With some revisions made to its interior styling, more horsepower on the 4-cylinder engines, and a bigger and better infotainment system, the 2021 Audi Q5 is a current-gen vehicle with some next-gen tech vibes. More refined than its previous iteration, drivers can expect for this small luxury SUV to be quiet with a smooth ride quality. Most of the interior features look subtle when looked at individually, but all put together, they serve to make the 2021 Q5 a sophisticated vehicle fit to compete in an ever-expanding segment.
Standard all-wheel drive and a lengthy list of advanced tech features make the Q5 an attractive buy. However, its lack of cargo space behind the rear row of seats might deter some buyers. Fitting luggage back there can be difficult, so drivers will have to be clever in how they arrange their cargo.
What's New For 2021?
New for the 2021 Audi Q5 are revisions to the front and rear fascia with new headlights and taillights. A new 12-volt mild hybrid powertrain gets added to each engine, thereby boosting hp by 13 for the base. This means that the Q5 now gets 261 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque on the base engine. Fuel economy might only slightly improve in real-world driving scenarios, but the auto start-stop engine function should work better. The plug-in hybrid introduced back in 2020 also gets a boost from 349 hp to 362.
A larger infotainment system gets added in this year, equipping the vehicle with a more user-friendly 10.1-inch touchscreen display and a menu screen that drivers can customize. Apple CarPlay is also standard now for smartphone app integration.
The 2021 Audi Q5 is only available as a small luxury SUV.
The 2021 Audi Q5 comes in your choice of three trim levels: the Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. There is a standard 2.0-L turbo engine that gets paired up with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Last year saw the addition of the Q5 PHEV plug-in hybrid powertrain that has a 4-cylinder engine paired with hybrid components. It can get 20 miles of pure electric range before the gas engine kicks in.
The base Premium trim level comes equipped with leather upholstery, smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 4-zone automatic climate control. Forward collision warning with an automatic emergency braking feature is also one of the standard driver aids that comes equipped.
The Premium Plus adds a panoramic sunroof, larger wheels, and the Audi Virtual Cockpit system, which means that the driver gets treated to a digital instrumentation cluster instead of the standard one. The Prestige trim level enhances everything with more luxury features, such as a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel, more advanced driver aids, and an upgraded premium sound system.
There are also a number of packages available, including Black Optics, Cold Weather, and Warm Weather. Take note that many of the Prestige's standard features are available as options for the Premium Plus trim level.
A powerful engine helps the 2021 Audi Q5 get from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.2 seconds, and the modulation of the gas pedal makes getting there pretty easy. The brake pedal is likewise easy to modulate and maintains just the right amount of firmness as you drive. While the stability control system can be a bit intrusive in some driving scenarios, the vehicle's handling feels secure enough while rounding through corners.
The 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission does a solid job of deliver smooth shifts between gears. It never spends time searching; instead, it just goes right to the gear it needs to be in. It comes off as being tuned just right to match up with the turbo engine.
Trying to fit into tight spots is easy enough with the Q5 due to its smaller stature. The driver gets a good amount of outward visibility and will not have to rely on the standard rear-view camera or optional blind spot monitoring system to be their second set of eyes.
Expect a lot of comfort from the Q5's interior. The seats might feel firm at first but contour well to the occupant's back and provide ample support for long rides. The standard leather upholstery is breathable enough, and ventilation on the front seats is an option on the higher trims. The cabin remains subdued with little noise intrusion save for the engine when pressed into full throttle.
Fuel economy on the 2021 Audi Q5 feels adequate. The gas engine is rated for 24 mpg combined, which is slightly better than the 4-cylinder competitors equipped with AWD. Real-world driving has shown that the Q5 is capable of achieving about 28 mpg combined, which is certainly a lot better than expected.
Overall, the 2021 Audi Q5 is a relaxed and refined ride that is not a snooze-fest. It balances power with fuel efficiency and boasts a nice array of standard features that make it a strong competitor for the 2021 model year.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here.)
Note: All Audi Q5, SQ5 MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.