2019 Cadillac XT5 vs. 2018 Acura MDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XT5 are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Acura MDX doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the XT5 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The MDX doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XT5 offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the XT5 and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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.

Warranty

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The XT5’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MDX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the XT5. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the MDX.

There are over 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XT5’s warranty.

Reliability

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The camshafts in the XT5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The MDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the MDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XT5 has a standard 155-amp alternator (170-amp - XT5 optional). The MDX’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (310 vs. 290) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 267) than the MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XT5 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MDX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The XT5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT5 higher (5 out of 10) than the Acura MDX (3). This means the XT5 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MDX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XT5’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MDX:

 

XT5

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

The XT5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

The XT5 stops much shorter than the MDX:

 

XT5

MDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Cadillac XT5’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Acura MDX only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XT5’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the MDX (112.5 inches vs. 111 inches).

The XT5 4x4 handles at .84 G’s, while the MDX SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XT5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (7.8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the XT5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XT5 is 6.7 inches shorter than the MDX, making the XT5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The XT5 has .3 inches more front headroom and 2.9 inches more rear legroom than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity

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The XT5 has a much larger cargo area than the MDX with its rear seat up (30 vs. 15.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XT5 Platinum’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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While the MDX SH-AWD Sport Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any XT5 can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 26% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

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The XT5’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MDX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the XT5 and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XT5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XT5 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The MDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the XT5 has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The XT5’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XT5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the XT5 with a number “8” insurance rate while the MDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XT5 is less expensive to operate than the MDX because typical repairs cost much less on the XT5 than the MDX, including $102 less for front brake pads, $158 less for a starter, $902 less for fuel injection, $315 less for a fuel pump, $116 less for front struts and $252 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The Cadillac XT5 outsold the Acura MDX by 24% during 2017.

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