2019 Lexus NX Series vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the NX Series 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, 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, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Audi Q5:

 

NX Series

Q5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

303 lbs.

817 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 standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series 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

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 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.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the NX Series has a standard 580-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 NX Series’ reliability 16 points higher than the Q5.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the NX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Q5:

 

 

 

MPG

NX Series

 

FWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

300h 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

 

 

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

Q5

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Transmission

The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q5 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The NX Series stops much shorter than the Q5:

 

NX Series

Q5

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The NX Series 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 NX 300h AWD handles at .80 G’s, while the Q5 Prestige pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the NX Series’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q5’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Cargo Capacity

The NX Series has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (54.6 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The NX Series 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 NX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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.

The NX Series’ 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 Q5 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the NX Series 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.

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 NX Series’ standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q5’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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

Model Availability

The NX Series is available in both front-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 NX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the NX Series will cost $265 to $1430 less than the Q5 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost less on the NX Series than the Q5, including $171 less for a water pump, $68 less for a muffler, $114 less for front brake pads, $161 less for a starter, $98 less for a fuel pump and $190 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus NX Series will be $4894 to $9503 less than for the Audi Q5.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus NX Series and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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