The Q5 is Audi's best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and it's been refreshed for 2021 to maintain its popularity. Changes are mostly stylistic, with technology enhancements and a slight power boost for the base engine rounding out the package. Under the sheet metal, it's mostly the same adept, luxurious second generation of Audi's compact crossover.
Q5 45 TFSI Quattro:
Q5 55 TFSI E Quattro:
Competent and enjoyable yet not quite exceptional, the Q5 crossover gets a refresh for 2021. Bolder styling and new tech should help keep attention on Audi's best-selling model.
The Q5 hits crucial luxury prerequisites: quiet, comfortable, attractive, and well-made. Ever an originator with LED lighting, Audi redesigned the Q5's headlights and taillights to have more wow-inducing details. Interior capacity is unchanged, meaning cargo or second-row passenger space is good but not great.
There was no shortage of technology in the Q5 before, but for 2021 a 10.1-inch touchscreen and available digital gauge display make the cabin even more up to date. Driver-assist features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and rear-cross traffic alert become standard, though adaptive cruise control is included only on higher-end trims.
Where the Q5 disappoints is in its driving experience. It's quick and composed but not very exciting. Power increases in the sporty SQ5, yet a general sense of detachment persists. The standard Quattro AWD system is unflappable, but in our testing, we experienced an overly intrusive stability control system.
Those seeking a high-style, high-tech luxury crossover should check out the 2021 Audi Q5. Just don't expect it to be as fun as some competitors.
Swoopy fastback SUVs are all the rage, and Audi is watching that trend. The automaker has sold the handsome Q8 for a few years now, and the Q3 Sportback recently debuted for overseas markets. Although as of press time nothing is confirmed, an Audi Q5 Sportback is a possibility. Expect a Q5 Sportback model to deliver identical performance, technology, and features to the standard Q5, just with a stylish sloping roof instead. That'll likely eat into cargo capacity and rear headroom but make a bolder statement on the streets. Whether the Q5 variant will be offered in the U.S., however, is the big question.
All Q5 models include Audi's Quattro AWD system. The standard drivetrain, badged 45 TFSI, is a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. For 2021, it's aided by a mild-hybrid electrical system and increases by 13 hp, bringing output to 261 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from 0-60 mph should take about 6.0 seconds. The mild-hybrid setup isn't likely to have a great impact on fuel economy over the 2020 Q5's 22/28 mpg city/highway EPA rating.
The Q5 plug-in hybrid, badged 55 TFSI E Quattro, also uses a 2.0-liter turbo-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. However, an electric motor between the engine and transmission increases total output to 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, making this model the most powerful Q5. Audi estimates a 5.0-second 0-60 mph acceleration time. The 2021 Q5 plug-in should maintain the 2020 model's 27 mpg and 65 mpg-e combined ratings, with 20 miles of all-electric range on a full charge.
Driving enthusiasts should choose the SQ5, which packs a turbocharged V-6 good for 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi claims a 4.7-second 0-60 mph time, a 0.4-second improvement over the 2020 SQ5. The EPA rates fuel economy for the 2021 SQ5 at 18/24 mpg.
From the NHTSA, the 2021 Q5 gets a five-star (out of five) overall safety rating, which factored five-star front and side crash scores with a four-star rollover score.
The 2021 Q5 should achieve the same excellent safety IIHS scores as the 2020 model, which earned top Good marks in all crashworthiness tests. The SUV's vehicle-to-vehicle automatic emergency braking system received a Superior score, the highest possible. The 2021 Q5's new headlights may improve over the previous model's, which earned the second-lowest Marginal score.
For 2021, more driver-assist and active safety features become standard. These include blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear-end collision mitigation. Front and rear parking sensors are also added. Adaptive cruise control is standard on Premium Plus and Prestige models.
The Q5's cargo volume measures 25.1 cubic feet behind the 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats, or 53.1 cubic feet with the seats lowered. The Acura RDX offers 29.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the second row in place and 58.9 cubic feet with those seats folded down.
Front-row headroom is 41.7 inches in the Q5, more spacious than the 40.0 inches in the Acura RDX. Second-row headroom is also greater in the Q5 at 39.3 inches to the RDX's 38.0. There's a bit less front-row legroom in the Audi, at 41.0 inches to the Acura's 42.0. Second-row legroom is close, with 37.8 inches in the Q5 against 38.0 inches in the RDX.
For 2021, all Q5 models are fitted with a 10.1-inch touchscreen running Audi's latest MIB3 infotainment interface. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Bluetooth streaming audio, two front-row USB ports, and an integrated toll transponder. Premium trim has a 7.0-inch gauge cluster display, while plug-in, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims get a 12.3-inch all-digital display. Higher-end models get a 360-degree view parking camera system. A 10-speaker audio system is standard, and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium setup is available.
Safety (NHTSA): Five stars
Cargo (Std/Max): 25.1/53.1 cu. ft.
|$0||1.49% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$0||1.99% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$0||2.49% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$0||2.99% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$500||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$500||Audi announces a Bonus cash for customers who Finance through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$750||Audi announces a Lease Bonus cash for customers who Lease or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$750||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates.||02-01-2021|