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Steve Checks Out The ‘Hot-Rod’ Audi SQ5

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Just because you need a crossover doesn’t mean you need to relinquish driving pleasure. Audi has been offering a hot-rod version of their very popular small SUV now for a number of years and it’s a dynamo. But it’s also less than fresh.

So this spring Audi unleashes their second-generation SQ5 with increased power, a new turbocharged V6 and a design that pulls it more in-line with the Q7.

Featuring an all-new 3.0-liter engine, the 2018 SQ5 produces 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque engaged by an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Every SQ5 is a quattro model and when ordered with the S sport package comes with a sport rear differential utilizing torque vectoring to help maximize driving dynamics.  That package also includes an adaptive air suspension – a first for the SQ5.  It lowers the vehicle by over 1” and allows for adjustment of both ride height and the firmness of the dampers via the standard Audi drive select.  In addition to the regular 4 drive select modes, the air suspension adds both an allroad and a lift/offroad mode for increased ground clearance.  Also available is dynamic steering, offering a variable steering ratio that adjusts based on speed.

The new SQ5 offers improved space, with more rear legroom and shoulder room as well as increased cargo capacity with the 2nd row seats folded down.  Concerning infotainment, Audi offers their MMI touch with handwriting recognition technology, a B&O sound system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The available virtual cockpit with Google Earth navigation features a sport display mode while a full-color head-up display projects relevant driving information directly in the driver’s field of vision.

By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Feb. 15, 2017

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A premiere automotive resource featuring video reviews by America’s top automotive critic Steve Hammes. Having road tested more than 2,000 new vehicles, Hammes, known as “The Go-to-Guy Before You Buy”, delivers at least two new reviews of his first-hand test drive experiences each week.