The 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback: Is It Worth the Hype?
When it comes to crossover coupes, the 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback may be a newcomer, but it’s definitely not lagging behind. This stylish offering from Audi follows in the footsteps of popular models like the BMW X4, the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, and even the Porsche Macan. But does it have what it takes to compete in this crowded segment?
First and foremost, the Q5 Sportback comes with a relatively affordable starting price of $47,800, making it one of the more budget-friendly options in its class. Even if you choose to upgrade to the Premium Plus or Prestige models, the price remains reasonable, with the range-topping Prestige model, including some additional options, coming in at $59,340. So, in terms of affordability, the Q5 Sportback certainly delivers.
In terms of visual appeal, however, the Q5 Sportback doesn’t quite stand out compared to its competitors. While it’s undeniably sleek and the cabin is clean and comfortable, the styling could be a bit more compelling. Additionally, the touchscreen in the Q5 Sportback could be larger, as it currently stands as the smallest standard touchscreen in its segment at just 10.1 inches.
But let’s not dwell on the negatives, because the Q5 Sportback has plenty of positives to offer. Under the hood, the 45 TFSI model boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, providing a smooth and direct driving experience. Paired with the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the powertrain combination is exceptional, especially in urban environments.
When it comes to the ride quality, the Q5 Sportback doesn’t disappoint. Even with optional 20-inch wheels and all-season tires, it still offers a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. The suspension setup strikes a good balance between firmness and comfort, making it more forgiving than some of its competitors. The steering is also impressive, offering light but direct handling, allowing for energetic driving without excessive effort.
One area where the Q5 Sportback truly shines is in its exterior design. While it may not be radically different from its Q5 sibling, it does feature a sloped rear end that adds a touch of sportiness to its overall profile. The optional Ultra Blue metallic paint and five-spoke 20-inch wheels further enhance its stylish appearance. In comparison to its competitors like the X4 and the GLC Coupe, the Q5 Sportback takes a more subtle approach, which some may find appealing.
Moving to the interior, the Q5 Sportback’s cabin is a reflection of Audi’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality. With its 10.1-inch central touchscreen, clean button layout, and optional Virtual Cockpit with a 12.3-inch digital cluster, the Q5 Sportback offers a modern and user-friendly interface. While the Sportback does sacrifice a bit of headroom compared to the standard Q5, the rear seats still offer plenty of space, even for taller passengers. Cargo space is also comparable to its non-sportback counterpart, with a slightly reduced capacity of 24.7 cubic feet behind the second row.
Now, let’s address the cons. As mentioned earlier, the Q5 Sportback’s styling doesn’t quite set it apart from its base counterpart. It would have been nice to see some additional detailing on the front and rear fascias to give it a more unique personality. Additionally, Audi’s Active Lane Assist feature, while great for long-distance driving, can be overly invasive. It occasionally aggressively centers the car or takes too much control of the steering, which may not suit everyone’s preferences.
In terms of technology, while the Q5 Sportback’s standard touchscreen is on the smaller side, it does offer a host of features like Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. However, it’s worth noting that competitors like the GLC Coupe and the X4 offer slightly larger screens, and the Macan is set to adopt a larger touchscreen in 2022. But the Q5 Sportback makes up for this with its included 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and head-up display, which provide a high-tech driving experience.
In conclusion, the 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback is a solid choice in the crossover coupe segment. It may not have the most eye-catching design or the largest touchscreen, but it offers a compelling combination of affordability, driving dynamics, and comfort. If you’re in the market for a sleek and capable crossover coupe, the Q5 Sportback is certainly worth considering.