2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Q5 and NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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 NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 NX Series 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 NX Series.

Both the Q5 and the NX Series 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.

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 Lexus NX Series:

 

Q5

NX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

46%

Neck Stress

215 lbs.

509 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

480/609 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

187

355

Neck Injury Risk

34%

42%

Neck Stress

134 lbs.

295 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

70 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

442/307 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 Lexus NX Series:

 

Q5

NX Series

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

60

192

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

148 G’s

Hip Force

279 lbs.

352 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

317

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

15 inches

HIC

219

542

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

38 G’s

Hip Force

600 lbs.

828 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the NX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus 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 NX Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 54 more horsepower (248 vs. 194) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 199) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 more horsepower (248 vs. 235) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q5 is faster than the Lexus NX Series:

 

Q5

NX 300h

NX 300

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

8.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

16.3 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

84.5 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q5 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q5 has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series’ standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi Q5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the NX Series.

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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q5

NX Series

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.1 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 NX Series are solid, not vented.

The Q5 stops much shorter than the NX Series:

 

Q5

NX Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5 has larger standard tires than the NX Series (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NX Series (255/45R20 vs. 235/55R18).

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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Q5’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’s 55 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the NX Series (111 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q5 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

The Q5 Premium Plus handles at .81 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 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 NX 300h AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (8.2 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q5’s minimum ground clearance is 1.3 inches higher than on the NX 300 (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the NX Series (.34) 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 4.3 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the NX Series with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 17.7 cubic feet).

Towing

The Q5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (4400 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the NX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 NX Series’ standard 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 NX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Q5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the NX Series. 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 NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $459 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the NX Series, including $117 less for fuel injection, $525 less for a timing belt/chain and $3 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q5 and the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Audi Q5 outsold the Lexus NX Series by 12% during the 2018 model year.

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

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