A great road trip is all about the highway, the company, and the car, and getting behind the wheel of the new Audi SQ5 quattro for a weekend adventure was the perfect escape from the city with all the comforts of a true luxury SUV. Driving the SQ5, it almost doesn’t matter where you’re headed–the vehicle itself is half the adventure.
Our road trip adventure with the SQ5 took us around the outskirts of Toronto, across the city to the Beaches, and out of town to the Niagara Escarpment. With frequent stops at parks, a few restaurants and delicious fast-food eateries, it was a great escape, and thanks to the weather and the SUV’s panoramic sunroof, we also enjoyed a lot of sun.
The Niagara Escarpment makes for a fun drive, with beautiful scenery at every turn, and hints of cliffs and nature all around you. It may not be a long drive from Toronto, but it feels like you’ve gone a long way from the city’s dense traffic and sprawling concrete.
One of the highlights of the trip, aside from the views along the escarpment, was certainly the Beaches, where we walked the boardwalk and enjoyed the park, but Springridge Farm was also a lot of fun. The farm is made for the little ones, and our daughter adored the singing chickens (corny, but absolutely fun), not to mention the tractor ride, and the animals. Springridge is also a working farm, so we picked up fresh Ontario strawberries to sample on the drive, and some other fresh-baked treats from the store.
Back in the SQ5 and on the road again, it was easy to spot the differences between the Audi and driving just about any other SUV–particularly cheaper SUVs–and that difference is in the engine. The SQ5 has a powerful V6 engine that delivers an impressive 354 horsepower, and when you’re driving on the highway that translates into almost no hesitation between pressing the peddle and feeling that horsepower kick in, whether you’re passing, or just entering the highway.
That powerful engine also makes the car feel like it’s moving effortlessly, and that can come in handy in a variety of conditions on the road.
My other favourite element of the SQ5 is a simple touch, but it’s one I found refreshing; the steering wheel is flat on one side, which actually leaves a little extra knee and leg room when you’re driving. For many vehicles the steering wheel seems like it is an afterthought in the design process, but Audi has made special effort to give the steering wheel a slightly modern update, and it makes a subtle but noticeable difference when you’re driving.
The greatest feature inside the car, however, is the dashboard system, which they call Audi MMI. The MMI system helps you controls all of the main settings inside the car, from the radio to the navigation and even driving modes that customize how the car handles shifting gears.
Most of the controls are either on the steering wheel or on the centre console, so rather than reaching and looking at the dashboard, you can feel your way between buttons just to the right of the driver’s seat, behind the gear stick. This layout makes it a lot easier to switch between the navigation and radio, and I found it a lot safer than the alternatives that most cars offer.
On our road trip adventure, the features my family noticed were a little more casual than things like buttons and special features.
The SQ5 quattro includes luxury Milano leather seats, which were incredibly comfortable and yet very durable, and a sophisticated, modern design featuring a stunning panoramic sunroof, and the powerful Bang & Olufsen sound system with an impressive 14 speakers and 505 watts of power. We also really loved the colour, which is a distinctive Sepang Blue pearl that reminded me of a perfect blue sky.
While all of the Audi SQ5’s features are important to why the SUV is so impressive, there’s simply no getting beyond the fact that comfort and design are what really make a vehicle outstanding, and they’re what we remembered most about the SQ5.
From the moment the car starts, to pulling out of your parking space, the SQ5 is just a comfortable, modern driving experience that is actually fun as well. I enjoyed every moment behind the wheel, and with a base price of $58,500, it’s a great value for the features, and the quality of the vehicle–not to mention that amazing engine. Add-on options include the Sepang Blue paint job, Bang & Olufsen sound system, navigation package, and the 21′ 5-spoke wheels.
For the eco-conscious, the Q5 also comes in a hybrid option, which features a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that has been combined with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery.
My family and I really enjoyed our adventures in the SQ5. Even when we were just on the road between stops it was incredibly fun and comfortable, and the fuel range–up to 700 kilometres–gave us the option to drive for a long time without worrying about filling up. For anyone looking for a premium SUV, I would certainly recommend the Audi SQ5, and for families who enjoy a good road trip like us, you’re going to love all of the features on those longer drives. The comfort and features ultimately make longer drives enjoyable, whether you’re behind the wheel or in the back seat.