2021 Audi Q5 review: The popular kid

The exterior styling of the Q5 has been slightly changed for 2021.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The Audi Q5 is popular, like very popular. Audi moved more than 50,000 of them to the United States last year, enough to make the Q5 the brand’s best-selling product. In fact, Audi delivered nearly twice as many Q5s as the Q3s, its next most popular model. You can blame today’s SUV-obsessed motorists for this lopsided showroom performance, but that’s only part of the story, because from refinement and features to luxury and performance there’s a lot to like in 2021. Audi Q5.

Like it

  • Refined and powerful engine
  • Great infotainment system
  • Superb refinement

I do not like

  • Average skin quality
  • Lethargic transmission
  • Narrow rear seat

The look of this crossover has been refined for 2021, although the changes are subtle. The prominent Singleframe grille is slightly wider than before and its outer skin is thinner. Alongside this eye-catching aperture are standard LED headlights. The sills of the Q5 have been reworked and it has a new rear diffuser insert and accent strip on the hatch. As much as it can be improved, it is still debatable whether the Q5 is more attractive than the BMW X3, Lincoln Corsair or Volvo XC60, three of its main rivals.

Pull up on one of the Q5’s exterior handles and you are greeted by a very cute interior. The dashboard layout is attractive and functional, angled slightly towards the driver, so almost everything is within reach. Aside from the leather seat surfaces, which are neither pretty nor pleasant, the quality of the Q5’s materials is generally excellent, with lots of attractive-grained soft plastics. However, in this example, some contrast would be nice. The dark brown open-pore wood accents on the black dashboard and door panels look a little somber. As in other Audis, the Q5’s various switches and knobs feel great, with all buttons emitting the same pronounced clicking sound when pressed.

Front and center of the dashboard is a new 10.1-inch screen, home to Audi’s MIB 3 infotainment system. Extremely responsive and easy to use, this is one of the best multimedia arrays on the market today. For added convenience, Apple CarPlay is Android Auto are standard, with the former smartphone mirroring system being able to connect wirelessly to the Q5. If you’re using a Google-powered phone, be sure to bring a cable. One elegant feature available is Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, which puts a vibrant 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster right in front of the driver. This setup offers a lot of features but is still extremely easy to use.

Enhancing the safety of the Q5, this SUV comes standard with blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, parking sensors at both ends and even rear cross traffic warning, which can be a godsend in crowded parking lots. My tester is also equipped with a crisp 360-degree camera system and adaptive cruise control, both of which work well. Other goodies included in the $ 4,800 Premium Plus package are a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, and lane maintenance assistance; The latter feature is mostly effective, although it sometimes gets confusing when one lane splits in two. Audiophiles are sure to appreciate the available 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, which offers great sound quality for just $ 950.

Audi Q5 45 TFSI from 2021

While not quite a masterpiece, the interior of the Audi Q5 is nonetheless superb.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The front seats of the Q5 are large and firm and much more comfortable than they look. Unfortunately, the 38 inches of rear bench legroom is just OK, being a bit of a squeeze for the 6ft. The X3 is Corsair both have a slight advantage in this area. But regardless of your height, the Q5’s relatively narrow rear doors can make getting in and out a little tricky.

In the hold, Q5s with a sunroof offer 25.6 cubic feet of stowage space. Fold the backrests down and that figure grows to 53.5 cubes. Again, both the X3 and the Corsair have an advantage, although there is still plenty of luggage space in this Audi.

The Q5 45 TFSI models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo quattro. Smoother than buttercream frosting and quieter than a child who has no good intentions, this refined engine delivers a powerful 261 horsepower (a 13 increase for 2021) along with 273 foot pounds of torque. The engine also gets a 12-volt lightweight hybrid system, which is used to smooth out start-stop events, and in fact they are hardly noticeable. That hybrid hardware, however, does nothing to improve performance. Completing the pieces under the hood of this commercial vehicle is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive with Ultra technology, which engages the rear axle when extra traction is needed and leaves it disconnected in condition. normal for greater fuel economy.

Audi Q5 45 TFSI from 2021

The engine of this Audi is smooth as silk and almost silent.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Speaking of efficiency, the standard Q5 stickers at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28mpg on the highway when burning premium fuel, which is what’s recommended. Combined, it’s rated at 25mpg, an extremely accurate estimate; in mixed use I managed an average of 25.5 mpg according to the on-board computer.

Economy be damned, if you bury the throttle, this Audi’s transmission is sassy enough to get you to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Acceleration is strong thanks to plentiful mid-range torque, dual clutch transmission that shifts quickly and smoothly. If only it were more responsive at low speeds. Off the line, this transmission is annoyingly lethargic, acting almost as if it doesn’t react to throttle inputs. This slowness makes the Q5 feel sluggish and unresponsive until it moves at double-digit speeds, at which point it’s quite fun. Switching to dynamic mode improves things a bit, but unfortunately doesn’t completely fix the problem. If you want even more performance than this version offers, the Q5 and SQ5 plug-in hybrid models are also available.

Despite rolling on optional 20-inch five-spoke wheels, this Q5’s handling is surprisingly flexible. Only the greatest impacts transmit any hardness to the passenger compartment. Even though its ride is smooth, the vehicle’s body remains well-controlled when cornering, not that it’s a canyon carver. Typical for an Audi, the Q5’s steering is light as a feather at parking speeds, making it a breeze to maneuver around pedestrians or grocery strollers as pedestrians were too lazy to stow in a cart fence. Wheel weight increases nicely at higher speeds for added stability.

Audi Q5 45 TFSI from 2021

There is a lot to like about the 2021 Audi Q5.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Underway, the Q5’s cabin remains incredibly refined, with almost no perceptible wind or road noise violating its NVH defenses. The way it moves at speed is equally impressive. You appear to be doing around 55 mph when the speedometer needle points to 80 mph. On more than a few occasions I have had to tidy things up because I was inadvertently driving much faster than the indicated limit.

Another significant thing is the Q5’s price, which is significantly lower than what you might expect. This vehicle kicks off at an extremely reasonable $ 44,395, a figure that includes the necessary destination expenses, which come in at $ 1,095. The Premium Plus model shown here with optional navigation, upgraded sound system, 20-inch wheels, and a couple of other extras buzzes the cash register for $ 53,040, a completely fair price.

Aside from some shaky leather inside and the deplorable low-speed performance of the transmission, the 2021 Audi Q5 is a worthwhile luxury SUV, one you should consider if you’re buying a vehicle in this segment. After my time in this, it’s easy to see why the Q5 is the four-ring brand’s best-selling model.

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