2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

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 Durango doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Collision Mitigation in the X5 as “Superior.” The Durango scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

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 Durango 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 Durango.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Durango only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Durango 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 and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Durango:

X5

Durango

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

114

119

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

26 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

1.4/1.3 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

6%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.41/.52

1.53/.59

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 Durango was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The X5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Durango’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Durango’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).

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. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Durango.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the X5 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 19 points higher than the Durango.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 19th, 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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 56 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 13 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

The X5 has more powerful engines than the Durango:

Horsepower

Torque

X5 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

456 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

293 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the X5 xDrive40i is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust V6:

X5

Durango

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

117 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the Durango:

MPG

X5

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

Durango

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

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

Regardless of its engine, the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Dodge only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Durango V6.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW X5 as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Dodge Durango is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

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 Durango doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

Durango V6

Durango V8

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

13 inches

13 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 standard on the Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the Durango:

X5

Durango

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Durango (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 265/60R18).

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 Durango SXT/GT’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 Durango’s optional 50 series tires.

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

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 Durango doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Durango 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. Dodge doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Durango.

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 Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 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 Durango (8.7 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The X5 is 6.9 inches shorter than the Durango, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Durango doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Durango.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The Durango’s optional third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X5 easier. The X5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Durango’s liftover is 32.2 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

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

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Durango’s (6603 vs. 6200 pounds).

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Durango, 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 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Durango doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Durango’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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

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 Durango’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

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 Durango doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Durango doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Durango isn't recommended.

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 Durango isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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