2021 Audi Q5 Facelift Revealed With Customizable OLED Taillights

Audi took the wraps off the second-generation Q5 nearly four years ago and that means time has come for a mid-cycle update. The Q5 facelift brings the model in line with the company’s current design language by adopting the new-look headlights, which now boast an LED setup standard across the range. For even greater illumination, matrix LED headlights will be offered as optional equipment.

Rather unusual for only a facelift, the proportions have been modified as the 2021 Audi Q5 is slightly longer than the model it replaces. It has been extended by 19 millimeters (0.75 inches) due largely to the modified front and rear bumpers. As for the height of 1.66 meters (65.4 inches) and width of 1.89 meters (74.4 inches) without the mirrors, these dimensions have been carried over.

Moving at the back, it’s where Audi has made the most interesting changes with the Q5 facelift. That’s because the overhauled taillights now benefit from digital OLED technology. Customers can actually pick between three different rear-light signatures, with each featuring its own animation for coming and leaving home.

The organic light-emitting diodes are more than just for show as they also serve a safety purpose – if the vehicle is stationary and another car gets close to the 2021 Q5 facelift from behind within two meters (6.5 feet), all OLEDs automatically light up. It makes the SUV more visible and thus reduces the risk of a collision. Once the Q5 facelift gets going, the taillights revert to the original light signature.

Audi will sell the 2021 Q5 facelift with standard 17-inch wheels, with the Advanced Line and S Line models riding on an 18-inch set. If you want to go even bigger, Audi Sport has various sets in sizes from 19 inches all the way up to 21 inches. Rounding off the changes on the outside are the fresh District Green and Ultra Blue paints.

Stepping inside the cabin, the main highlight is the new infotainment system, now with 10 times the computing power of its predecessor. It runs on the VW Group’s MIB3 setup and boasts a standard 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen complemented by the 10.1-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit and an optional head-up display. There’s no lower touchscreen on the center console like on the bigger Audi models where the climate control buttons and knobs have been replaced with an additional display.

In regards to the oily bits, the 2021 Audi Q5 facelift for the European market will be available in a 40 TDI specification with 204 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque. It boasts an aluminum crankcase that has shaved off about 20 kilograms (44.1 pounds) compared to the engine it replaces, while a further 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) were removed thanks to the new crankshaft.

To make the engine cleaner, Audi is implementing mild-hybrid tech that not only lowers fuel consumption, but it also helps the Q5 facelift coast with the engine off. Fuel consumption of the diesel 2.0-liter engine has dropped by 0.3 liters / 100 km, while performance numbers are quite decent – 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph (222 km/h).


Linked to a Quattro system and a seven-speed S Tronic, this 2.0 TDI will be the engine available at launch in Europe, with two additional configurations of the diesel to arrive after the launch, along with a beefier V6 TDI and a couple of 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engines. Once more, Audi will sell the Q5 facelift in a TFSIe plug-in hybrid guise, complete with a choice between two outputs.

Buyers will get to pick from four suspension setups, including an adaptive air suspension with a five-stage ground clearance offering a silky smooth ride. Rear-wheel steering will be available to reduce the Q5’s turning radius and make it easier to park in a tight space. Go for the air suspension and the luxury SUV will feature off-road and all-road settings in the Audi drive select handling system, along with five additional profiles.

As far as safety features are concerned, even the base variant comes as standard with the Audi pre sense city system, thus helping the driver avoid an impact with the cars in front. Safety can be further improved by ordering the optional turn assist, collision avoidance assist, and exit warning systems. Adaptive cruise control makes longer journeys more enjoyable and less tiring by taking care of accelerating, braking, and keeping the vehicle in lane.

Produced at the San José Chiapa factory in Mexico, the 2021 Audi Q5 facelift will go on sale globally this fall.

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Early adopters will be given the opportunity to order the Edition One model based on the S Line exterior with an assortment of design tweaks, including a black trim package and 19-inch wheels with red brake calipers. To spice things up, there are sport seats, a carbon door trim, and LED projectors showing the Four Rings once you open the door.

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.