2021 Audi Q5 Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2021 Audi Q5.
Car Tested: 2021 Audi Q5; Road Test No. 1357; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 70 – 75 lakhs (est.)
The Q5 is a fantastic mid-size luxury SUV with an opulent exterior, a comfy cabin, and a punchy and refined TFSI engine
The first-generation Audi Q5 which came to India a little over 10 years back was extremely successful in its segment. It was offered with a multitude of engine options like a 2.0-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre diesel and even a 3.0-litre diesel. The second generation of this SUV came out globally in 2017 and sales started in India in early 2018. It got both petrol and diesel engine options but the Q5 was pulled off from the market in 2020. In 2020 itself, Audi revealed the second generation facelift globally and now we have the vehicle here, this time with a single-engine option – the 2.0 TFSI mill. What has changed on the Q5 inside out and is it relevant today? Let’s find out.
Exteriors – The Audi Q5 is a classy-looking SUV and this is based on the MLB Evo platform shared with many other Audi vehicles. The Q5 gets some enhancements on the outside like a new grille with vertical slats, redesigned bumpers, revised LED lights all around and even 19-inch S-Line alloys. The vehicle looks stylish and has a premium aura around it. The dimensions are also sorted making the Q5 apt for the urban environment. I personally found the design of the alloys to be rather bland and a more stylish set would have transformed the looks of the car since Audi anyway has a lot of good looking wheel designs in their portfolio. The Q5 also gets brushed silver inserts below the doors and on the tailgate and overall, the styling of the vehicle is just right.
Interiors – The 2021 Audi Q5 retains the interior layout from before but it does come with some new features. The vehicle now gets a 10.1 inch MMI infotainment system with a touchscreen and a 19-speaker 755 W producing Bang & Olufsen audio system which sounds smashing. However, the touchscreen does look a bit aftermarket. The Q5 also gets an Auto Park Assist feature. We tried it out a couple of times and it worked properly. The SUV gets three-zone climate control and also Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster. The display is crystal clear and offers a ton of information and you can even select from different display styles based on how you like it.
One can choose among a variety of colour schemes for the cabin, however, there are some hard rubberized plastics at visible locations
Earlier, the Q5 used to come with an MMI controller knob on the centre console which has been removed from the car now since it gets a touchscreen and in place of that knob you get an empty storage space to keep your phone or wallet. The Q5 also gets a Phone Box with wireless charging. The dashboard’s design hasn’t changed much but Audi does offer different colour schemes. I checked out the black interior, as well as the dual-tone black + beige and I liked the former more. The black cabin gets tan-coloured leather upholstery which feels rich and all the seats are very comfortable as well. The cabin does have hard plastics (rubberised) at prominent places though. The Q5 also comes with a Comfort Key for easier access and a gesture-controlled tailgate now.
Performance – Under the hood of the 2021 Audi Q5 is the familiar 2.0 TFSI petrol engine which also powers a lot of VAG cars. This engine delivers 249 HP from 5000-6000 RPM and 370 Nm from 1600-4300 RPM and comes matched to a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission. I am a big fan of this engine as it delivers an insane amount of performance and is also extremely refined. At low revs, you can barely hear any idle noise or feel any vibrations inside the cabin. Even when you’re pushing it, the engine sounds so polished!
The TFSI motor provides superb acceleration and performance, tempting you to push harder
Performance is bonkers for sure. Put your foot down and the TFSI mill pulls the Q5 with a lot of energy and excitement. The vehicle reaches the ton in a claimed 6.3 seconds and the driveability is fantastic. There is more than enough power on offer and the engine also begs you to push it harder. Not only is it very responsive for fast driving, but also for regular commuting the engine performs really well and the low-end responsiveness is quite good. The automatic gearbox also does a fab job with the gear shifts. The vehicle has a claimed top speed of 237 km/hr. The Q5 comes with Audi Drive Select which basically lets you choose from different modes like Individual, Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Off-Road. In Individual mode, you can adjust the engine, suspension and steering settings based on your requirement whereas the other modes are quite self-explanatory.
Driving Dynamics – The Audi Q5 is a sorted car to drive around. The steering is direct and is light enough at low speeds while also weighing up well as the speedo needle goes up. There is some added weight to the steering in Dynamic mode which lends some extra confidence while pushing the car. The steering feels quite neutral and isn’t really brimming with feedback though. Body control is very good and the Q5 drives very predictably. The suspension is set up on the firmer side and while driving on bad roads, some of the uneven patches are felt in the cabin but otherwise, the stability is excellent at high speeds and on corners. The ride is comfortable too and there is some sideways movement of passengers only on really uneven roads. Braking performance is also at par with the course. The Q5 gets quattro as standard and that does lend the vehicle some extra capabilities. Sure, this vehicle isn’t meant for hard-core off-roading but take it down the beaten path occasionally and it won’t disappoint you.
Verdict – The Audi Q5 is definitely a very sorted vehicle fundamentally and it gets things like design, features, comfort and performance right. The TFSI mill is an absolute delight and just like the older Q5, this one should sell in good numbers too. The Audi Q5 rivals the Mercedes GLC which is more comfort-oriented and the BMW X3 which is a bit sportier but this one tries to strike a good balance between the two and it does it well. Yes, globally Audi offers hybrid and diesel options too but here we get only a petrol engine. Maybe, the automaker might bring in the hybrid powertrain at a later date but customers who want only and only a diesel SUV will look elsewhere.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Volvo XC60
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