In the ultra-competitive world of premium compact sport-utility vehicles, the 2021 Audi Q5 SUV update—the German marque’s best-seller-is a big deal.
Audi designers, software engineers, and marketing experts are delivering a mid-cycle refresh with a major upgrade to the 2021 Q5‘s MBI 3 (Modular Infotainment Platform). It delivers just enough exterior-design eye candy to satisfy brand fans with visual distinction from the SUV that has been on the market since the 2016 model year. There’s also a new air-suspension option for the plug-in hybrid version, though in this segment, the latest infotainment tech is first and foremost.
The 2021 updated Audi Q5 reaches U.S. dealers by the end of this year, while European sales start earlier.
New MIB 3 Technology
The new MIB 3 main unit of the 2021 Audi Q5’s infotainment technology platform promises 10 times the computing power of the MIB 2 it replaces, Audi says. The technology is presented on an MMI (Man-Machine Interface) 10.1-inch touch screen with 1920×720 resolution, standard on Premium Plus trim levels. Various technical functions can be split into three separate graphics on the touchscreen, which you can control via the multi-function steering wheel. There’s a 12.3-inch “virtual cockpit” digital-instrument display, and an optional head-up display.
Navigation-technology settings may be personalized for up to six different people, and MIB 3’s voice-recognition system is designed to identify different voices. Each user’s preferred settings, including frequent navigation destinations and favorite air-conditioning levels, is stored in a myAudi app portal in the cloud, where it can be accessed any time an authorized user is driving a so-equipped Audi.
The navigation gives real-time traffic and offers high-resolution Google Earth satellite imagery, lane-by-lane traffic flow, and traffic-forecast information. The driver may connect his or her smartphone to the updated 2021 Audi Q5 via the myAudi app, and the embedded Amazon Alexa will help you find things like rest stops. Also, an integrated toll module and wireless Apple CarPlay are standard.
New Singleframe Grille
Like any brand’s mid-cycle upgrading of a popular model, the 2021 Audi Q5 update includes exterior-trim changes relegated to the front, from the A-pillar to the front bumper, and to the taillamps and liftgate details.
The new 2021 Audi Q5 gets a new “Singleframe” grille, as the marque calls its very familiar octagonal nosepiece, with taller side air intakes with trapezoidal elements. The LED headlamps get a new daytime running lamp design, and the headlights are positioned higher on the nose above the vertically longer Singleframe (no doubt to meet Europe’s latest pedestrian-protection standards). A redesigned sill raises the new Q5’s ground clearance, and a front splitter is a new addition included with the exterior-trim revisions.
New organic LED taillamps are standard on the SQ5 Prestige package in the U.S.; a new feature in which bigger brake-lamp elements light up if the vehicle behind the Q5 comes too close at a stop will not be available in North America, unfortunately. There is also a new trim piece between the taillamps, and a rear diffuser with a horizontal fin.
Air Suspension for the PHEV Sport Package
The updated 2021 Audi Q5 PHEV is powered by a 362-horsepower, 369-lb-ft 2.0-liter TFSI I-4 engine, plus a 14.1 kilowatt-hour battery with an electric motor between the engine and seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission. It gets an air suspension when you order the Sport Plus package, which also includes summer tires on 20-inch, 10-spoke-star design wheels, front sport seats, S-line leather Dinamica interior, black headliner, and brushed aluminum inlays.
The PHEV with standard S-line exterior comes with all-season tires on 19-inch five-spoke star design wheels, or optional bi-color 20-inch five-spoke star design wheels.
More New Wheels and Carryover Engines
Wheel choice is a big theme on the revised 2021 Audi Q5. Beside the options listed above, the standard model comes with 18-inch five-spoke-star design wheels and all-season tires, or optional 19-inch five-double-arm bi-color wheels, or 20-inch five-spoke-design wheels.
The base model’s 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline-powered four-cylinder engine does get a 13-hp boost in the updated 2021 Audi Q5, to 261 hp. Maximum torque is unchanged at 273 lb-ft. The 2021 SQ5 retains its 349-hp 369-lb-ft 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline V-6 engine.