Having spent some time with the recent acquisition of the 2014 SQ5 and having owned a 2012 S4 for a couple years I thought it might be interesting to compare the two.
Despite its heft the SQ5 does seem to be a bit more powerful than the S4...I guess the extra 21HP/TQ can be felt more than I thought it would be. Transmission
While the S-Tronic in the S4 is very nice, when compared to the 8-spd tiptronic in the SQ5 it does seems somewhat clunky. (I guess this is why more US models do not have S-Tronic yet). It doesn't bother me but can be noticed when drive back-to-back.
Also interesting to note the SQ5 is well below 2k RPMs at 60 in 8th whereas the S4 is above 2k...imagine the highway mileage an S4 with 8spd tip could get...ha) Steering
S4 steering is more stiff in all Drive Select modes. (Perhaps hydraulic vs. electromechanical assist at play here.) Suspension
I'm probably one of the few SQ5 owners who actually is glad it does not have the lowered suspension of the European model it seems to soak up rough roads nicely and that is with the 21" wheels. Handles beautifully as I wouldn't expect much more from a small SUV. S4 is obviously more stiff and handles better. Other
-The SQ5 (S-line style) seats seem to be more comfortable than the S4 seats.
-The MMI updates with online directions, POIs, and speeds signs are all welcome additions.
-Surprisingly to me the engine sound output through the speakers actually works pretty well...I was surprised as I thought for sure I would not like it.
-The non-linear speedo is interesting in the SQ5 not that I spend much time in that range anyway. Also due to the S4's 200MPH speedo the location for 60MPH on the SQ5 is in the same spot as 80MPH on the S4.
Just to clarify... you like the TipTronic better than the S-Tronic?
These new 8-spd tiptronics are better than what I had experienced in 2007/8 with the old 6-spd tiptronics. It has all the good qualities of the s-tronic... smooth fast upshifts...it could be argued the s-tronic is a bit quicker shifting, but IMHO not by much, and it has none of the downfalls...occasionally clunky low speed downshifts (the sort of bumpiness that causes the s-tronic to have poor US acceptance.) Basically you can tell you are driving an automated manual and not a torque converter automatic. Some may prefer the feel of the S-tronic but the tiptronic is undoubtedly smoother and preferred by me on the SUV. The 8-spd Tiptronic is just an overall good automatic transmission.
(I guess this is why more US models do not have S-Tronic yet).
It's sounded like Audi's moving a lot of models in Europe from the S-Tronic to the Tiptronic, likely from the various issues that S-Tronics have had for a while. Don't think it's just from any "clunkiness" specifically.
Originally Posted by koobah
Actually, according to my dealer, there's no Soundaktor on the SQ5. The dynamic setting opens up baffles in the exhaust producing the more aggressive sound.
The SQ5 TDI has it, which is where the confusion probably comes from. But yeah, the SQ5 is supposed to have the "dynamic exhaust" or whatever they call it like some of the other S models rather than the cheesy sound modification that I think is only currently used on the 3.0 biturbo TDI (which I would think would sound nice on its own).