2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Lexus RX Series

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 RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q5 and RX 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 RX 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 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 RX 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 RX Series.

Both the Q5 and the RX 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 RX Series:

 

Q5

RX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

42%

Neck Stress

215 lbs.

546 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

135 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

499/536 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

34%

53%

Neck Stress

134 lbs.

290 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

403/259 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 RX Series:

 

Q5

RX Series

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

110 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

219

275

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

44 G’s

Hip Force

600 lbs.

685 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 RX 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 RX 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 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

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

 

Q5

RX 350

RX 450h

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.8 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.1 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

92.7 MPH

94.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350 AWD (22 city/27 hwy vs. 19 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 RX 450h requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q5 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (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 RX 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 RX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q5

RX Series

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 RX Series (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the RX Series (111 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Q5 Prestige handles at .79 G’s, while the RX 450h AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Q5 is 8.9 inches shorter than the RX Series, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 2.3 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the RX Series with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 18.4 cubic feet).

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

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 RX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 RX 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 RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the RX Series, including $424 less for a water pump, $1208 less for a timing belt/chain and $1629 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

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

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