CARS.COM — Audi’s redesigned compact performance SUV, the 2018 SQ5, has a sensibly sporty look that tastefully understates the bulging muscles under its skin. Now more closely resembling a wagon than an SUV, the SQ5 — bowing now at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit — is powered by a turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 354 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque and races to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.1 seconds. However, it takes a subtler approach to exterior styling that belies the fire in its belly.
Building off of its styling cues from the Q5 SUV’s design, Audi says it gave the SQ5 a coupelike roofline, a wave-design shoulder line and protruding wheel arches that emphasize its standard all-wheel drive. The front end is defined by a hexagonal, platinum-gray grille with aluminum-look double horizontal blade bars, which match the side mirrors; that’s in addition to a roof-mounted spoiler. The clamshell-design hood flows down to meet LED headlights, while the widened rear end gets LED taillights and dynamic turn signals.
Inside, Audi says the SQ5 offers improved legroom, shoulder room and cargo space with the second row folded compared with the outgoing SQ5. A three-spoke, flat-bottom sport steering wheel is standard, as are sport front seats with available diamond stitching, matte brushed-aluminum inlays (or optional carbon-atlas inlays) and stainless-steel door sill inlays with S badging. The center console is laid out asymmetrically to favor the driver.
Tech and convenience features include Audi’s Multi Media Interface touchscreen infortainment system with handwriting-recognition capability, a premium Bang & Olufsen stereo, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Further interior options include Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster with a Sport display mode, which brings the tachometer and speedometer front and center, and adds a boost gauge and lap timer as well as a head-up display. Check out the gallery below.