2019 BMW X6 M vs. 2018 Audi SQ5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X6 M has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X6 M 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X6 M’s optional 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X6 M and the SQ5 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW X6 M weighs 787 pounds more than the Audi SQ5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X6 M 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 SQ5.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X6 M’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’ 2018 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The X6 M’s 4.4 turbo V8 produces 213 more horsepower (567 vs. 354) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 369) than the SQ5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X6 M is faster than the Audi SQ5:

 

X6 M

SQ5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.4 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9 sec

13 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.4 sec

6.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.6 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

13.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

115 MPH

102 MPH

Top Speed

160 MPH

127 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X6 M’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X6 M’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The SQ5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X6 M has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the SQ5 (22.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X6 M’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SQ5:

 

X6 M

SQ5

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15.2 inches

13 inches

The X6 M stops shorter than the SQ5:

 

X6 M

SQ5

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X6 M has larger tires than the SQ5 (F:285/35R21 & R:325/30R21 vs. 255/45R20).

The X6 M’s 285/35R21 front and 325/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SQ5’s standard 45 series tires. The X6 M’s tires are lower profile than the SQ5’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X6 M has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 20-inch wheels are standard on the SQ5.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the X6 M uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the SQ5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X6 M 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 SQ5.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X6 M’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the SQ5 (115.5 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X6 M is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the SQ5.

The X6 M’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.6% to 48.4%) than the SQ5’s (54.3% to 45.7%). This gives the X6 M more stable handling and braking.

The X6 M handles at 1.01 G’s, while the SQ5 Prestige pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X6 M executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the SQ5 Prestige (24.3 seconds @ .84 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The X6 M has 2.8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the SQ5.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the SQ5, the X6 M has standard driver and 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 X6 M’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The SQ5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X6 M has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The SQ5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X6 M has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The SQ5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X6 M also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X6 M’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 SQ5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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