2021 Audi Q5 Sportback Review By Larry Nutson
2021 Audi Q5 Sportback
Elegant and versatile
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Audi of America’s second quarter 2021 sales increased 92% to 66,995 with year-to-date sales up 60% year-over-year.
The Q5 5-seat compact utility vehicle (UV) is Audi’s highest sales volume vehicle and sales are up 86% for the year.
The Q5’s design was freshened for 2021. Audi also added two new variants of the Q5 earlier this year, namely the Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback. Both feature a coupe-like sloped roof profile. To quote Audi: “The Sportback offers customers an elegant, sloping roofline for those looking for expressive design and sportier stance while maintaining a high-level of everyday usability.”
To further differentiate the Sportback from the Q5 UV, standard equipment includes: 19-inch 5-double arm design wheels, deletion of roof rails, S line exterior, panoramic sunroof and sport front seats.
The Q5 Sportback has a 261-HP turbocharged 2.0-L mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Audi says 0-60 mph acceleration is in 5.7 seconds and class-leading among compact premium UVs. EPA fuel economy ratings are 23 city mpg and 28 highway mpg.
The SQ5 Sportback has a 349-HP 3.0-L turbocharged V6 engine with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Audi says 0-60 mph acceleration is in 4.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18 city mpg and 24 highway mpg.
The SQ5 Sportback also comes standard-equipped with adaptive dampers and offers an available air suspension that allows for adjustment of the ride height in addition to the firmness of the dampers. Available dynamic steering offers a variable steering ratio that adjusts based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting.
The Sportback’s cabin with its sport front seats is further enhanced by a black headliner and Gray-Brown Birch natural wood inlays. A 10.1 inch touchscreen, an available 12.3 inch virtual cockpit display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear view mirror integrated toll module plus an available 19-speaker 705 watt Bang & Olufsen audio system provide refined driving.
Like most new premium vehicles today, the Q5 Sportback models has a full suite of standard and available advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) features.
The Sportback has 24.7 cu. ft. of cargo capacity with the seats up and 51.9 cu. ft. of cargo capacity with the seats folded. For comparison, the standard sunroof equipped Q5 with its more upright rear profile has 25.6 cu.ft. and 53.5 cu.ft. respectively.
Following Audi’s trim designations, both the Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback are offered in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims.
Pricing for the Q5 Sportback starts at $47,800 for the Premium trim. Premium Plus is priced at $51,000 and Prestige at $56,500. The SQ5 Sportback starts at $56,100 for the Premium with the Premium Plus at $59,500 and the Prestige at $64,700. Destination charge is an additional $1,095.
For my drive experience I was behind the wheel of a Q5 Sportback Premium Plus. My wife and I road tripped from our Chicago home to Southeast Michigan giving me a good opportunity to get to know the Q5. Getting in and out is quite easy with no big step up like many UVs. I thought the seats provided good support and comfort, although my wife thought them a bit firm. Overall the cabin is finished with premium materials and provides a very comfortable environment. The cabin is also nicely quiet.
The Q5 is very good out on the open highway with plenty of performance from the turbo 2.0-L. Although I was driving at Michigan’s typical “plus” highway speeds the Q5 delivered a touch over 30 mpg—beating the EPA rating. Ride and handling as well as the steering and brake system are all well balanced and provide a confident driving experience.
Have a look at www.audiusa.com for more details and information on the 2021 Q5 Sportback.
For the 2022 model year, additional functionality has been added with Amazon Alexa and Audi’s new Personalization 2.0. A new Black optic package is available for Q5 Sportback and includes Black exterior trim, and 20-inch wheels with all-season tires.
There are many choices in the 5-passenger luxury SUV segment from European, Asian and U.S. brands. And it’s fair to say today that there are no bad cars, or UVs. The car-buying public is in pretty good shape when shopping for a new vehicle with many options that will prove satisfactory and meet their personal taste as well as financial goals.
© 2021 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car