The 2021 Audi Q5 Quattro, a true delight, no wonder you see so many on the road.
Who Says SUV’s Are Not Fun To Drive – Well It Is, If It’s An Audi…
It has been a couple of years since I spent time reviewing an Audi Q5. I was happy to see a 2021 Audi Q5 show up for a week this past summer. While the differences between the 2019 and 2021 models were quite subtle, the one thing I keenly remember is what a great driver’s car it is. In this world of flashy SUV’s that keep growing in size, the Q5 elegantly and understated does everything you want an SUV to do. For me it is behind the wheel is where this mid-sized Audi SUV truly shines.
No doubt consumers become overwhelmed with the large number of SUV models from all manner of brands out there. Large ones, small ones, ones with two or three row seating. Actually Audi offers just about everything in their line up. As a long-established European luxury brand, Audi, has been putting technology rich, sporty, fun to drive vehicles into the hands of drivers for decades., longer than many of the other upscale “import” brands, that most consumers are familiar with.
Honestly, on the outside the Q5’s styling is pretty vanilla. Not being indistinguishable from pretty much every other SUV in its class. It did not take long to start to notice, there are a lot of Q5’s on the road, and the more I drove this vehicle, the more, I understood why consumers are buying them. The classic styling is the least important part of the purchase decision. Where the Q5 stands out is the value for the price and the pleasure of driving this delightful mid-sized SUV.
You know it’s an Audi from its large grill and head light cluster and of course the four rings that has come to symbolize Audi for years Audi for years since it was Auto Union. The exterior lines are clean and simple and have not changed much over the past few years. Large doors make this vehicle easy to get in and out of, though it seemed higher off the ground than SUV’s in its class, it takes a bit of a stretch to climb up into the cabin.
Inside the Q5, Audi has designed a very clean, and classic with German utilitarian design. The dash comes alive with large easy to touch buttons and switches, and really the only touch sensitive controls is the 10.1-inch MMI touch screen on the top of the center console. HVAC controls are separate from the display which houses the radio navigation, phone integration. This tester has the $4800 premium plus package as well as the $1500 MNI Navigation package that include Audi Connect PRIME and PLUS, as well as the $950 Bang & Olufsen Sound system with 3D sound.
Seating is solid, though it takes a bit to find your spot in the driver’s seat, the rear seating provides comfortable space for two passengers, three if you squeeze one in the middle. While three-rows are now the norm, this Q5 was set up in a two row configuration.
Because this Q5 is a two-row SUV there is plenty of dedicated cargo area behind the 2nd row. Often you find that when they squeeze in a third row seat, it obliterates any real cargo area unless you put that extra row down. Cargo space is not a problem in this Q5. There was so much space, I was able to put the 2nd row down and load the Q5 up with a bunch of items for a neighborhood flea market. As well as a six-foot step ladder and tool boxes.
This is one of the best driving SUVs on the road, you have a solid feel of the wheel, expect when you push the active lane assist, which kind wants to take over the wheel, which is what that semi-autonomous, self-driving technology does in all vehicles. A camera-based system that follows the white lines on the side of the road, and when that line goes away as they sometimes do, it puts its hands up and say, Your Turn! So you do have to be aware, especially if the side of the road marking on the right directs into a exit or other lane. Designed for more long expanses of highway use than for around town use.
Power is plentiful from the small 2-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine. And the 7-speed automatic transmission with quattro – Audi’s All Wheel Drive System, provided plenty of power and performance and reasonable fuel economy. Oddly enough, no where on the sticker does it call this a turbo engine, which is why in my accompanying YouTube videos I mention that. And you will see the feedback that viewers feel this is turbo equipped.
This is the first start stop engine system, that I almost did not realize it was automatically deactivating and activating the engine. Mostly you feel it or hear it in other vehicles. After a day or two of city driving, did I realize that it does indeed turn off at stop lights, but you barely notice or feel it. Which for me was a big plus, as I do not like the lag that system gives on restart at a stop sign or signal. Of course, you can easily switch the engine start stop system off, though that resets every time you turn the engine off.
Price the Audi Q5 base is $43,300 with options and destination charge this tester comes out at $53,040 US Dollars. Built in San Jose Chiapa Mexico the engine and parts are from Mexico, while the transmission is from Germany. US and Canadian Parts are just 2%. Our tester priced out at $53,040 US dollars, and that included a $1095 delivery charge. Well priced for that middle of the road SUV.
I have been personally quite pleased driving Audi’s middle of the line SUV, the Q5. It handled all the basic needs I had during a week of driving. Carrying cargo, passengers and doing it in proper style, without flaunting anything. This SUV from Audi is sandwiched between the similar looking Q3 and the larger sleeker Q7. If you are looking for a family focused two-row SUV with cargo space, all wheel drive, then for sure take an Audi Q5 out for a test drive. The model has a number of trim levels and price points to choose from. I am sure you will find it as comfortable as I did.
Audi provided this Q5 Quattro for us for one week, with a full tank of fuel to review. I nor anyone in our organization was compensated for this review, or for the video reviews you will find attached to this post.
Words and Images by William West Hopper
Mr. Hopper has been active in the automotive media world for several decades starting his own website and YouTube Channels over the past few years to present his reviews to you, the consumer. Mr. Hopper is a regular VIP Tour Guide at the Washington DC Auto Show each year.
Mr. Hopper is a member and President Emeritus of the Washington Automotive Press Association, as well as a member of the International Automotive Press Association. You can find him on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and other popular social media sites.