2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX 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 X5. But it costs extra on the RDX.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 weighs 745 to 1387 pounds more than the Acura RDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

There are over 27 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 5 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 63 more horsepower (335 vs. 272) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 184 more horsepower (456 vs. 272) and 199 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X5 is faster than the Acura RDX:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

RDX

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

4.2 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

12.7 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

109 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

n/a

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X5 has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (21.9 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X5’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 RDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

RDX

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.2 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the RDX:

X5

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the RDX (265/50R19 vs. 235/55R19). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/40R20).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s standard 55 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the RDX A-Spec’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RDX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The RDX doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RDX.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 8.8 inches longer than on the RDX (117.1 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the RDX.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.7 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the RDX can only carry 5.

The X5 has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

Cargo Capacity

The X5 has a much larger cargo volume than the RDX with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 31.1 cubic feet).

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The RDX’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RDX’s (6603 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Acura RDX is only 1500 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RDX, the X5 xDrive50i has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X5’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 RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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