. The system is centred around Audi’s virtual cockpit plus with 12.3-inch display mounted behind the steering wheel plus a head-up display. Audi’s MMI Navigation system, with Google Maps integration, natively displays on a 10.1 inch dash mounted screen, but can be displayed on the driver’s virtual cockpit screen. The system also incorporates a plain speak, natural language, voice control interface. 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback OLED

Firing up the V6 engine reveals a heart grumble as the previous driver has left the Drive Select settings to “Dynamic”. The system allows drivers to adjust the suspension, exhaust, steering and powertrain response based on preset profiles or individually.
Active suspension dampers are integral to the ability to tailor the vehicle’s driving style through the Drive Select interface. The SQ5 is a pleasure to drive in comfort mode, the Dynamic mode turns the stylish SUV Coupe into a barn burning, corner hugging beast.

The firmed up suspension and sharper handling comes in handy when darting through twisty roads, like the Caledon Hills north west of Toronto, but for running into the office, dial things back to comfort. The ride quality is everything you expect from a luxury SUV.
There are a couple downsides of the Coupe styling. The rear seat headroom suffers, some 16mm less in the Sportback. The lowered roof line curtails some of the cargo capacity and thus some of the utility of the vehicle. The luggage compartment has a volume of 510 litres (18.0 cubic feet). Fold down the rear seats and you’ll have access to 1,480 litres of storage. Another 60 litres of storage is available with an optional adjustable rear seat package. A standard SQ5 SUV offers between 520 and 1,520 litres of cargo storage. Truth be told, the market for the Sportback has likely moved on from hauling furniture or has another vehicle to satisfy that need. The SQ5 Sportback is all about performance, comfort and style.
Prices for the 2021 Audi SQ5 start at $66,750 for the Progressiv trim level. The Technik trim level starts at $70,950. Our test vehicle was a fully loaded Technik packaged model with 21 inch upgraded wheels, adaptive air suspension, advanced driver assistance package, along with a slew of appearance enhancing options. List price including freight and PDI, came in at $79,885. 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback

More information and exact package pricing can be found at Audi’s website.