2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Acura RDX

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 RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q5 and RDX 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 RDX’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 RDX 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 RDX.

Both the Q5 and the RDX 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.

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 RDX has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’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 RDX’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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

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

 

Q5

RDX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better city fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (22 city/27 hwy vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Q5 has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (18.5 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 RDX doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual 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 RDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q5

RDX

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 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 RDX are solid, not vented.

The Q5 stops much shorter than the RDX:

 

Q5

RDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the RDX (111 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Q5 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RDX AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

The Q5 is 3.2 inches shorter than the RDX, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.1 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear headroom than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Towing

The Q5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (4400 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because 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 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 RDX’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 RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 RDX 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 RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the RDX, including $129 less for front brake pads and $721 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Audi Q5 outsold the Acura RDX by 20% during the 2018 model year.

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

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