The mid-range luxury/performance European SUV segment is a tough spot in which to assert brand dominance; competition is rife, with BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Land Rover, Lexus and Jaguar all offering a seemingly endless series of variations on the theme in order to win the hearts and wallets of buyers.
While Audi’s Q5 has performed admirably in light of the stiff resistance represented by such a saturated marketplace—2019 saw an average of about 5,500 units flying out of dealerships monthly—resting on one’s laurels could be a fatal error. Striking while the iron is hot, Audi has given the sweet-spot of a model a significant refresh for the 2021 model year.
OLED tech is a soft sell right now, and Audi brought it into the picture for the Q5. They also gave the nose a facelift; the honeycomb grille is a vast improvement over the outgoing style and its latitudinal lines, and the flanking vents look much sportier now. All in all, it looks less dutiful, from the front, and closer to inspiring a heavy-footed spree. The back is trim and contemporary. The SQ5 brings even more of a performance spirit to the model, boosting the 4-cylinder turbo to a V6.
The cabin cosmetics appear to be virtually identical to the 2020 iteration, but of course infotainment is updated. Quattro is standard on both the Q5 and SQ5.
Deliveries begin toward the end of the year. The 2021 Q5 will be priced from $43K.