The Audi Q5 has been among the most popular compact luxury crossover SUVs for years, and with good reason. It combines a spacious, comfortable and hushed cabin with Audi’s traditionally strong cabin quality and in-dash smarts. Plus, it drives nicely, with a planted ride and a smooth 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering a useful 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Featuring Audi’s latest MMI infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, plus upscale options like a 755-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and head-up display, the Q5’s cabin tech game is arguably stronger than key rivals like the BMW X3, Infiniti QX50 and Lexus RX.
The Audi moved more than 50,000 of them in the US last year, enough to make the Q5 the brand's best-selling product. In fact, Audi delivered nearly twice as many Q5s as it did Q3s, its next most-popular model. You can blame today's SUV-obsessed motorists for this lopsided showroom performance, but that's only part of the story, because from refinement and features to luxury and performance there's plenty to like about the 2021 Q5.is popular, like really popular.
This crossover's looks have been refined for 2021, though the changes are subtle. The prominent Singleframe grille is slightly broader than before and its outer trim is slimmer. Flanking that conspicuous opening are standard LED headlamps. The Q5's sills have been reworked and it has a new rear diffuser insert and accent strip on the hatch. Improved as it might be, it's still debatable whether the Q5 is more attractive than the, or , three of its primary rivals.
Tug on one of the Q5's exterior door handles and you're greeted with a very nice interior. The dashboard's layout is attractive and functional, angled slightly toward the driver so nearly everything is within easy reach. Aside from its leather seating surfaces, which neither look good nor feel nice, the Q5's material quality is generally excellent, with plenty of attractively grained soft plastics. Still, in this example, a little contrast would be nice. Dark-brown, open-pore wood accents on the black dashboard and door panels look a little dour. Like in other Audis, the Q5's various switches and knobs feel great, with all the buttons making the same pronounced clicking sound when pressed.
And it's seriously good to drive, too.
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