Auto news on Youtube Jul 23 2018

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ELANA SCHERR: It’s big on the inside

and small on the outside.

This is the Audi SQ5.

The 2018 Audi SQ5 has to meet a lot of expectations.

Because it’s an Audi, it needs to be luxurious.

Because it’s a Q5, people are going

to expect it to be a fun, small crossover.

Because it’s an S model, you’re going to want performance.

Today we’re going to take it out and see if it

meets all those expectations.

The S in SQ5 means that it’s the sporty version.

And rather than a four cylinder like in the Q5,

it has a six cylinder with a turbo.

And it’s an excellent engine, very smooth.

It sounds good and has a ton of power on tap–

354 horsepower– and they bumped up the torque for 2018.

It’s more than 360.

The three liter turbo in the Audi

is backed by an 8 speed automatic transmission.

That’s the only option that you can get,

but they work really well together.

The transmission is great about keeping the turbo engine

in its best powerband, no matter how quick you’re going,

which gives you a lot of power just right off throttle,

especially if you’re in some of the more dynamic driving modes.

And it is excellent power.

I mean, it’s really a fast car.

This is an all wheel drive vehicle,

but it’s a little bit rear weighted,

meaning that it drives a little more like a rear wheel drive

car which is nice.

It gives it that performance feel of the back end kind

of pushing the car forward.

The SQ5 has a ton of different options for the driving modes.

It has a normal driving mode, a comfort mode–

which I’m not a huge fan of.

I feel like it’s a little bit like a jelly filled marshmallow

when you’re in comfort.

It’s definitely soft, though.

You don’t feel any bumps in the road.

And then it has two off road all road

modes, which lifts the vehicle up and are

for light off-roading.

One mode that the Audi has that isn’t a mode

that you see all the time is called auto.

And what that mode is supposed to do

is adjust to your driving style.

So if you’re going slow or if the road’s really bumpy,

theoretically it would be more in a comfort mode.

If you were on a curvy road and it

could tell you were really kind of getting on it a little bit,

it would tighten everything up.

And it’s supposed to do that automatically.

I didn’t notice it really responding to what I was doing,

but it might need more dramatic inputs.

I tend to be a pretty consistent driver, which is maybe always

a little too fast if you ask my husband.

There’s a custom mode where you can go in and set what you

like about the different modes.

So say you like the marshmallow suspension

but you want the steering to be tight–

I don’t know why you would want that combination,

but maybe you do–

you can do that.

More likely is maybe you like the comfort mode,

but you like the sound and the shifts of the dynamic mode.

So you can go in and get that louder engine

growl and a little bit tighter shifts.

To talk about handling in SUVs is something

that a few years ago probably none of us

thought we would be doing.

But now there’s all these sort of compact SUVs and crossovers,

which are really more like cars.

So they’re not huge.

It’s not unreasonable to expect them to handle more like a car,

and some of them do.

In particular, the SQ5 is an excellent handling machine.

It really goes around the corners

exactly where you want it to.

It’s very predictable.

You can get it into a setting where you really

don’t feel any body roll.

You have no idea that you’re sitting up high.

Every time that you choose a bigger car,

you’re taking on a responsibility.

Everything about a larger car requires more distance,

more time to get up to speed, more time

to get down from speed, more time to make a turn.

And this car gives you a lot of confidence

that it is going to react exactly when you need it

to so it’s not going to take a long distance to stop

if there’s an emergency situation.

The brakes are excellent, and in particular on the SQ5

the brakes are larger than on the Q5.

From the inside of this car you might

think that the outside was huge and that you’d

have a lot of trouble turning it around,

but it’s actually got a very small exterior and a very tight

turning radius.

Bam.

No problem.

I feel like a lot of times I’ll get into a vehicle expecting

it to be huge inside, and it’s small on the inside

and large on the outside.

And that’s kind of a disappointment

both in usefulness and also in driveability.

This car is the opposite.

It’s like Mary Poppins’ purse or something.

It’s really big in here, really roomy.

You can fit a lot of stuff.

I think the back seats are very comfortable.

The cargo space isn’t the most that you can get in this class,

but it’s certainly enough for me.

It’s a pleasant surprise to be having fun driving

on a mountain road in an SUV.

Normally in a truck, I’d be like, ah.

Do I need to pull over?

Is there someone behind me?

Are they going too fast?

Am I going too slow?

After driving this, I would never

be satisfied with the regular Q5.

The SQ5 starts at about $55,000, and at that price

I think you’re getting a lot for the money.

But you can add options and build it up really fast,

and this exact car is $68,000, which, in my opinion,

is a little bit more money than the car that you’re getting.

One of the selling points for the Q5 is the interior,

and the SQ5 takes that to another level

by adding even more great materials and also

some sporty trim options.

A lot of these are very customizable,

so if you’re not into carbon fiber there’s wood options.

There’s brushed metal things.

You can really make this car exactly how you want it to be.

And one of the things that I thought about when I first

got in this car was that it reminded me

of high fashion accessories.

There’s a lot of different materials,

and they all work together to give

a general feeling of being much higher end and much more

built to spec.

Overall, I love the interior in this car.

My only gripe would be a couple of spots on the door panel

where I feel like it’s a little inconsistent.

For example, it’s got this nice brushed metal here

and the optional carbon fiber and the leather here,

but right here, the door pull where you actually

spend time touching the car is hard plastic.

Nothing on it at all, and I think

that’s sort of a weird choice.

The rest of the interior, though, is glorious, especially

if you spend the extra money for the optional red pleated

leather seats, which my husband said were like a low rider.

But he meant that as a compliment.

In the front you’ve got a ton of room.

It’s super comfortable.

You’ll never feel cramped.

And the rear seats are very generous as well.

You’d have to be extremely tall to have

any complaints about them.

I feel like SUVs of this size are kind of like starter family

cars.

You could absolutely have a baby.

You could have a dog.

You could take it out for date night

when it’s just the two of you.

You could drive it as a daily to work and not

feel especially wasteful, but it’s not big enough

to have a huge family, or if you’re doing

a whole lot of activities.

The SQ5 has an optional digital dash,

and that’s something that a lot of people

are very excited about right now.

It’s new technology.

It’s very impressive and flashy.

It’s also very expensive.

That might be something that’s worth it to you

to have the map in here and to have it all be customizable.

I think it’s distracting.

I’d rather be looking at the road

and know that if I need something,

it’s all going to be in the center console.

The other thing that happens with having

the digital dash and all of the stuff that would normally

come in the regular Q5, there’s a lot

of redundancy in the controls.

You can get to the map on the steering wheel.

You can get to the map here.

You can get to the air conditioning

from multiple places.

And once you have it figured out,

it’s not the worst thing in the world.

But it’s easy to get confused and not

remember how you got there in the first place.

Standard in the SQ5 is the giant sunroof,

which opens and really adds to the sense of space

that you have in the car.

It really brightens up the interior,

even if you don’t get the bright red seats.

The pros of this car are the very fashionable interior

and the huge amount of space that you

have inside it compared to the exterior of the car.

I really think that that’s something

where if you’re going to be spending a lot of time

in a car, you want the interior to be comfortable

and you want to like the way it looks.

Overall, I had a great time in this car.

I think it stands out from the pack in terms of style,

and it has a lot of fun to drive.

It was able to do everything that I wanted,

from quick driving to carrying stuff around for the weekend.

And it was big enough to be comfortable but small enough

to park easily no matter where I was going.

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