2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 BMW X1

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 X1 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 X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Q5 and X1 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 X1’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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense City in the Q5 as “Superior.” The X1 scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist that automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The X1 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 X1.

The Q5 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X1 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Q5’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Q5 and the X1 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

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 BMW X1:

 

Q5

X1

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

284

328

Neck Injury Risk

22%

32%

Neck Stress

215 lbs.

360 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

60 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

257/329 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

187

187

Neck Stress

134 lbs.

175 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

68 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

309/268 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 BMW X1:

 

Q5

X1

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

60

143

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

154 G’s

Hip Force

279 lbs.

486 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

193

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

65 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

219

278

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

600 lbs.

815 lbs.

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

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the X1’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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 52 points higher than the X1.

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

The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (248 vs. 228) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Audi Q5 is faster than the BMW X1:

 

Q5

X1

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

92.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Q5 has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the X1 (18.5 vs. 16.1 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 X1 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 X1:

 

Q5

X1

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The Q5 stops much shorter than the X1:

 

Q5

X1

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5 has larger standard tires than the X1 (235/60R18 vs. 225/50R18). The Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X1 (255/45R20 vs. 225/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The X1’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the X1 (111 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q5 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the X1.

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X1 (8.2 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has .6 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X1.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X1 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The Q5 has a 4400 lbs. towing capacity. The X1 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the X1. 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 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 X1 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Q5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the X1. The Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the X1.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The X1 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

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 X1 only retains 48.72% to 48.91%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the X1 because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the X1, including $75 less for a water pump, $149 less for a muffler, $80 less for fuel injection, $27 less for a fuel pump, $510 less for a timing belt/chain and $689 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The BMW X1 isn't recommended.

The Audi Q5 outsold the BMW X1 by over two to one during 2018.

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

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