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2021 Audi Q5 gets a host of exterior upgrades, fresh infotainment tech

Audi has given the Q5 a fresh design and power boost for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has revealed the details of its mid-cycle refresh of its two-row Q5 SUV. The German automaker is giving the model the typically refresh touches including upgrades to the exterior and infotainment system.

The 2021 Audi Q5 has Audi's new design language front and center with a thinned Singleframe grille that sits wider across the front. The side intakes are taller and have trapezoidal inserts. At the rear, a new trim element connects the taillights and there's a new horizontal diffuser insert.

2021 Audi Q5 New grille designs vary by trim level.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Models get their own unique exterior touches as well. Audi is equipping the Q5 45 TSFI model with a standard Advanced line exterior, which includes vertical chrome strips in the grille and silver accents in the front and rear bumpers. The Q5 PHEV comes standard with the S line exterior which includes a sportier honeycomb structure in the Singleframe grille. Its front and rear diffuser design is more aggressive.

The SUVs get standard 18-inch five-arm-star design wheels while 19-inch five-double-arm design wheels with a bi-color finish and 20-inch five-arm-design wheels are available.

The Q5 PHEV has standard 19-inch five-double-arm design wheels and available 20-inch five-arm-design wheels with a bi-color finish. With the available Sport plus package, buyers get an adaptive air suspension, 20-inch 10-spoke-star design wheels in platinum finish with summer tires, front sport seats, S line leather/Dinamica seats, black headliner, and brushed aluminum inlays.

2021 Audi Q5 LED highlights are standard on the 2021 Q5.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

SQ5 models receive standard 20" 10-spoke-star-design wheels in platinum finish with summer tires. Buyers can get the SQ5 with a black optic package, which adds matte black roof rails, high-gloss black exterior mirror housings and black exterior accents along with 20" 5-V-spoke-star design wheels in bi-color finish with summer tires (all-season 20" tires optional). With the package, upgrading to 21-inch five-arm-polygon design wheels with summer tires is available. The company also sells 21-inch five-V-spoke-offset design wheels with bi-color finish fo this grade.

Quad hot pipes that release an increased exhaust note are available for the SQ5.

Audi is adding District Green and Ultra Blue paint colors as options on Q5 PHEV and SQ5 models.

All Q5 SUVs get standard LED headlights and taillights with dynamic turn signals. Top-tier models get matriculates-design LED headlights. SQ5 models get next-gen OLED technology.

2021 Audi Q5 SQ5 models get unique exhaust options.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

All variants of the 2021 Q5 will continue to be powered by the same engines as the 2020 models. The 2.0-liter TFSI engine gets a 13 horsepower increase for the new model year and a 12-volt mild-hybrid system. That brings its total up to 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

The PHEV models the same engine, but it's coupled with an electric motor. It achieves 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Both engines are paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.

The SQ5 has had its standard 3.0-liter TFSI engine tuned so it can get the model off the line faster, lowering its zero to 60 mph time by half a second. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Audi Q5 The grille of the Q5 is wider and slimmer than before.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has given the interior of the Q5 what it's calling "functional refinements". At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen that backed by the new MIB 3 infotainment system.

Buyers can opt for the second-generation Audi virtual cockpit plus featuring a 12.3-inch display. The driver can choose between three viewing modes – classic, sport and dynamic. On SQ5 models, sport mode replaces the classic mode as the default view, and an S Performance mode is added, which brings the tachometer and the speedometer to the front and center of the display and allows for customizable displays to the left and right of the screen.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is the Integrated Toll Module.

Additional refinement include new walnut wood inlays and leather seating surfaces, now with contrast stitching, as well as standard high-gloss black interior trim elements. On SQ5 models, electronic steering column adjustment is now standard.

2021 Audi Q5 Audi has given the SUV a 10.1-inch infotainment screen.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Q5 buyers can upgrade to a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound that delivers 705 watts of sound.

The 2021 Q5 comes with a free list of standard and available safety and driver assist technology:

  • Standard Audi side assist provides blind spot monitoring via LED indicators on the exterior mirror housings at speeds above 9 mph.
  • Standard Lane departure warning helps keep the driver within the driving lane, if the lane is about to be departed, through corrective steering intervention and adjustable wheel vibration at speeds above 40 mph.
  • Standard Audi pre sense rear (as part of Audi side assist) uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to help detect an impending rear-end collision, and can initiate preventative measures.
  • Standard Parking system plus helps make parking easier with front and rear proximity acoustic parking sensors, when the vehicle is in both reverse and drive, at speeds under 6 mph.
  • Standard Rear cross traffic assist (as part of Audi side assist and parking system plus) supports the driver when reversing out of a perpendicular parking space. Indicator arrows in the MMI display can help inform the driver of approaching vehicles, and in critical situations, a warning tone and brake jolt can be applied, prompting the driver to fully stop the vehicle.
  • Available Adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam assist (now standard on Premium Plus trim levels) assists the driver with acceleration and braking, maintaining speed and following distance between speeds of 0-95 mph and during traffic jam situations between speeds of 0-40 mph.
  • Available Top view camera system (now standard on Premium Plus trim levels) uses four wide-angle 360-degree cameras to display the entire area surrounding, projected on the MMI screen, allowing the driver to "see" around the vehicle to help with maneuvering in tight spaces.

2021 Audi Q5 The SUV comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi is pricing the Q5 to start at $43,300. The SQ5 starts at $52,900. Pricing for the Q5 PHEV had not yet been released. All prices exclude the destination charge.

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The new Tiguan sports an all-new front-end design.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Tiguan is an interesting compact SUV with a fun-to-drive personality and plenty of style. After 14 years on sale, the Tiguan is just in its second generation, but VW has given it a significant update for the 2022 model year that brings new tech, updated styling, and a refreshed interior.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan The rear has been massaged with new badging and standard LED taillights. Volkswagen

The restyled Tiguan is available in four trim levels: S, SE, and SE R-Line Black. All models get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, but VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive can be optioned in.

Styling updates are the big story for the 2022 Tiguan. The front end is entirely new and carries design cues from the larger Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport. LED headlights are now standard, and an illuminated light line is available for the SUV's grille. On the rear liftgate, the Tiguan model name lettering also mirrors that of the Atlas, with the name spelled out underneath the VW logo.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Most trims get an 8-inch touchscreen.Volkswagen

Inside, the Tiguan now comes standard with heated seats, while a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats are available. Cloth upholstery is standard, while mid-range trims get leatherette. The top SEL R-Line comes with leather and a perforated leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. Front-wheel drive models come standard with three rows of seating as well, making the Tiguan one of the more family-friendly vehicles in its class.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan The top trim gets upscale leather upholstery.Volkswagen

The base Tiguan S comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen running Volkswagen's excellent MIB 2 software, but all others get MIB 3 infotainment software running on a glass-covered 8.0-inch touchscreen. The automaker notes that it's a capacitive touch system, which functions more like a smartphone than other infotainment systems, which sometimes require pressure to register a touch input. All Tiguans get a digital gauge cluster with an 8-inch display, while the top SEL R-Line upgrades to a 10.25-inch configurable gauge cluster that offers full-screen navigation and other views.

Pricing for the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at $25,995 for the base S trim with front-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the prices to $27,495. All Tiguan models will see a $1,195 destination charge tacked on at the bottom line.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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