2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 weighs 768 to 1125 pounds more than the Audi Q5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q5.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 87 more horsepower (335 vs. 248) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 208 more horsepower (456 vs. 248) and 206 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X5 is faster than the Audi Q5:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

Q5

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

4.2 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

12.7 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

109 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

n/a

128 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The X5 has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 (21.9 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

Q5

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

13 inches

The X5 stops shorter than the Q5:

X5

Q5

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Q5 (265/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/45R20).

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 Q5’s standard 60 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 Q5’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q5. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Q5.

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 Q5 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 Q5 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. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Q5.

The X5 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Q5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Q5 (117.1 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Q5 Premium Plus 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 Q5 (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 Q5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Q5 can only carry 5.

The X5 has 2.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 53.1 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 Q5’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q5’s (6603 vs. 4400 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q5 is only 4400 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The X5 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Q5, 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 standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The X5’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X5 and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q5 isn’t in the top three.

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

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