2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 BMW X4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Q5 and X4 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 X4’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 X4 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.

Both the Q5 and the X4 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, 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 X4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the X4’s engines use 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

The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The X4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q5 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (18.5 vs. 17.2 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 X4 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q5’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X4:

 

Q5

X4

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.9 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X4 (255/45R20 vs. 245/40R20).

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the X4’s (38.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X4 (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Q5 is 3.9 inches shorter than the X4, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (53.1 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X4 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 X4 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 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 X4 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 $470 to $3625 less than the X4 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 X4 only retains 48.5% to 49.14%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $6529 to $11430 less than for the BMW X4.

Recommendations

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

The Audi Q5 outsold the BMW X4 by over fifteen to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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