FOR ITS mixed bags of deceptive looks, outstanding performance and level of comfort, the Audi SQ5 must rank high as a desirable set of wheels.
If you have some spare 300 grand lying around (maybe from the sale of Bitcoin before that bubble bursts), you may want to consider putting some considerable coin down on this seemingly nondescript set of wheels. And they are large wheels, too, which seems to be the most noticeable give away of what is on offer.
The unassuming grey SQ5 that’s been presented as a test drive unit is dulled down to appear even more unremarkable on the road. Sheep in grey wolf clothing may not sound quite right, but you get the drift.
Other than the S badging on the front grille, that slight rear spoiler and the brake calipers, this could be the St Bernard Q5.
Built For Presence
But looks are deceptive.
The new SQ5 does look a bit edgier. It is longer to give that greater sense of purpose, higher to prevent it from looking too boxy, and has that sloping back to give it that sense of urgency. The new SQ5 may have the same power output as its predecessor, but it makes its presence felt much sooner, and there’s more torque kicking in at 1,370rpm.
That means it can pretty much stun your socks off as it takes off like a rhino on steroids.
There’s a sweet engine note when you push the start button. It puts things in perspective as you buckle up.
The Bang & Olufsen sound system puts out some cool vibes in the cabin, as you casually get underway. Or, if you’d prefer to launch into your journey, you could floor it and reach 100kmh in just over 5 seconds, without breaking sweat.
Comfortable armchair seats with cooling function — perfect for the tropics — are wonderfully accommodating. The nice centre console screen lets you in on all that’s going on in the car. And you have the digital displays and head up display to let you stay focused on the road.
That rush of adrenaline surging through the system as it takes off with enthusiasm is hard to correlate with an SUV. These people movers are meant to be more for the soccer moms. Or so you thought. But just as estates have become the new power wheels, SUVs, will take on new meaning, and will continue to influence the product output of manufacturers.
Audi has sold its fare share of SUVs. In 2006, they moved 53,000 units, and last year, that number had swelled to 622,000, and accounted for almost a third of the brand’s sales.
With the likes of the SQ5, expect this category’s popularity to rise, as it packs form and function in an everyday package.
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Engine: V6 turbo
Max Power: 260kW@5,400–6,400rpm
Max Torque: 500Nm@1,370–4,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic
0-100kmh: 5.4 seconds
Top Speed: 250kmh
Retail price: *$321,000
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.