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2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback garner Top Safety Pick Plus rating

Improved headlight designs boosted these two utility vehicles in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's multifaceted testing regimen.

2021 Audi Q5 45 TFSI
Let there be light... a greater volume of higher quality light, that is.
Craig Cole/Roadshow

Two Audi models just earned a new accolade. On Tuesday, the four-ring brand's closely related 2021 Q5 and Q5 Sportback crossovers garnered a Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the smash-'em-up folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest score the organization hands out.

To drive away with this coveted honor, a vehicle must receive a good score in six different tests: driver- and passenger-side small-overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength and head restraints. Beyond that, a vehicle must have advanced or superior front crash-prevention technology and offer at least acceptable headlights on all trim levels. Yeah, it ain't easy, which is why relatively few vehicles receive this score.  

In the previous model year, these two Audi vehicles fell short of earning Top Safety Pick Plus honors because their two available headlamp systems were only rated marginal. For 2021, engineers had a bright idea after IIHS shed light on this problem. Audi's product-development luminaries strove to rectify the situation and their efforts shine in... I'll stop now. The lamps that come on the Prestige trim of both the Q5 and Q5 Sportback are rated good, while the headlights offered on lower-end models are now acceptable. Either way, this is good news for drivers with varying budgets.

Nobody needs vehicle safety. Well, unless you intend to actually survive a wreck, then it's nice to have. The rigorous testing performed by IIHS clearly illustrates there's so much more to vehicle safety than just smashing a car or truck into a barrier. Everything from headlights to crash-prevention systems, fuel pump cutoff switches to anti-pinch power windows can play an important role.

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