2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Acura MDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Q5 and MDX 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 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.

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 MDX 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 provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the MDX.

Both the Q5 and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 lane departure warning systems, 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 Audi Q5 is safer than the Acura MDX:

 

Q5

MDX

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

284

323

Neck Injury Risk

22%

22%

Neck Stress

215 lbs.

244 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

134/382 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

187

283

Neck Stress

134 lbs.

177 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

467/511 lbs.

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

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 Audi Q5 is safer than the Acura MDX:

 

Q5

MDX

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

60

72

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

113 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

219

396

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

37 G’s

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

Warranty

The Q5’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 Q5’s warranty.

Reliability

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

The camshafts in the Q5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The MDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the MDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q5’s reliability 32 points higher than the MDX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

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 Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 267) than the MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q5 is faster than the Acura MDX V6:

 

Q5

MDX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the MDX SH-AWD V6 (22 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The MDX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Q5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The MDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q5

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

The Q5’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.

The Q5 stops much shorter than the MDX:

 

Q5

MDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (8.2 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Q5 is 1 foot shorter than the MDX, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 3.6 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the MDX with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 15.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’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 Q5’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.

Towing

The Q5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the MDX’s (4400 vs. 3500 pounds).

While the MDX SH-AWD Sport Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any Q5 can tow a minimum of 4400 pounds.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

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

The power windows standard on both the Q5 and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Q5’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.

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 MDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q5 has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Q5 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q5 with a number “5” insurance rate while the MDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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 MDX only retains 42.09% to 45.69%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the MDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the MDX, including $50 less for front brake pads, $868 less for fuel injection, $89 less for a fuel pump and $565 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $2166 to $8021 less than for the Acura MDX.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura MDX isn't recommended.

The Audi Q5 outsold the Acura MDX by 26% during the 2018 model year.

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

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