2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Equinox

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 Equinox 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 Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Q5 and Equinox 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 Equinox’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 Equinox 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 Equinox.

Both the Q5 and the Equinox 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, 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 Chevrolet Equinox:

 

Q5

Equinox

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

363/349 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

187

376

Neck Stress

134 lbs.

153 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

264/236 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 Chevrolet Equinox:

 

Q5

Equinox

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

60

109

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

195 G’s

Hip Force

279 lbs.

357 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

288

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

55 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

219

377

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

600 lbs.

730 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Q5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Equinox’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Equinox’s engines use 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 31 points higher than the Equinox.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 78 more horsepower (248 vs. 170) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q5 is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox:

 

Q5

Equinox 1.5

Equinox 2.0

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

9.2 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

16.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

81.2 MPH

92.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Q5 has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q5 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox AWD/Diesel’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.6 gallons).

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 Equinox 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 Equinox doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q5

Equinox 1.5T/Diesel

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 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 Equinox are solid, not vented.

The Q5 stops much shorter than the Equinox:

 

Q5

Equinox

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5 has larger standard tires than the Equinox (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (255/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).

The Q5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The Q5’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Equinox Premier’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The Q5’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Equinox (111 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q5 is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

The Q5 Premium Plus handles at .81 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q5 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Equinox LT AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Q5. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

The Q5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Equinox uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Equinox. 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 Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

The Q5 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Equinox doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Q5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Equinox’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Q5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Equinox can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Equinox doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Equinox’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Q5 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Equinox.

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 Equinox 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 Equinox is rated higher at a number “8” 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 Equinox only retains 46.06% to 49.61%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because it costs $306 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Q5 than the Equinox, including $123 less for a muffler, $48 less for front brake pads, $134 less for a fuel pump, $31 less for a timing belt/chain and $149 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

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

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