Q5 is the mid-sized model in Audi’s SUV range and its most popular. It’s been on sale here since 2009. The current, second generation, model has been on sale since 2017 with upgrades in late 2019 and now in early 2021.

The latest update brings some external styling changes, a refreshed interior, updated user interface, advanced engine technology and additional equipment.

On the outside the single frame grille has been tweaked with more prominent vertical slats in line with the most recent Audi Q3 and Q7 models to provide a sportier look.

There are new LED headlights with the daytime running lights now integrated within the headlight housing.

The wave-like character line which effectively wraps around the Q5 has been retained but with changes to the lower side trims to match the upper lines.

At the rear there’s now a chrome strip that links the two tail lights and the option of digital OLED tail lights.

As before there are five variants, with the choice of two TDI diesel and one TFSI petrol engines. There are two limited edition Launch Edition models.

The entry level models are now called Q5 40 TDI and Q5 45 TFSI. Next up are the 40 TDI Sport and 45 TFSI Sport with the hero model being the 50 TDI S line. All have quattro all-wheel drive.

Audi Q5 comes with the choice of three engines. The four-cylinder 2.0-litre TDI turbo-diesel generates 150 kW and 400 Nm from 1750 rpm, the 2.0-litre TFSI turbo-petrol produces 183 kW and 370 Nm from 1600 revs. Both are paired with seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The third engine, powering the 50 TDI, is a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel with 210 kW and 620 Nm at 1750 rpm and eight-speed tiptronic auto.

All engines now come with MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) technology, 12V in the Q5, Sport and Launch Editions and 48V in the 50 TDI.

Claimed fuel consumption is listed at 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres from the 40 TDI, 8.0 L/100 km from the 45 TFSI, and 6.8 L/100 km from the 50 TDI.

All three engines meet Euro 6 emission standards. The start / stop system can cut the engine at speeds below seven km/h while coasting to a stop.

Audi drive select provides the selection of six driving modes to tailor the vehicle’s ride and handling to the driver’s wishes. Adaptive air suspension is available as an option in all variants above the entry level Q5.

In addition to the five permanent variants there are 400 units of Q5 Launch Editions with added features including metallic paint; black exterior styling package; carbon exterior mirror caps; privacy glass; 20-inch Falx alloy wheels; leather appointed seats with contrasting stitching; extended upholstery package; illuminated front door sill trims; matric headlight; OLED configurable digital tail lights; and colour ambient lighting package.

Audi connect plus functionality, with the integration of online traffic, weather conditions, fuel prices, parking information and Google Maps into the Q5 driving experience, together with additional functions enabled through the myAudi smartphone app like remote lock/unlock, service request and emergency using the embedded SIM card.

The Audi Virtual Cockpit screen now has three different modes: Sport, Classic and Dynamic with the ability to change the size of the instrument cluster to suit.

New for 2021 is the “hey Audi” command to activate the voice control system.

Additional features include Audi phone box light with wireless charging for mobile phones that have Qi standard. There are two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, Digital DAB+ radio and four USB outlets, two of them are in the rear.

Standard safety features include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and attention assist to make drivers pay attention, side assist, active lane assist, exit warning system and rear cross traffic assist tyre pressure monitor and pre-sense rear.

Driver assist systems include Audi pre-sense city, which monitors the road in front of the vehicle; attention assist, warning drivers of their losing concentration; adaptive cruise control, keeping the Q5 a given time from the vehicle ahead; turn assist; lane change assist; exit warning, which warns against opening doors when a vehicle or cyclist is approaching; and park assist which is an aid to everyday manoeuvring when parking.

Clever safety technology displays a warning signal to drivers within two metres of the rear of the Audi Q5 by creating a choreographed sequence of flashing lights.

The roof rails in all Q5 models now come with a set of removable cross members that can be locked onto the rails. There are in-built sensors which tells the car when a load is there and modifies the stability control system settings to cater for the change in the centre of gravity.

The luggage compartment can store up to 520 litres (1520 litres with the backrests folded flat). The rear seat can be split 40:20:40 and optionally slides fore/aft to create additional luggage space or legroom, as desired.

Audi Australia’s Q5 media launch followed the same format as similar events over the past year with the combination of an on-line video press presentation and the opportunity to sample some of the vehicles on the road.

We drove the entry-level Q5 40 diesel TDI and the mid-spec 45 petrol TFSI. On the open road they are smooth, quiet and comfortable and well suited for long distance cruising but with plenty of punch when needed.

Steering is precise and despite its relative bulk, cornering in the Q5 feels safe and stable.

We’ll provide a more detailed review when we get a couple of variants for our normal week-long test in the near future.

The Q5 40 TDI and 45 TFSI models are on sale now either through Audi dealerships or the online purchase platform at The 50 TDI will arrive around the end of March 2021.

Q5 40 TDI quattro: $68,900
Q5 45 TFSI quattro: $69,600
Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport: $74,900
Q5 45 TFSI quattro Sport: $76,600
Q5 40 TDI quattro Launch Edition: $78,300
Q5 45 TFSI quattro Launch Edition $80,800
Q5 50 TDI quattro S line: $89,600
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for driveaway prices.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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