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Old 29th October 2021, 10:00   #1
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Default 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Audi has opened bookings for the Q5 facelift in India. The car is expected to be launched in November 2021.

This review has been jointly compiled with Omkar. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!

The Audi Q5 was first introduced in 2008 and has been quite successful world over. The 2nd-gen car came 8 years later, in 2016. The 2021 version that we got our hands on is the mid-life facelift of the 2nd generation Q5. The Covid-19 pandemic is the reason why the 2021 facelift got globally unveiled very late (June 2020) and is scheduled to reach Indian shores towards the fag end of 2021.

The previous iteration of the Q5 was discontinued in India in April 2020 coinciding with the BS6 regulations kicking in. Audi has also moved away from diesel engines in India and is offering only BS6-compliant petrol models since April 2020 with a lot of focus on hybrid and even pure electric cars (the e-tron line of products). Out of the 8 products launched by Audi in India before the Q5 this year, 5 have been from the e-tron product line! Audi has a vision of phasing out all IC engine-based models (including hybrids) by 2026, which is not too far away. Logically, it should happen in a phased manner with current models being gradually offered in hybrid versions and later in fully electric avatars. The 3rd-gen Q5 should be due around 2024 and frankly, I would not be surprised if it offers a fully electric variant at that time.

As was the case earlier, the Q5 will be brought to India through the CKD route and assembled at the the Volkswagen Group's Aurangabad facility in Maharashtra. The car gets only cosmetic changes and some feature additions. There are no change in safety features, which include 8 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, Traction Control and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Some features such as 360 degree camera are not available. The feature list for Premium Plus and Technology variants will be disclosed at the launch.
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Old 29th October 2021, 10:00   #2
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The facelifted Q5 has received changes primarily to the front and the rear. Overall, it is a beautiful looking car. It is not very tall which helps its driving dynamics, but takes away from the SUV/crossover looks and road presence. It does not look huge and intimidating on the road and therefore does not command the respect expected of a Rs. 60 - 65 lakh SUV/crossover. But more likely than not, the target customers would be happy with its premium and sophisticated looks.

Viewed head-on, you cannot miss the new, wider octagonal grille with vertical slats finished in smoked chrome. These slats are clearly inspired by the Q8. Personally, I am not a big fan of either super-sized "gaping-mouth" grilles or chrome vertical slats. Luckily, the slats are not finished in the regular shiny chrome and do not look bad in person:

The detailing of the headlight cluster has been reworked. It's a full-LED unit, but matrix LEDs are not available even as an option. Bright DRLs consist of segmented LEDs while turn-indicators at the top are "sequential" as before. The 3 small LED segments on the inside have been replaced with black colored blanks. Audi still has 2-3 years left in the lifecycle of the 2nd-gen Q5 and seems to be saving a quite a lot of goodies for later years. Below the DRLs, is a Y-shaped chrome insert which separates the low and high beam housings from the DRLs. Overall the DRLs look good, but not as fancy as the European 2021 Q5:

Foglamps have been redesigned and sport black housings with brushed aluminum accents. Interestingly, the parking sensors are also integrated in the foglamp housing:

Silver skid plate at the front. Notice how the front parking sensors seem to be hanging between the bumper and the skid plate:

Viewed from the side, the sloping bonnet and the slightly sloping roofline gives the Q5 a bit of an XXXL hatch vibe rather than a muscular SUV look. In this pic, only when you are told that the wheels are 19 inchers do you realize the true size of the Q5. The wheel arches are body-colored and sort of miss the point. Most SUVs would have that part in black plastic for a rugged look:

Brushed aluminum trim on the sides is new and helps give a feeling of higher ground clearance. It looks more prominent on darker shades than the white one we were driving. Also note the additional sensors towards the back and the front which give audible warning while driving in narrow trails. The refreshed Q5 is 17 mm longer than the 2020 version due to the redesigned bumpers. Other dimensions remain unchanged:

ORVMs seem 2-3 inches away from the base of the A-pillar where they are generally expected to be:

In Europe, the Q5 has an option of 18", 19", 20" and 21" alloy wheels. The Indian version gets the 19" double-spoke star design units in the Technology variant. Premium Plus will also get 19" alloy wheels, but of a different design:

Sloping hatch is quite noticeable in this pic and is so unlike what we are habituated to see in regular SUVs and crossovers. One advantage of this kind of design is that the hatch can be opened easily while standing close to the rear bumper without having to step back to allow the door to open upwards:

The Q5 looks handsome when viewed from the rear three quarter angle:

Panoramic sunroof and a shark-fin antenna. No changes here:

Smoked chrome trim connects the 2 tail lights. Q5 and the 45 TFSI quattro badges on either side are quite big. The monotony of the body coloured bumper is broken by the long reflector clusters that also house reversing lights and more tail-lamps. Further down you see reverse parking sensors, a blackish-grey diffuser, a brushed aluminum insert and a silver skid plate. Exhaust pipe is nicely tucked behind the bumper and is not easily visible. The fake dual exhaust tips from the European-spec Q5 are thankfully missing:

Full-LED tail-light cluster with sequential turn-indicators. The Indian Q5 misses out on the OLED tail-lights with industry-first 3 different animation effects that the European-spec Q5 gets:

The Q5 will be offered in 6 body colours including this new Navarra Blue which looks smashing:

Last edited by Aditya : 29th October 2021 at 10:01.
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Old 29th October 2021, 10:00   #3
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Clean but understated dashboard design. The materials used, colour palate, textures and fit and finish all are in line with what you expect from an Audi. But somehow, it comes across as a bit too understated bordering on bland with no individual bits in the design make you feel special:

Black & beige interior from the 2018 version is also available as an option:

Chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel. Telephony, voice-commands and audio controls are on the right spoke whereas the controls to configure the layout and data elements of the fully digital instrument cluster are placed on the left spoke. You need to stretch your thumbs to reach the horn pad, a minor irritant. Paddle shifters have been provided:

Fully digital cluster is bright with crisp graphics:

MID displays notifications, warnings and a lot of useful data. In this pic, it is warning the driver that the ESC has been switched off after the driver selected the Off-road mode through Drive-Select:

Layout with much smaller dials is also available and frees up a lot of real estate on the screen that can be used for more easily readable navigation and showing more detailed information:

Overall, we like the digital instrument cluster. Its beautiful and configurable to the user's preference:

Light controls are on the dashboard, on the right side of the steering wheel. Small round button is for adjusting the brightness level of the instrument cluster:

Nicely sculpted front door pads have soft-touch plastics and house multiple speakers. Leather has been used on the armrest:

Driver seat memory function buttons and central locking buttons are placed at the top of the driver side door pad:

Power window controls and the ORVM adjustment controls are placed within easy reach:

Leather seats have an absolutely gorgeous shade of tan. They are nicely sculpted and comfortable too, but the lack of ventilated seats is a big miss:

Uncluttered foot well with a wide and useable dead pedal:

ORVMs seems placed farther from the A pillar than usual and from the driver seat you see a lot of the side of the mirror housing. The actual mirrors are of the perfect size though and do their job well. They also get heating functionality:

10.1" MMI slimline touchscreen is fast and responsive. The integration of the large tablet into the dash could have been better executed though:

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay work without a hitch:

This screen pops up when you select Audi Drive-select buttons. The right side graphics change a bit based according to the mode you select. Interestingly, the honeycomb mesh grille shown in the Q5 pic is not what is available in the Indian version:

Just below the central air vents is a piano black insert that runs across the entire width of the dashboard. 3-zone climate control unit further down is beautiful and functional with twin dials and buttons finished in brushed aluminium:

Button bank below the climate control unit holds switches for Drive-Select, ESP off, screen off, etc. One needs to take the eyes off the road to operate the Drive-Select buttons:

Perfectly sized gear selector with switches for the auto-hold and electronic parking brake behind it. With the introduction of the 10.1" touchscreen, the Q5 loses not only the track pad, but also the rotary control for the MMI, which used to be just ahead of the gear selector. Instead, we now have a open cubby hole there. It would have been great if there would have been a rotary control knob there for the Drive-Select feature:

Central armrest gets a wireless charging pad which you can slide back out of sight with the phone placed on it. Underneath the wireless charging pad are 2 cupholders. Lifting the center armrest up reveals a large cubby hole and a USB-C charging port:

Ambient lighting strip nicely tucked below the piano black insert on the dash. 30 odd colour options are available and the ambient lighting apparently runs across the door pads as well:

Rear doors open wide and there is enough space between the rear seat and B-pillar to move your feet in easily:

Rear seats are superbly comfortable with good space all-round. They get fore & aft adjustment and a reclining backrest. Wide central armrest has pop-out cup-holders. Floor hump in the middle is ridiculously tall and makes the 5th passenger completely unwelcome. Rear seats have 40:20:40 configuration and you can fold down the middle section independently for easy access to the boot from inside or for transporting long items:

You can set the air-con temperature for rear passengers independently. 12V socket has been provided, but there is no USB port:

Boot is humongous! Hooks and cargo nets have been provided along with a 12V outlet to the right and boot lights:

With the rear seats folded flat, you get much more luggage space:

Collapsible 18" spare wheel needs to be inflated with a compressor (seen at the bottom left). A subwoofer occupies the empty space in the middle of the space saver:

Last edited by Aditya : 29th October 2021 at 10:01.
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Old 29th October 2021, 10:00   #4
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Driving the Audi Q5 45 TFSI 2.0L Petrol AT

In India, the Q5 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged Petrol TFSI engine that puts out the 247 BHP and 370 Nm. The petrol Q5 that was available in India till April 2020 also carried the 45 TFSI badge and delivered 248 BHP and 370 NM torque. So, it is the same turbocharged petrol engine in the same state of tune as earlier, but now comes with BS6 compliance. The transmission also remains the same - a 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox. The 2021 facelift Audi Q5 has predominantly cosmetic changes only and the dimensions are also almost unchanged. Audi has not shared the kerb weight of the car, but it is unlikely that there would be a significant difference on that front as well.

Once you settle in the driver's seat and press the engine start/stop button, the engine comes to life with no drama. The NVH levels of the Q5 are pretty good and at standstill you don't really hear the engine sound inside the cabin or get any sort of vibration. Slot it in D, take your foot off the brake and you expect the Q5 to creep forward. But the Q5 stays put. Then you realise that the "Auto Hold" function is engaged. I feathered the accelerator and got the behemoth rolling.

A quick glance at the instrument cluster indicates that we are in "Comfort" mode. The Q5 responds well to progressive accelerator input and picks up speed really fast. There is no sudden surge of power when the turbo kicks in at ~2,200 rpm and the power delivery is very linear. The upshifts from the 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic box are quick and almost unnoticeable unless you have your eyes glued to the tachometer. With light accelerator inputs, the shifts upshifts happen at 2,500-3,000 rpm.

On the open road, overtaking is easy. With a light tap on the A-pedal, the Q5 drops a gear or two, deploys a few more horses and before you know it, the overtaking maneuver is done and dusted. Audi claims 6.3 seconds for 0-100kmph in the Q5 and we don't doubt it. Omkar mentioned that the downshifts are more noticeable as compared to the upshifts, but definitely not jerky. In the cabin, if the music is not on, as the rpms rise, you can hear the engine growl and has a nice note to it.

Using the Audi Drive-Select buttons you can put the engine in "Dynamic" mode. The Q5 automatically puts you in Sports mode, even if you were in D mode before selecting Dynamic. The adaptive dampers change the damping rate and the suspension becomes stiffer than the Comfort mode. The throttle response becomes sharper and the Q5 surges ahead with A pedal inputs. While accelerating, the gearbox holds the gears till much longer (4,500-5,000 rpm) and even the actual shifts are executed faster. The 7-speed S-Tronic is intelligent and the Q5 seems to be in the right gear almost 100% of the time, with no real need to change gears by using the paddle shifters. Dynamic mode is definitely exhilarating and a lot of fun when you are in the mood for some spirited driving. Do note, however, that the "Dynamic" mode is too sharp for driving in city traffic.

If by chance, you are not very happy with the Dynamic mode setup, you can always configure the "Individual" mode and finetune the steering weight, suspension stiffness, etc. If you want even more control, go ahead and slot the gear selector in Manual mode and you can rev the engine all the way to the redline of 6,750 rpm. The rev-happy petrol engine won't complain.

"Efficiency" mode should help while ambling around at low speeds in city, where most of the Q5s would spend most of their time. If you are too lazy to select the most appropriate drive mode, just put it in "Auto" and let the Q5 do its own thing smartly.

The Q5 also gets a "mild"-hybrid system. This means that there is no electric motor as such, but the car comes with an idling stop/start system and brake energy regeneration. While coasting, the engine shuts off for few seconds and restarts on its own in a cyclical fashion. This should help enhance the car's fuel efficiency.

Earlier in the day, while looking for a spot to shoot, we took the Q5 on some narrow trails. The sensors on all sides kept on beeping with tall grass and small bushes almost invading the trail. We were not really in off-road mode, but the Q5 managed to tackle the terrain effortlessly. When we found a spot that was almost touching the water of the beautiful Pavana lake, it was pretty early in the day and the grass was wet from the dew. Wet grass means loss of traction and the Quattro AWD system jumped into action and ensured that we didn't get stuck or bogged down. Very nice!

The Q5 is equipped with a basic cruise control system. There is no ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) provided, which means no Adaptive Cruise Control - not cool for a car in the segment and at this price point. Audi had apparently experimented with ADAS in India, but couldn't find a solution that works in the challenging Indian road infrastructure and unpredictable traffic conditions.

The Q5 does not get an air-suspension option in India - something that could have helped with adjustable ride height. Even so, the low speed ride is good in Comfort mode and the car isolates the passengers well from the imperfections of the road. The 2021 Q5 comes with 19" wheels as standard (the 2018 version came with 18-inchers). Interestingly, the ride with the 19-inchers doesn't feel too different due to the adaptive dampers. On broken roads, if you slow down too much, there is some bobbing and lateral movement experienced in the cabin. In the same scenario, at higher speeds, the ride is better.

The Q5 is a fairly big crossover, but with the combination of a light steering and a powerful engine, it feels surprisingly nimble. On curves, the overall body control is pretty good for an SUV/crossover. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this is not a low-slung sedan with a low center of gravity and be reasonable while diving into the curves.

In Comfort mode, the steering is effortless. In fact, it's a bit too light. While it is precise when taking turns or bends on the road, there is very little feedback and it feels a bit disconnected from the road. The steering is even lighter in Efficiency mode, while in Dynamic mode, it weighs up nicely and feels more acceptable.

The brakes are sharp and progressive and help the big crossover shed speed quickly and come to a halt without any drama.

Surprisingly, there is no insulation provided under the bonnet:

Overall, we are impressed with how the Q5 45 TFSI drives and handles. The 250 horses are more than adequate for this mid-sized crossover and owners should be happy with this all-rounder that has a near-perfect balance of comfort, convenience and performance.

Last edited by SDP : 3rd November 2021 at 16:09.
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Old 29th October 2021, 10:00   #5
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line.

Last edited by Aditya : 29th October 2021 at 10:02.
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Old 29th October 2021, 10:36   #6
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Q5 looks as boring as it can ever be but gets a decent kit and engine. Appears quite spacious too. So by when can one expect the juicy "Audi Discount"?
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Old 29th October 2021, 14:02   #7
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

The interior looks outdated and does not belong to this era, or this price. The rivals have a more premium looking dash and console.

Last edited by Sheel : 30th October 2021 at 11:30. Reason: Please capitalize starting sentence as well as where needed. Thanks.
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Old 29th October 2021, 14:11   #8
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

The car looks a generation older than its competition inside and outside. With only a petrol engine on offer, I don't see how this will do better than the X3, GLC unless it is priced at a discount to these cars.
Mind you, I personally preferred the new Kodiaqs looks over this as well. This isn't selling at all till the discounts arrive.
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Old 29th October 2021, 14:22   #9
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

As others already mentioned, the dashboard design looks a decade old. The facelifted exterior still looks good.

Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Foglamps have been redesigned and sport black housings with brushed aluminum accents. Interestingly, the parking sensors are also integrated in the foglamp housing:
I think it is long range radar located in place of foglamps.
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Old 29th October 2021, 17:34   #10
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

What would be the wow factor in this car? It appears quite basic and dated.
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Old 29th October 2021, 18:28   #11
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Had thought of waiting for the Q5 before going ahead with the X3, glad I didn’t, no talking point/USP (other than the B&O 19 speaker 750watts system) at all. Extremely bland looking exteriors and interiors! Will definitely undercut the GLC200 and X3 30i Luxury Line in terms of pricing, but the real sales will come once discounts kick in.
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Old 30th October 2021, 00:56   #12
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

There is no ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) provided, which means no Adaptive Cruise Control - not cool for a car in the segment and at this price point. Audi had apparently experimented with ADAS in India, but couldn't find a solution that works in the challenging Indian road infrastructure and unpredictable traffic conditions.
Wait a minute, isn't Mahindra and MG doing this? I can't believe they have mastered what was challenging for Audi.
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Old 30th October 2021, 09:05   #13
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Originally Posted by GreenerPlanet View Post
Wait a minute, isn't Mahindra and MG doing this? I can't believe they have mastered what was challenging for Audi.
Not That MG and Mahindra have mastered ADAS. They just like to use it as a marketing gimmick. Also, It's largely unusable on Indian road conditions. I own a Volvo XC60, with all this ADAS stuff, canít remember a single instance where it worked as its supposed to. I donít think the lack of ADAS is going to be a deal breaker for people looking at the Q5.
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Old 30th October 2021, 13:36   #14
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

Honestly, I like the simple understated looks of the Q5.

The interiors also look good enough. Simple and functional.

Just wish it came with more powerful engines. Like a V6 diesel.

Cars like this are excellent mile munchers. I've done around 700 kms nonstop in an X3 which is a little more uncomfortable than the q5 due to the ride. The added efficiency of the diesels helps with stuff like that.

Last edited by Sheel : 30th October 2021 at 14:19. Reason: Please capitalise where required. Thanks.
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Old 9th November 2021, 10:59   #15
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Default Re: 2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Review

2021 Audi Q5 facelift to launch in India on 23rd November.

Name:  SmartSelect_20211109105947_Twitter.gif
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Last edited by Venkatesh : 9th November 2021 at 11:02.
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