The new SQ5 is a car of many qualities. Too many, really.

That it’s not the most exciting SUV you may ever have driven is obvious – but it’s that way by design.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Audi’s mid-sized performance SUV bites off more than it can chew

Audi quite plainly wants you to think of this not as the ultimate driver’s SUV but rather as the one that can do it all: climb a steep gravel path, ford a river, run with a sports car, dominate the autobahn, and then shut down its more imposing facets and be as quiet, comfortable and undemanding as a modern limousine, but a whole lot more practical and versatile with it.

Such breadth of capability is likely to stretch any new car thin, making it unlikely to approach greatness in any one area, but in this sporting SUV, it certainly erodes that which should be its clearest selling point: exciting handling dynamism.

Although it could punch harder on performance, the SQ5’s outright pace isn’t so underwhelming to its driver as the isolated, changeable remoteness of its controls or its shortage of genuine character.

This means overall the new SQ5 makes our top five but is no match for the Mercedes-AMG GLC43, the Alpina XD3 Biturbo, the Jaguar F-Pace 3.0 V6 S and the formidable Porsche Macan GTS.

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