2019 Audi SQ5 vs. 2018 BMW X5 M

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The SQ5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 M doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi SQ5 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 M doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The SQ5 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 X5 M 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 help make backing safer, the SQ5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 M doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the SQ5 and the X5 M 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

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 SQ5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 M has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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 SQ5 gets better fuel mileage than the X5 M (19 city/24 hwy vs. 14 city/19 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi SQ5 higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW X5 M (3). This means the SQ5 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X5 M every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The SQ5 stops shorter than the X5 M:

 

SQ5

X5 M

 

70 to 0 MPH

148 feet

152 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the SQ5’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the X5 M’s (38.4 feet vs. 42 feet).

For greater off-road capability the SQ5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 M (8.2 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the SQ5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Audi SQ5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 pounds less than the BMW X5 M.

The SQ5 is 8.8 inches shorter than the X5 M, making the SQ5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi SQ5 amounts to more than styling. The SQ5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .35 Cd. That is lower than the X5 M (.38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the SQ5 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the SQ5 Prestige is quieter than the X5 M 4dr Sport Utility:

 

SQ5

X5 M

At idle

37 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

82 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space

The SQ5 has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the X5 M.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the SQ5’s rear seats recline. The X5 M’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the SQ5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 M doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The SQ5’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5 M’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.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the SQ5’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 M doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, 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

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the SQ5 has standard extendable sun visors. The X5 M doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SQ5 Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The X5 M doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the SQ5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the SQ5 will cost $3425 to $4145 less than the X5 M over a five-year period.

The SQ5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the SQ5 will retain 52.86% to 52.91% of its original price after five years, while the X5 M only retains 43.7%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi SQ5 will be $41929 to $45270 less than for the BMW X5 M.

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

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