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If you are looking for a luxury SUV look no farther than the 2021 Audi Q5. With a higher rating from Consumer Reports than the 2021 Porsche Macan, the Q5 is a fabulous SUV. Because of the pandemic and the negative effect on car sales, it is also possible to get a Q5 for a little less. The Q5 also earned the highest award a vehicle can get, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. And if you still need more convincing, Tony Stark/Iron Man drives an Audi (an e-tron GT, but still).

An IIHS Top Safety Pick+ – also known as the best of the best

Not easy to get, the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ is a great stamp of approval for a vehicle. A car has to earn a “Good” rating in all six IIHS crashworthiness evaluations, advanced or superior ratings for two front crash prevention tests, and have good or acceptable headlights standard on all trim levels.

This year, the 2021 Audi Q5 and the Q5 Sportback earned this impressive award from the IIHS. A camera-based Audi Pre Sense City front crash protection system comes standard on every Q5 and Q5 Sportback. There is also an Audi Pre Sense Front system available that uses radar in addition to a camera. Other standard safety features include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward-collision warning. 

For the front crash prevention tests, both the Q5 and the Q5 Sportback were rated superior for vehicle-to-vehicle and advanced for vehicle-to-pedestrian. The six crashworthiness evaluations for the driver-side and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests received “Good” across the board for both the Q5 and the Q5 Sportback.

How the 2021 Audi Q5 is different from the 2020 Audi Q5

2019 Audi Q5 is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Audi Q5 | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The big thing Audi did differently this year was put in improved headlights, and this was key in getting the Top Safety Pick+. Since the 2020 model’s headlights only received marginal ratings, it did not even get the IIHS Top Safety Pick, since at least one headlight system available has to be rated good or acceptable.

Using LED projector lights for low beams and either LED projector lights or LED reflector lights, depending on the trim, for high beams, the 2021 Q5 had fair to good visibility in all categories except for the gradual left turn with low beams and the sharp left turn with high beams, which were rated inadequate. This was greatly improved from the 2020 tests which received mostly inadequate visibility in all categories.

The 2021 Audi Q5

The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 261 hp, with the optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and the 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged engine producing 362 hp and 349 hp, respectively. It comes with either a seven-speed sequential or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The standard engine does 0-60 mph in a respectable 6.8 seconds while still managing a decent 24 mpg overall. The interior is very quiet and boasts comfortable and supportive front seats, with rear seats that recline leading to one of the roomiest rear seats in the class.

The infotainment system has a plethora of features, which once you master them, are quite logical to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard with the audio system. Adding the Navigation package gets you Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which allows you to customize your digital instrument cluster to display what you want.

Starting at $43,300, the 2021 Audi Q5 is an excellent luxury SUV well worth the price. The improved headlights, along with the host of other safety features, make it an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, which is possibly the best stamp of approval you can get. Besides the one from Tony Stark.


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