2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Murano 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Murano’s 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 Murano 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, 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, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Audi Q5:

 

Murano

Q5

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

817 lbs.

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

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Murano has a 130-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize 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 Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 12 more horsepower (260 vs. 248) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q5 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Murano 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 Murano stops much shorter than the Q5:

 

Murano

Q5

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Murano 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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Q5 Prestige pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Audi Q5.

The front grille of the Murano 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.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Murano offers a 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 Murano SL/Platinum’s standard 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano 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.

Model Availability

The Murano 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 Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $990 to $2685 less than the Q5 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because it costs $270 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the Q5, including $206 less for a water pump, $265 less for a muffler, $65 less for front brake pads, $235 less for a starter, $40 less for fuel injection and $127 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $4167 to $7010 less than for the Audi Q5.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Murano and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Audi Q5 by 28% during the 2018 model year.

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

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