2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Q5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q5 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 xDrive40e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Q5 and X5 xDrive40e have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q5 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 X5 xDrive40e’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.

The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To help make backing safer, the Q5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Q5 and the X5 xDrive40e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 xDrive40e has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the X5 xDrive40e’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 1 place higher in reliability than BMW.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi Q5 is faster than the BMW X5 xDrive40e:

 

Q5

X5 xDrive40e

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.7 sec

Top Speed

128 MPH

127 MPH

Transmission

The Q5 offers a standard 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 xDrive40e doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X5 xDrive40e:

 

Q5

X5 xDrive40e

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

The Q5 stops shorter than the X5 xDrive40e:

 

Q5

X5 xDrive40e

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the X5 xDrive40e’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

The Audi Q5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1200 pounds less than the BMW X5 xDrive40e.

The Q5 is 9.6 inches shorter than the X5 xDrive40e, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the X5 xDrive40e.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Q5’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5 xDrive40e’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.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q5’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, 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 BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Q5 will cost $1420 to $2395 less than the X5 xDrive40e over a five-year period.

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q5 will retain 52.7% to 53.4% of its original price after five years, while the X5 xDrive40e only retains 47.67%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $11304 to $17966 less than for the BMW X5 xDrive40e.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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