2019 BMW X6 vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X6 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X6 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 X6’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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X6 and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The BMW X6 weighs 540 to 1035 pounds more than the Audi Q5. 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 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 X6’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X6 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X6 first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 54 more horsepower (302 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X6 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 197 more horsepower (445 vs. 248) and 206 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the X6 xDrive35i is faster than the Audi Q5:

 

X6

Q5

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

5.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.9 MPH

94.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The X6 has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 (22.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X6, 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 X6’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

 

X6 s/xDrive35i

X6 xDrive50i

Q5

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.4 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

The X6 stops much shorter than the Q5:

 

X6

Q5

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X6 has larger standard tires than the Q5 (255/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The X6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 255/45R20).

The X6’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 X6 xDrive50i’s optional 275/35R21 front and 315/30R21 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 X6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q5. The X6 xDrive50i’s optional 21-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 standard on the X6 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 X6 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 X6 offers an optional 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.

The X6 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X6’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Q5 (115.5 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X6 is 1 inch wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

The X6 xDrive35i handles at .88 G’s, while the Q5 Prestige pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X6 xDrive35i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Q5 Prestige (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X6 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X6 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The X6 has 2.8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The X6 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (26.6 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The X6 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (59.7 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Towing

The X6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q5’s (6000 vs. 4400 pounds).

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Q5, the X6 offers an optional 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’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.

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 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X6 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X6 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Model Availability

The X6 is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X6 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X6 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Q5 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X6 is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost less on the X6 than the Q5, including $87 less for a starter and $19 less for fuel injection.

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

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