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  • Review: 2023 Audi SQ5 Sportback Prestige

    Review: 2023 Audi SQ5 Sportback Prestige

    This week I'm behind the wheel of 2023 Audi SQ5 Sportback Prestige. Audi says the Q5 lineup is the brand's top-selling product and it's easy to see why.  Design, style, performance and tech, the SQ5 brings it all to the table. This marks the second year for the Sportback model after being first introduced in 2021.  New for 2023,  adaptive cruise control is now standard for all Q5 and SQ5 models


    The Sportback's sloping roofline is appealing and a special Florett Silver Metallic paint hue compliments its overall design and high-gloss elements from a Black Optic Package.  Signature S design elements include a distinct Singleframe grille, SQ5 badging and the enhanced bumper designs have larger air intakes.


    On this model,  standard 20-inch wheels are replaced by optional Black Optic 21-inch 5-twin-spoke turbine wheels with a titanium finish.  

    The Prestige Package adds Matrix-design LED headlights with headlight washers, OLED tail lights and auto-dimming, power folding exterior mirrors.  


    Of course, performance is a focus of Audi S-badged models. Under the hood you find a 3.0-liter V6 that delivers some great numbers: 349-horsepower and 369 pound-feed of torque. Power and acceleration are terrific. Audi cites a 0-60 time on 4.7 seconds. The engine, with stop/start,  is mated to an  8-speed transmission and the SQ5 has standard Quattro all-wheel drive. 

    An S Sport package adds Sport Adaptive Air Suspension, Sport Rear Differential,  and red brake calipers.


    The SQ5's Magma Red interior (part of the Prestige Package) immediately impresses.  Additionally, available Nappa Leather heated sport seats are exceptional and feature detailed diamond stitching. They live up to expectations in terms of comfort and support and the driver's seat has a manual cushion extender.

    S badging on the steering wheel and front seats along with stylish carbon atlas inlays on the dash, door panels and center console give the cabin just the right sporty vibe. 

    The Prestige Package elevates things even more with a leatherette-covered center console and door armrests, a heated steering wheel with hands-on detection, an LED interior lighting plus package, and a heated and cooled front cup holders.

    The Prestige Package also nets the Audi Virtual Cockpit.  You'll definitely want the cockpit over the standard 7-inch driver display. The graphics are great, it's customizable and click "view full mode" and you get a terrific full map view.  A Head-Up display also displays traffic sign information along with other great graphics.

    Audi's multi-media system runs on a 10.1-inch touchscreen which also displays the optional MMi Navigation Plus and top view camera systems.  The multimedia graphics are distinctly Audi. More subdued and tailored than bright and flashy. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With the Prestige Package, you'll get a 6 month trial of Audi Connect PLUS.

    The great acoustics in here are also really worth noting. The Prestige's Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is divine -  of course, with 19-speakers how could it not be!

    Another great feature is that the wireless phone charger audibly alerts you if you've left your cellphone when opening the door to exit the vehicle.

    Back seat passengers will also enjoy exceptionally comfortable Nappa leather seats, though due to stadium seating and the Sportback design you'll lose some headroom. I'd say you have a few inches above 5'5" to work with. 

    The floorboard is high for the middle seat passenger and the seat backs aren't soft-touch as I would expect. The 40/60/40 heated seats do recline which is terrific and there's a passthrough to generously sized cargo area. There are two USB ports back there too and a 12-volt along with A/C controls and a drop-down center armrest with cupholders.

    Standard features include the carbon atlas inlays, power tailgate, large panoramic sunroof,  three-zone climate,  three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters and interior S badging.

    Ride and Drive

    The Audi SQ5, as equipped with optional Dynamic Steering,  delivers a sporty, engaging ride with excellent handling both in the city and on the highway.  I will say steering is looser that I expected, even in Dynamic mode. Dynamic is still the way to go in my book, not only does it give you a sharper throttle response, but it also amps up a sporty exhaust note.

    Optional Sport adaptive air suspension is wonderful. The SQ5 handles potholes extremely well and the whole ride is really enjoyable. It's a confident ride and drive, too, thanks to Audi's highly-regarded Quattro all-wheel drive system.

    And those brakes. Yes, I'm very impressed with the front 13.8 disc brakes. They are super crisp and deserve a special mention.


    The SQ5 offers a bunch of Audi driver assistance features, including forward collision warning,  land departure warning, Audi side assist (blind spot warning) and rear cross traffic alert, but I don't find them necessarily as intuitive as some other manufacturers.  The same goes for the parking assist feature. For 2023, adaptive cruise control is standard on all SQ5 models. I do like the way Audi displays blind spot warning on the side mirrors.


    What You'll Pay 

    The base price for the SQ5 is around $60,000. But when you add all the options this vehicle has, it heads north fast, to roughly $75,000. Those options include the special Florett Silver Metallic paint ($595), the Prestige Package of goodies ($8,900), the S Sport package ($3,000), Dynamic Steering ($1,150), 21-inch Wheels ($1,000),  Nappa Leather seats ($1,000), a Black Optic Package ($1,195). This one takes off  -$125 for a deleted integrated toll module.


    The 2023 Audi SQ5 Prestige is a stylish, sporty, performance-minded SUV to love with an exceptional interior and Audi's fantastic driving dynamics.   


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    1. What I liked most:  Interior quality, Nappa Leather, Virtual Cockpit, Bang & Olufsen 19-speaker sound, Driving Dynamics, Crisp Braking
    2. What I would change: I'd love round air vents.  Make safety tech more intuitive. 
    3. MSRP:  Base price: $59,200. As equipped: $76,515 including destination. 
    4. Fuel Economy:  19 MPG city/24 MPG highway/21 combined.
    5. Odometer reading when tested:  2,593 miles.
    6. Weight:  4,321 pounds. 
    7. Spare Tire:  Space-saving spare.
    8. Length-Width-Height:  184.6" long/84.2" with mirrors/ 65.4" high.
    9. Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons with fuel tank on the passenger side.
    10. Official Color:  Florett Silver Metallic ($595).
    11. Towing Capacity: N/A.  
    12. 2023 Audi SQ5 in a few words: A terrific luxury SUV with exceptional driving dynamics.
    13. Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty; 12-year limited warranty against Corrosion Perforation, 4-year Roadside Assistance provided by third party.
    14. Final Assembly Location:   San Jose Chiapa, Mexico.
    15. Manufacturer's website: Audi