2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 Audi e-tron

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The MDX’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The e-tron doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the MDX. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the e-tron.

Both the MDX and the e-tron have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The e-tron has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the e-tron. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the e-tron ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 20th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Fuel Economy and Range

The MDX’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 526.5 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The e-tron’s range is only 204 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 9 hours.

Tires and Wheels

The MDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The e-tron doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The MDX SH-AWD has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the e-tron; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the e-tron.

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the e-tron’s (38.4 feet vs. 40 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the e-tron’s (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The e-tron doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The MDX has standard seating for 7 passengers; the e-tron can only carry 5.

The MDX has .6 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the e-tron.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the MDX’s middle row seats recline. The e-tron’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the e-tron.

MDX

e-tron

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

28.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

57 cubic feet

Towing

The MDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the e-tron’s (3500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi e-tron is only 4000 pounds. The MDX SH-AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 9% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the MDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the e-tron only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the MDX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The e-tron doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the MDX’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The e-tron doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The MDX offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The e-tron doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The MDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The e-tron doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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