This is going to sound weird, but after a week with the new Audi SQ5 Sportback, I'm left wishing it was a little... worse. The SQ5 Sportback is only Audi's second venture into crossover coupe territory after the larger and more distinctive Q8, and its biggest issue is that it's too close to the regular SQ5, with not enough differentiation in styling or dynamics to warrant the additional cost.
Now, I'm a big fan of coupeovers. I like the "style over substance" ethos and the idea of paying more money for a more extroverted design, even at the expense of reduced cargo space and usability. But instead of a dramatically raked roofline, thegets a slightly more sweeping greenhouse with a pinched D-pillar that isn't all that different from the regular SQ5's. The taillight and bumper designs are slightly different, but otherwise it's nearly impossible to tell the two crossovers apart at a glance. And while the Sportback is still attractive, I think it looks disappointingly worse than the standard SQ5. I do have to give a shoutout to this SQ5's phenomenal District Green paint job, though, which is well worth the $595 upcharge.
The interior is identical to the normal SQ5's, and as a whole it's typical Audi: fairly staid in design but very nice in materials and execution. This example features an all-black color scheme with carbon-fiber inlays that doesn't help amp up the excitement level, but bright red leather is available. The dashboard and center console designs are identical to the normal SQ5, with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen running Audi's fantastic MMI software. This infotainment tech is attractive and snappy to use, and Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay are standard. I like this single-screen setup more than the dual-screen system in larger Audis, as it means the SQ5 has physical climate controls.
The Good ~ Cargo space and headroom only slightly impacted ~ Excellent infotainment system ~ Comfortable ride
The Bad ~ Styling not differentiated enough ~ Reserved driving dynamics ~ Expensive price
The Bottom Line The SQ5 Sportback isn't different enough from its standard SUV sibling to warrant its existence.
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