New Model News

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 Q5New 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 Q5LED 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 Q5SQ5 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 Q5The 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 Q5Audi 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 Q5The 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 IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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