2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 BMW X5

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 X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Q5 and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 X5 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the X5’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive40i (22 city/27 hwy vs. 20 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 X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Audi Q5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 1150 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The Q5 is 10.7 inches shorter than the X5, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the X5 (.36 to .38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

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’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.

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 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Recommendations

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

The Audi Q5 outsold the BMW X5 by 43% during the 2018 model year.

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

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