It's been almost a month since my 2018 SQ5 came into my life and here is a list of ten things I really appreciate about this new generation of SQ5:
I loved the old engine with its raspy growl and supercharged ferocity off the line, but I am really coming to love the new 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 and its silky smooth responsiveness. I am enjoying watching the digital turbo boost gauge light up when I mash the accelerator, too. I have been breaking her in gently, but the little jaunts I have been able to squeeze in indicate this engine is a fine piece of mechanical engineering. I look forward to seeing it perform in the mountains in a few weeks.
The first generation SQ5 was weak in the tech department. The second generation does a nice job of catching up to the competition. There were actually a few technology options I didn't select such as the collision avoidance and traffic sign recognition systems. The virtual cockpit is a sublime feature that finally brings the SQ5 to the next level in terms of cool tech. I can scroll between various speed/tach layouts and customize the side readout to audio, telephone, car systems, etc. Finally, Audi has made it possible to store your smart phone in the centre console instead of hiding it away in the glove box. There's even two USB ports in there! The addition of Apple Car Play means I can have the car read and send texts remotely. But, by far, my favourite innovation is the reminder the car gives me that my smart phone is still in the car. I can't count the number times this thoughtful features has saved me a walk back to the car.
I really like the diamond stitched leather seats in the SQ5. They are the perfect combination of sporty and sophisticated. I almost went for the red leather interior package, but I am very happy with the black leather with contrasting white stitching.
The old mirrors had a grey-plastic-fake-metal finish that never really impressed me, so I am loving the more refined and genuine aluminum look of the new ones. Plus, they have a more sculpted shape that matches the dynamic body lines of the 2018. They attach to the upper door panels instead of the A-pillars which creates a more sporty feel to the driving experience. Probably not important to most, but they don't hold as much water, so after a car wash, there's less chance of drops spilling out and ruining a pristine finish.
The more I look at the body lines on this car, the more I appreciate them. The body has the basic shape of the previous generation, but the lines are so crisp and sharp and they give the car a modern and edgy appearance. I am particularly impressed by the fact that you can't see the gaps between the hood and the fenders since the designers have cleverly used the side body crease to obscure the gap. As edgy as the design is, it isn't ludicrous as say the Nisan Murano or Lexus RX. It is a stunning iteration of the sporty yet understated design language that makes me such a fan of Audi.
I was excited to see red brake calipers listed as an option for the 2018 SQ5. They were available on the pervious generation, but those calipers weren't a singular, unified piece. Rather, they had a black plate in the centre that looked out of place. I would have preferred to see "SQ5" instead of "S" painted on the calipers but i guess they were trying to cut costs or something. Regardless, I think the solid one-piece calipers are a very sporty and aggressive touch.
Yeah, it sounds like a beast. The cold-start grumble is music to my ears. I know there's some technological trickery involved, but I don't care. At all.
Every element of the interior is lit. I love it. I especially appreciate the choice of interior ambient lighting colours. They make night driving exceptionally cool. The head lamps and tail lamps are equally impressive. I love that the fog lamps have been integrated into the actual headlamps, because I never liked how the LED head lamps didn't match the tone of the old fog lamps. I also enjoy the progressive turn signals in the rear. This car is truly lit.
The fact that the car can lower or raise itself is fantastic. I am enjoying seeing how the car behaves and appears in the different "Drive Select" modes. I foresee the offroad setting being extremely helpful when I have to crawl my way out of my neighbourhood after a good dump of snow. In dynamic mode, the SQ5 has an aggressive stance that just screams performance. The quality of the ride is the true star, though. Even with 21" peelers, it is amazing how confidently the SQ5 handles bumps in the road. I'm glad I sprung for the air suspension.
The Bang & Olufsen in the first generation SQ5 was good, but this new 19-speacker B&O is absolutely phenomenal. The 3D sound effect fills the cabin with amazingly crisp sound and I am proud to show it off to my audiophile friends.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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