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2014 Audi SQ5

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2014 Audi SQ5 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Blending comfort, style and performance, the 2014 Audi Q5 SUV expands its already impressive portfolio with a new performance model, the SQ5, and a long awaited diesel model. The Q5 has proven its worth by rising to become the company’s 2nd-best selling model, just behind the A4. Ironically, the diesel and the hybrid trims earn about the same fuel economy figures, neither of which punch much past 30 mpg. Then again, the Q5 is more about performance than pinching pennies at the pump. Easily the equal of rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX, the Q5’s standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and laudable towing capacity of up to 4,400 pounds make it a favorite among buyers who require many services from a single car.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a 5-passenger luxury SUV that wears many hats, the 2014 Audi Q5’s combination of power, performance, luxury and ability will likely strike a positive note. Excellent resale values help offset the high cost of purchase.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Q5’s $38,000 starting price doesn’t include many desirable options. If you’re looking for a comfortable and safe SUV that stays in the low $40K range loaded, you might consider an Acura RDX or even a non-luxury model such as the Ford Edge or Jeep Grand Cherokee.

What's New for 2014

The long-awaited SQ5 joins the Q5 lineup, motivated by a 354-horsepower supercharged V6. Also new is the introduction of the Q5 TDI clean diesel that delivers up to 31 mpg highway. The base 2.0T sees its horsepower output increase to 220, and Premium Plus models gain more standard features.

Driving the SQ5
Driving Impressions

With the introduction of the new SQ5, we no longer think Audi has to play catch up to the BMW X3. However, the rest of the Q5 lineup still walks...

... a fine line between comfort and performance, softer sprung than the X3, but not as disconnected from the road as the Lexus RX. Audi does allow the driver to fine tune the suspension and engine performance via the available drive-select feature. We still find the Q5’s steering feel to be a bit over-weighted at low speeds, but have no complaints once up and running. The Audi Q5 hybrid offers a smooth transition between its electric motor and gasoline engine, but with mileage estimates of 24 mpg city/30 highway, it’s not that much more miserly than the torque-happy TDI or the 2.0T, the latter with a starting price about $15,000 less than the admittedly loaded hybrid.

AUDI CONNECT
This is the name for Audi’s sophisticated in-cabin tech system that seems straight out of the future. Offering everything from Google maps with real-time news and traffic info to a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight devices, this system will indeed keep you and your passengers connected.

4 CYLINDERS, 8 SPEEDS
Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is a splendid engine thanks to its blend of power and fuel economy. Connected to the buttery-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Q5, this powerplant shines even more.

2014 Audi SQ5 Details
2014 Audi SQ5 photo Interior

The 2014 Audi Q5’s interior is just as elegant as the SUV’s outer skin. In fact, one might say the 5-passenger cabin dazzles even more with its emphasis on technology and, by default, bevy of buttons. Unlike some competitors, leather is standard even on base models, and 3-zone climate control will keep occupants front and back at the proper temperature. The shift lever and its surrounding cadre of buttons, knobs and dials would look at home in a private jet, while the optional wood grain lends a more classic feel. The Q5’s roomy rear seats fold in a flexible 40/20/40 arrangement.

Exterior
2014 Audi SQ5 photo

Even in a sea of luxury SUVs, the 2014 Audi Q5 stands out with its brilliant looks. From its massive, trapezoidal grille to its well-proportioned rear with twin tailpipes, the Audi is a picture of form and function. LED lights abound, from the optional daytime running lights up front to the standard LEDs in the taillights and those in the side-mirror-mounted turn signals. At 7.9 inches, even the Q5’s ground clearance is a good balance between road-going sedan and mountain-climbing beast, which allows the Q5 to tackle both twisty pavement and snow- or dirt-covered roads.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In Q5-speak, a base model is designated “Premium.” When it comes to features, that moniker mostly fits the bill, as even that version comes with leather seating, 18-inch 5-spoke wheels, 3-zone automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD player with 10 speakers, and hill-descent control. Surprisingly, you’ll still have to pay extra for Bluetooth on base models. Stepping up to Premium Plus and Prestige trims brings heated front seats, keyless entry and push-button start, blind-spot assist, iPod integration, auto-dimming rearview mirror, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, power tailgate, and a memory setting on the driver’s seat.

Optional Equipment

For those willing to spend the money, a Q5 for 2014 can become a seriously high-end vehicle. Among the extras found as options or incorporated within trim levels are a Nappa leather-clad instrument panel, 14-speaker/505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, rear-seat entertainment package, adaptive cruise control, and high-tech systems with navigation, rearview camera and a 3G network that turns the Q5 into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot. One particularly ingenuous feature is an available thermo cup holder that can warm or cool drinks so your latte stays hot and your soda remains cold.

Under the Hood

Five engine options are available in the 2014 Audi Q5. A 220-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder is standard on lower trims. For those wanting the most power, there are two supercharged V6 engine choices, one offered in the new SQ5 putting out 354 horsepower. The most fuel-efficient Audi Q5s are the hybrid and diesel models. The hybrid, which pairs a turbo 4-cylinder with a battery pack and electric motor to make a total of 245 horsepower and attain up to 30 mpg. All 2014 Q5 models are linked to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. All Q5 models are all-wheel drive and are rated to tow up to 4,400 pounds. The gasoline-powered models require premium fuel.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (2.0T)
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg

3.0-liter supercharged V6 (3.0T)
272 horsepower @ 4,780 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,150 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

3.0-liter supercharged V6 (SQ5)
354 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
347 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 plus electric motor/generator (Hybrid)
245 horsepower (combined)
354 lb-ft of torque (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 (TDI)
240 horsepower @ 3,750-4,000 rpm
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg

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2014 Audi SQ5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 4 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Really nice high performance small SUV

By on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quick. Stealthy with so many regular Q5s around."

Cons: "Slightly dated appearance. Small cargo space."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The SQ5 is a really nice high performance compact SUV. At the time of purchase, I was comparing it to the Porsche Macan S. I had just sold a Cayenne GTS so I was leaning towards the Porsche. The Macan S is a better handling/driving car with a nicer interior, but in the end I could not justify the $12K difference in out the door cost for a Macan S similarly equipped to the SQ5. (At the end of the 2015 model year Macan's were still not being discounted and the SQ5 was being sold at below dealer invoice.) The SQ5 is very quick when passing at highway speeds and quick all around when in Dynamic mode with the transmission in Sport. Interior is typical Audi with simple, but high quality materials and finishes. So far, I have been very pleased with the Audi. I just returned from a 1,000 mile road trip and the car was comfortable for long stretches of high speed driving on 2 and 4 lane secondary roads even with the 21" wheels. On a side note, another reviewer mentioned squealing brakes. That is likely a result of glazing. A couple of hard controlled stops from 70 mph or so will solve the problem. It is not a specific issue with the SQ5 brake system."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Sporty, Quick, Fun Drive

By on Friday, September 4, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Lots of power, fun to drive, handles great!"

Cons: "High sticker price, squeaky brakes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have a 2014 SQ5 - have had it for almost two years. The car looks great, has awesome power, corners well and is all around fun to drive and look at. The sound system and in car hot spot are also great features. Now for the downside, the brakes have squeaked almost from the time I took possession of the car. The dealer and Audi in Michigan say it has "high performance" brakes that sometimes make a noise. However, it shouldn't sound like the old car metal on metal sound of completely worn out brake pads grinding against the rotors. Additionally, the tires needed to be replaced before 13,000 miles. According to the dealer the tires typically last 15,000 - 20,000 miles. The tires are pricey so be prepared to shell out a few thousand dollars for replacements. I do love the driving experience of this car for the reasons I mentioned. However, with the issues it has, recently when friends who are looking for a new car asked about my experience, I could not recommend they purchase a SQ5."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

My best car ever; does many things extremely well

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,100

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Definitely fun to drive and practical for everyday"

Cons: "Not cheap, but compared to competitors, is good"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have owned one for 11 months and have not been disappointed. For an SUV, it handles well and is extremely quick. One can't fairly compare it with a car that sits 15-20" lower as that's a different deal. Mine has the 20" wheels which give it a smoother ride than the 21". The tires are also cheaper (about $300 each vs. about $500 each) and won't be apt to blow out as quick with the slightly taller sidewall (a 45 vs. a 40 profile); I mention this as few other reviews seem to pick up on the pros and cons of the two tire sizes and many say, go for the "cooler looking" set which would be the 21". The 20s don't look bad and a couple of serious reviews have agreed that they are the better choice in the long run (my Audi guy agreed as well). The engine and transmission are great and function very smoothly together. The paddle shifters are handy and can be used in any of the four driving modes. The larger brakes do their job well. The seat is well-balanced and the car is easy to get in and out of which is a plus for anyone with back issues. The B&O sound system, Sirius radio, Bluetooth and MMI Navigation all work well together and the car is incredibly smooth on the road. Frankly, legal highway speeds leave one with the impression that you're going too slow, but that is a "high class" problem to have. Good performance snow tires (like Pirelli Scorpions which I run, are worth considering in states with regular winter weather. Next, will we ever see an RSQ5?"

30 people out of 46 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Monday, February 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fast, agile, well built, comfortable, powerful"

Cons: "cost was high, repairs will be pricey,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I wanted a red Audi Q5 with a V6, the turbo 4 was really working hard on my favorite test hill, the Nissan Murano with a V6, and my 2002 A4, go right up with ease. I ended up with an SQ5, at least that is what it says, but it does not have the squared off steering wheel (I could care less), and I can't figure out which of the V6's it has - I will ask when I take it in to the dealership for its 5000 checkup. No dipstick. Lots of electronics. When they fail it will be really expensive to fix if my A4 is any predictor. But it is a joy to drive in any conditions, easy to park, not a lot of luggage room, but with a carrier on top, that is solved for vacations. The fit and finish are superb, no cosmetic or mechanical defects, the electronics are complex but not hard to master, the navigation system is very confused in Boston, but otherwise has been fine, not sure it is worth twice as much as the Murano, but it sure is worth more."

15 people out of 32 found this review helpful

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