2020 Acura RDX vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura RDX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the RDX and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX gets better fuel mileage than the X5:

MPG

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

X5

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RDX higher (6 out of 10) than the BMW X5 (3). This means the RDX produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X5.

Brakes and Stopping

The RDX stops shorter than the X5:

RDX

X5

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

129 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The RDX 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 X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RDX’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.9 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1050 to 1100 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The RDX is 7.5 inches shorter than the X5, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The RDX has 1.8 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X5 with all its rear seats folded (79.8 vs. 72.3 cubic feet).

The RDX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 19% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the RDX’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Model Availability

The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the X5 because it costs $146 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the X5, including $348 less for a water pump, $1612 less for a muffler, $159 less for a starter, $279 less for fuel injection, $98 less for a fuel pump, $300 less for front struts, $1503 less for a timing belt/chain and $890 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Acura RDX outsold the BMW X5 by 41% during 2018.

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

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