2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the MDX and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura MDX is safer than the Audi Q5:

 

MDX

Q5

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

22%

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

44 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

34%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura MDX is safer than the Audi Q5:

 

MDX

Q5

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

244 lbs.

279 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

133

185

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

757 lbs.

817 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

Hip Force

481 lbs.

600 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Q5 has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the MDX has a 150-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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.

Engine

The MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 42 more horsepower (290 vs. 248) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 73 more horsepower (321 vs. 248) and 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (289 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 (26 city/27 hwy vs. 22 city/27 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The Q5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Q5 (19.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The MDX’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Q5 (19.5 vs. 18.5 gallons).

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura MDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

The MDX stops much shorter than the Q5:

 

MDX

Q5

 

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MDX has larger standard tires than the Q5 (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18). The MDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (265/45R20 vs. 255/45R20).

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 Q5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The MDX offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Q5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

The MDX SH-AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Q5 Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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 Q5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The MDX has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Q5 can only carry 5.

The MDX has .4 inches more front legroom, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q5.

 

MDX

Q5

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

25.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

53.1 cubic feet

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q5 is limited to 4400 pounds. The MDX SH-AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The MDX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MDX’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the MDX’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The MDX’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the MDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MDX will cost $1460 to $3035 less than the Q5 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the Q5, including $187 less for a water pump, $166 less for a muffler, $164 less for a starter, $147 less for front struts and $402 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura MDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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

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