2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the MDX and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 Q7:

 

MDX

Q7

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

25%

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

37 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

44%

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Acura MDX is safer than the Q7:

 

MDX

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

171

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.55/.55

.57/.7

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 Q7:

 

MDX

Q7

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

72

187

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

113 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

244 lbs.

350 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

133

337

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

757 lbs.

888 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

13 inches

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

481 lbs.

557 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 Q7 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 Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Q7 have 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 Q7’s standard 120-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 Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 45 TFSI (26 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the MDX gets better fuel mileage than the Q7:

 

 

 

MPG

MDX

 

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

Sport Hybrid 3.0 V6 Hybrid

26 city/27 hwy

 

 

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Q7

 

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

 

 

55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6

19 city/25 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The Q7 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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 Q7 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Q7 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

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 Q7 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 Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.7 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 700 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

The MDX is 3.4 inches shorter than the Q7, making the MDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the MDX SH-AWD is quieter than the Q7 Prestige (36 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The MDX has 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear shoulder room and 5.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

The rear step up height for the MDX is 1.3 inches lower than the Q7 (17.4” vs. 18.7”).

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

MDX

Q7

Behind Third Seat

15.8 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

The MDX’s cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in almost every dimension:

 

MDX

Q7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.05”/47.3”/81.7”

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

Max Width

55”

52.5”

Min Width

45.3”

42.6”

Height

29.5”

30”

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 Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Q7’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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the Q7, including $254 less for a muffler, $444 less for a starter, $444 less for front struts and $1032 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura MDX will be $4907 to $8811 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

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

The Acura MDX outsold the Audi Q7 by 38% during 2018.

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

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