2019 Acura RDX vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura RDX 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 RDX 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 IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the X5:

 

 

 

MPG

RDX

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

X5

 

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

 

 

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX 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 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X5.

Tires and Wheels

The RDX 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 RDX’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.9 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1050 to 1100 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The RDX is 7.5 inches shorter than the X5, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX 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 RDX has 1.8 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X5 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 72.3 cubic feet).

The RDX’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.

Model Availability

The RDX 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 RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Acura RDX outsold the BMW X5 by 41% during 2018.

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

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