2021 Audi Q5 review: The popular kid

    The Q5’s exterior styling was mildly tweaked for 2021.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The Audi Q5 is common, like actually common. Audi moved greater than 50,000 of them within the US final yr, sufficient to make the Q5 the model’s best-selling product. In truth, Audi delivered almost twice as many Q5s because it did Q3s, its subsequent most-popular mannequin. You can blame in the present day’s SUV-obsessed motorists for this lopsided showroom efficiency, however that is solely a part of the story, as a result of from refinement and options to luxurious and efficiency there’s loads to love concerning the 2021 Audi Q5.

    LikeRefined and potent powertrainExcellent infotainment systemSuperb refinement

    Don’t LikeMiddling leather-based qualityLethargic transmissionTight backseat

    This crossover’s appears have been refined for 2021, although the adjustments are delicate. The distinguished Singleframe grille is barely broader than earlier than and its outer trim is slimmer. Flanking that conspicuous opening are normal LED headlamps. The Q5’s sills have been reworked and it has a brand new rear diffuser insert and accent strip on the hatch. Improved because it is perhaps, it is nonetheless debatable whether or not the Q5 is extra enticing than the BMW X3, Lincoln Corsair or Volvo XC60, three of its main rivals.Tug on one of many Q5’s exterior door handles and also you’re greeted with a really good inside. The dashboard’s structure is enticing and purposeful, angled barely towards the motive force so almost every part is inside simple attain. Aside from its leather-based seating surfaces, which neither look good nor really feel good, the Q5’s materials high quality is usually wonderful, with loads of attractively grained delicate plastics. Still, on this instance, a little bit distinction can be good. Dark-brown, open-pore wooden accents on the black dashboard and door panels look a little bit dour. Like in different Audis, the Q5’s numerous switches and knobs really feel nice, with all of the buttons making the identical pronounced clicking sound when pressed.

    Front and middle on the dashboard is a brand new 10.1-inch display, house to Audi’s MIB 3 infotainment system. Extremely responsive and straightforward to make use of, this is among the higher multimedia arrays available on the market in the present day. For added comfort, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, with the previous smartphone-mirroring system capable of join wirelessly to the Q5. If you are rocking a Google-powered telephone make sure that to deliver a cable. One nifty obtainable function is Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, which places a vibrant 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster proper in entrance of the motive force. This setup affords loads of performance but continues to be exceedingly simple to make use of.Enhancing the Q5’s security, this SUV comes normal with blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, parking sensors at each ends and even rear cross-traffic alert, which generally is a godsend in crowded parking heaps. My tester can be fitted with a crisp 360-degree digital camera system and adaptive cruise management, each of which work nicely. Other goodies included within the $4,800 Premium Plus package deal are a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors and lane-keeping help; that final function is usually efficient, although typically it does get confused when one lane splits into two. Audiophiles are certain to understand the obtainable 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, which delivers nice audio high quality for simply $950. 

    While not fairly a masterpiece, the Audi Q5’s inside continues to be very good.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    The Q5’s entrance seats are broad and agency, and way more comfy than they appear. Unfortunately, the again bench’s 38 inches of legroom is merely OK, being a little bit of a squeeze for 6-footers. The X3 and Corsair each have a slight benefit on this space. But irrespective of your top, the Q5’s comparatively slim rear doorways could make ingress and egress a little bit of problem.

    In the cargo maintain, Q5s fitted with a sunroof provide 25.6 cubic ft of space for storing. Fold the backrests down and that determine grows to 53.5 cubes. Again, each the X3 and Corsair have an edge, although there’s nonetheless loads of baggage house on this Audi.Q5 45 TFSI fashions are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four. Smoother than buttercream frosting and quieter than a baby that is as much as no good, this refined engine delivers a potent 261 horsepower (a rise of 13 for 2021) together with 273 pound-feet of torque. The engine additionally beneficial properties a 12-volt mild-hybrid system, which is used to {smooth} out start-stop occasions, and certainly they’re almost imperceptible. That hybrid {hardware} doesn’t, nevertheless, do something to enhance efficiency. Rounding out this utility automobile’s under-hood bits is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive with Ultra know-how, which engages the rear axle when additional traction is required and leaves it disconnected in regular circumstances for enhanced gasoline economic system.This Audi’s engine is silky-smooth and almost silent. 
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Speaking of effectivity, the usual Q5 stickers at 23 miles per gallon round city and 28 mpg on the freeway when burning premium gasoline, which is what’s advisable. Combined, it is rated at 25 mpg, a dead-accurate estimate; in blended use I managed to common 25.5 mpg in response to the journey laptop.Economy be damned, in case you bury the accelerator this Audi’s drivetrain is saucy sufficient to get you to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Acceleration is robust due to considerable midrange torque, the dual-clutch gearbox shifting promptly and easily. If solely it have been extra responsive at low speeds. Off the road, this transmission is annoyingly torpid, behaving virtually prefer it’s not reacting to throttle inputs. This sluggishness makes the Q5 really feel sluggish and unresponsive till it is shifting at double-digit speeds, at which level it is fairly pleasing. Switching to Dynamic mode improves issues a bit, however sadly, does not utterly rectify the issue. If you need even better efficiency than this model affords, the plug-in hybrid Q5 and SQ5 fashions are additionally obtainable.Despite rolling on non-compulsory 20-inch, five-spoke wheels, this Q5’s journey is surprisingly supple. Only the most important impacts transmit any harshness to the passenger compartment. Even although its journey is {smooth}, the automobile’s physique stays nicely managed whereas cornering, not that it is a canyon-carver. Typical for an Audi, the Q5’s steering is featherlight at parking-lot speeds, which makes it a snap to maneuver round pedestrians or buying buggies pedestrians have been too lazy to stow in a cart corral. The wheel’s weight will increase properly at larger velocities for enhanced stability.There’s loads to love concerning the 2021 Audi Q5.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Underway, the Q5’s cabin stays extremely refined, with virtually no discernible wind or street noise breaching its NVH defenses. The approach it carries itself at velocity is equally spectacular. It feels such as you’re doing about 55 mph when the speedometer needle is pointing at 80 mph. On various events I’ve needed to dial issues again as a result of I used to be inadvertently driving considerably sooner than the posted restrict.Another factor that is important is the Q5’s value — considerably lower than you may anticipate, that’s. This automobile kicks off at an exceedingly cheap $44,395, a determine that features requisite vacation spot prices, which come to $1,095. The Premium Plus mannequin proven right here with non-compulsory navigation, the upgraded sound system, 20-inch wheels and a pair different extras buzzes the money register for $53,040, a completely truthful value.Aside from some iffy leather-based inside and the transmission’s regrettable low-speed efficiency, the 2021 Audi Q5 is a worthwhile luxurious SUV, one it’s best to take into account in case you’re searching for a automobile on this phase. After my time on this one, it is easy to see why the Q5 is the four-ring model’s bestselling mannequin.

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