New Audi Q5 Sportback SUV revealed: price, specs and release date

Stylish new Audi Q5 Sportback coupé SUV will get plug-in hybrid power – here's everything you need to know...

Audi Q5 Sportback front

On sale Summer 2021 | Price from £48,000 (est)

Even a few years ago, if you’d walked into a dealership asking for a car that combined the family-friendly practicality of an SUV with the sleek lines of a coupé, the sales staff would most likely have sat you down, poured you a strong cup of tea and phoned the local sanatorium. Now, however, the car world is increasingly awash with such models, ensuring that whether you want a Renault or a Range Rover badge, there’s something to suit. And the new Audi Q5 Sportback is this market’s latest competitor.

Now, let’s be clear: the regular Audi Q5 is very good indeed. It’s our favourite large SUV if you’ve got more than £35,000 to spend, so as a basis for its new coupe SUV, Audi couldn’t have chosen better.

Audi Q5 Sportback rear

2021 Audi Q5 Sportback design and space

The Q5 Sportback certainly looks the part, with a larger, more imposing front grille than its sibling and, of course, that sloping rear end. It’s also marginally longer. On the Q5 Sportback, owners can even choose from different light signatures for the rear LED clusters, adding an extra element of personalisation.

You can fit more into the boot of the Q5 Sportback than you can into rivals such as the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupé, meaning that a family’s holiday luggage shouldn’t pose a threat. Indeed, space is only 40 litres down on that of the regular Q5 – roughly the equivalent of a single carry-on suitcase.

Go for Audi’s optional Rear Bench Plus and the rear seats can be slid forwards to increase the available boot space even more. A powered tailgate comes as standard and can be opened by sliding your foot below the rear bumper.

Audi Q5 Sportback dashboard

2021 Audi Q5 Sportback engines

The sole engine at launch is a 2.0-litre diesel producing 201bhp. This engine is a mild hybrid and uses small amounts of electrical assistance to allow the engine to ‘coast’ under light loads, such as on the motorway. Shortly after launch, more powerful V6 diesel engines and 2.0-litre petrols will follow, as well as two plug-in hybrid variants that should each be able to travel for around 30 miles on electric power alone. The range will be crowned by a sporty SQ5 Sportback option. The Q5 Sportback’s low-down pulling power will be good news for caravanners, because it can tow up to 2.4 tonnes.

Sports suspension comes as standard – something that makes for a more direct feeling than the Q5’s standard suspension. Alternatively, buyers can opt for adaptive dampers or even super-comfy air suspension. On models with air suspension, the body can be raised by 45mm, giving more ground clearance for driving on poor surfaces. On the motorway, the car is lowered by 15mm for greater efficiency.

Audi Q5 Sportback rear seats

2021 Audi Q5 Sportback interior and price

Inside, the Q5 Sportback is almost identical to the recently facelifted Q5. It features Audi’s 12.3in Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, which can put the most useful information, including the sat-nav map, directly in front of you. There’s also a 10.1in touchscreen running Audi’s MMI infotainment system, and the voice control system can recognise natural speech, so all you need to do is say “Hey Audi” to ask a question. It’s a smart system, too, and can tell you things like the likelihood of finding a parking spot on a residential street, or whether there’s a broken-down vehicle in your way. Audiophiles can upgrade Audi’s standard stereo with a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.

Like the regular Q5, the Q5 Sportback should be able to receive updates over the air, allowing owners to unlock additional features and options without having to visit a dealer. The Q5 Sportback is available with the same safety and driver assistance kit as the regular Q5, including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

Prices are expected to start at around £48,000, making the new Q5 Sportback slightly more expensive than its X4 and GLC Coupé rivals.

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