2019 Buick Envision vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Envision and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Envision is safer than the Audi Q5:

 

Envision

Q5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

81

185

Spine Acceleration

23 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

492 lbs.

817 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

15 inches

Hip Force

477 lbs.

600 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Envision the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Envision 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Envision’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Envision first among compact 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 Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Envision Premium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (252 vs. 248) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Envision higher (5 out of 10) than the Audi Q5 (3). This means the Envision produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Envision Premium, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

The Envision stops shorter than the Q5:

 

Envision

Q5

 

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Envision has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Envision’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Envision Premium handles at .81 G’s, while the Q5 Prestige pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Envision’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q5’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Envision may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Audi Q5.

The front grille of the Envision 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.

The Envision uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

The Envision has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (26.9 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The Envision has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (57.3 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Envision has a standard 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.

The Envision Essence/Premium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, 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 Envision 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Envision’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 Envision’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The Envision Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Envision is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Envision than the Q5, including $255 less for a water pump, $283 less for a muffler, $290 less for a starter, $253 less for fuel injection and $106 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Envision third among compact 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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