2021 Audi Q5, Q5 Sportback Earn Top Safety Ratings from IIHS

Jack R. Nerad | Apr 15, 2021

The 2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback have earned the highest honor from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), its Top Safety Pick+ award. Improved headlight performance was the key to receipt of the safety ratings for the two luxury SUVs.

2021 Audi Q5 Blue Front Quarter Action

In 2020, the Q5 failed to collect an IIHS award because the two headlight systems available on the SUV got Marginal ratings. So for 2021, Audi stepped up its headlight game. When you choose Prestige trim, the headlights on the Q5 and new-for-2021 Q5 Sportback models earn a Good rating, while Q5s with Premium and Premium Plus trim have headlights rated Acceptable.

Both ratings qualify all Q5 models for the top IIHS safety rating.

IIHS Top Safety Pick Requirements - Find the best Audi deals!

To receive IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards, vehicles must earn Good ratings in all six of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations. Vehicles must also earn Advanced or Superior ratings for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention and come equipped with Good or Acceptable headlights across all trims and packages. 

To qualify for the second-tier Top Safety Pick award, at least one Good or Acceptable headlight system must be available in the model lineup.

Impressive Pedestrian Avoidance  - Find the best Audi deals!

In summarizing the highlights of the Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback safety evaluations, the IIHS pointed to the vehicles' camera-based Audi Pre Sense City front crash prevention system, which is standard on both the Q5 and Q5 Sportback. Audi Pre Sense Front, a more sophisticated optional system, uses radar as well as a camera to detect the presence of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists that might cross the Q5’s path. Both systems earned IIHS Superior ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and Advanced ratings in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test.

In the Institute's testing, the Audi Q5 avoided hitting the pedestrian dummy in two out of six test scenarios. Those successful runs included the 12-mph trial simulating a child crossing the road and the 25-mph trial simulating an adult walking along the lane of travel. 

While two of six doesn't sound like a great result when discussing a vehicle’s ability to avoid colliding with a human being, in the four other scenarios the Q5 slowed to between 3 mph and 8 mph, substantially mitigating the force of impact. Such a difference in speed could potentially be lifesaving.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on April 15, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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