I think the cosmetic problems originate from two sources. First, the Q5 doesn't look that good. Neither does a regular VW Golf, but the GTI has a certain presence. The second source of problems is that Audi hasn't updated the "S" design language fully. People are never going to count how many bars you've got in your grille or notice the silver mirrors.
I'm sure that the SQ5 will surprise us in the corners, though, as Audi's latest suspension technology can keep up with Porsche. But under the hood is not the most inspiring engine. They've switched from a supercharged V6 to a turbocharged one with a maximum output of 354 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque from as low as 1,370 rpm.
Steady improvements aren't enough, not when Mercedes has a twin-turbo in its better looking GLC 43 AMG model and BMW's X4 M40i packs an almighty punch. The 0 to 60 time of the SQ5 is 5.1 seconds, 0.4 seconds slower than the X4, which by the way is based on old technology.
The interior isn't that special either. People say that Audi makes the best interiors, and in some cases they are right. But the SQ5 is covered in rubber-style soft plastic everywhere, with only some weird carbon fiber to lift the atmosphere. I mean, have you ever seen how crazy Mercedes gets even in its mild AMG models? Even though the layout is the same, the S5 Cabriolet that's also being shown in Detroit has a much more eye-catching cabin.