Capitalizing on the fastback SUV craze by chopping down the Q5 squareback SUV to a racier shape gives Audi a second entrant in the compact SUV market in the form of the 2021 Q5 Sportback. Most everything aside from the roof is shared with the normal Q5, including its powertrain, interior designs, and styling elements—at least at the front half of the vehicle. The newly sloped roofline culminates in a raked rear hatch that’s reminiscent of the brand’s larger Q8 SUV. When it goes on sale in the first half of 2021, the Q5 Sportback will challenge compact rivals such as the BMW X4, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class coupe, and the upcoming Infiniti QX55. A performance oriented SQ5 Sportback based on the regular SQ5 SUV should also be available, although Audi hasn’t released specifics on that model yet.
What’s New for 2021?
Although it shares much of its mechanicals and interior with the regular Q5, the Q5 Sportback is an all-new model for the Audi brand for 2021.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Audi hasn’t released exact pricing or features for each of the Q5 Sportback’s trims, but we expect them to closely mirror those of the Q5. If our assumption is correct, the Premium Plus model will likely be the pick of the litter as it should add plenty of niceties over the base Premium trim, including the company’s cool Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Q5 Sportback will be powered by a 261-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, a seven-speed automatic, and standard all-wheel drive. In the regular Q5, this setup has proven to be quick, smooth, and agreeable, and we expect the same of the Q5 Sportback. Unlike the regular Q5, the Sportback model will not be offered with the optional plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Q5 Sportback will come standard with a sport-tuned suspension that Audi claims improves the handling and road-feel over the regular Q5; an adjustable air suspension will be optional. When we get a chance to test drive the new Q5 Sportback, we’ll update this story with our driving impressions.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released fuel economy ratings for the 2021 Q5 Sportback and we haven’t had the chance to test one on our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route. We’re hoping for a chance to test the new model soon and when we do, we’ll report those results here.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although we expect rear-seat headroom to be reduced some from the standard Q5, the Q5 Sportback’s interior looks plenty spacious for four adults. Many of the interior pieces are shared with the Q5—and that’s a good thing. Audi’s fit-and-finish is among the world’s best and the Q5 Sportback’s cabin design looks handsome and upscale. From photos, we can see integrated ambient lighting, textured wood trim, and attractive dark-brown leather upholstery. Cargo space is expected to shrink slightly from the standard model, which held a total of 18 carry-on suitcases with its rear seats stowed. When we get a chance to stuff luggage inside the Sportback, we’ll update this story with details.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Q5 Sportback models will follow Audi’s tech-forward approach and come standard with a 10.1-inch tablet-style infotainment display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, in-dash navigation, and onboard Wi-Fi are all included, but the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit reconfigurable gauge display will likely be optional. We’ll know more about the Q5 Sportback’s infotainment offerings closer to the SUV’s on-sale date.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Crash test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) aren’t yet available, but we are expecting the Q5 Sportback to come with several standard driver-assistance features. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
All Audis come with the same standard warranty package, and it’s fairly basic. Maintenance is covered for the first year but rivals such as the BMW X4 or the Volvo XC60 offer three years of complimentary dealer service visits.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles