2021 Audi Q5 Sportback Joins the Coupe-Crossover Ranks

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

The Q5 gets a rakish roofline variant to do battle with BMW’s X4 and Mercedes’ GLC Coupe.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: a German luxury brand has given one of its mainline SUVs a more sloping roofline, and liberally peppered the associated press release with the word “coupe”. The latest model to get the treatment is Audi’s mid-range Q5, though we wouldn’t call it a punchline, since the coupification has resulted in one of the better-looking examples of the breed.

Up front, everything looks pretty familiar for this version of the German brand’s best-seller. There’s the big shield grille, and the same rectangular headlights with their LED signature daytime running lights (DRLs). Flowing across the flanks is the same A5-style shoulder line too, gently rising above each wheel arch. So far, so very German.

It’s just slightly above that crease where the Sportback diverges from its boxy brethren. The third side window extends further back, while the roof begins its downward slope far earlier. The result is a tapered tail, and a rear glass section that’s much more horizontal than the upright unit on the regular Q5. That more angular tail also features a more pronounced lip. The Sportback is about a quarter-inch longer, too.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Audi Q3 Review

Buyers will have no less than 12 color options to choose from with the Sportback, and wheels that range from 18 to 21 inches.

Naturally, style has demanded a functionality sacrifice, with the load-lugging space dropping from 25.1 cubic feet to 18. Dropping the seats almost gets the Sportback to parity though: here it features 52.3 cubes versus 53.1. The rear bench can slide forward, freeing up a few extra inches of storage as well. A powered tailgate is standard, with a hands-free version optional.

Under the skin the Sportback uses much the same equipment as the regular Q5, including adaptive dampers. An air suspension is optional, which can raise the Sportback for off-road duties or lower it for better aero efficiency at speed. Let’s be honest: one of those is a lot more likely than the other.

We’ll get two engine options here in North America. The Q5 sticks with Audi’s stout 2.0-liter turbo engine, producing 261 hp and 273 lb-ft. Meanwhile the SQ5 will add another pair of cylinders for a 3.0-liter V6 capable of 349 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both use an eight-speed auto and send power to all four wheels.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Audi Q5 Offers Mild Hybrid as Standard, Plug-in More Powerful Than SQ5

The interior of the Sportback borrows plenty from the regular Q5. Sitting in the middle is a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, running the latest version of Audi’s excellent MIB system. A 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit is optional, as is a head-up display. Other tech goodies include variable-ratio steering and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Audi’s blind-spot monitoring and rear camera come standard, but if you want the rest of its safety assist suite, like lane-keep and rear cross-traffic alert, you’ll need to pony up the extra cash.

North American sales of the Q5 Sportback will begin in the second quarter of 2021. Audi should spill the beans on market-specific pricing closer to that time.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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