2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura MDX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the MDX and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all wheel drive, 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 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 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 X5 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive40i (26 city/27 hwy vs. 20 city/26 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The X5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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 X5 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 X5.

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 X5 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The MDX stops shorter than the X5:

 

MDX

X5

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

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 X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.4 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 800 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The MDX has 1.6 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

 

MDX

X5

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The MDX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Payload

The MDX has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X5 (1173 vs. 849 lbs.).

The MDX has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X5 (1173 vs. 871 lbs.).

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the MDX’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Model Availability

The MDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

The Acura MDX outsold the BMW X5 by 14% during 2018.

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

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