2019 Audi e-tron vs. 2019 Acura MDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the e-tron and MDX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The MDX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the e-tron. But it costs extra on the MDX.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The MDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron and the MDX 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The e-tron’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

There are over 11 percent more Audi dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the e-tron’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 6 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The e-tron’s electric motor produces 112 more horsepower (402 vs. 290) and 223 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 267) than the MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6. The e-tron’s electric motor produces 81 more horsepower (402 vs. 321) and 201 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 289) than the MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-tron gets better fuel mileage than the MDX Sport Hybrid (74 city/73 hwy MPGe vs. 26 city/27 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi e-tron higher (10 out of 10) than the Acura MDX (3). This means the e-tron produces up to 36.3 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MDX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the e-tron’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MDX:

 

e-tron

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The e-tron’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the e-tron has larger standard tires than the MDX (255/50R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The e-tron’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MDX’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the MDX. The e-tron Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the MDX.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the e-tron uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the MDX, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The MDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the MDX (115.3 inches vs. 111 inches).

Chassis

The e-tron is 3.2 inches shorter than the MDX, making the e-tron easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the e-tron uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The MDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The e-tron has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.5 inches more rear legroom than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the e-tron’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the e-tron’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 26% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the MDX, the e-tron Prestige has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The e-tron’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The MDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the e-tron has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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