2020 BMW X5 M vs. 2020 Audi SQ5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X5 M has standard Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The SQ5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 M helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 M’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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 M and the SQ5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW X5 M weighs 1104 pounds more than the Audi SQ5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 M for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the SQ5.

There are over 14 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5 M’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The X5 M’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 251 more horsepower (600 vs. 349) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 369) than the SQ5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The X5 M Competition’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 268 more horsepower (617 vs. 349) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 369) than the SQ5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The X5 M has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the SQ5 (21.9 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X5 M’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SQ5:

X5 M

SQ5

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 M has larger tires than the SQ5 (F:295/35R21 & R:315/30R21 vs. 255/45R20).

The X5 M’s 295/35R21 front and 315/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SQ5’s standard 45 series tires. The X5 M’s tires are lower profile than the SQ5’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 M has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 20-inch wheels are standard on the SQ5. The X5 M’s optional 22-inch rear wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the SQ5.

Suspension and Handling

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The X5 M has active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The SQ5 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 M offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the SQ5.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 M’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the SQ5 (117 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 M is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the SQ5.

The X5 M’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.6% to 49.4%) than the SQ5’s (54.3% to 45.7%). This gives the X5 M more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 M has a greater minimum ground clearance than the SQ5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 M to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5 M Competition’s minimum ground clearance is .2 inch higher than on the SQ5 (8.4 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the X5 M uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The SQ5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The X5 M has 2.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the SQ5.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 M has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the SQ5 with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The X5 M has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the SQ5 with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

The X5 M’s cargo area is larger than the SQ5’s in almost every dimension:

X5 M

SQ5

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/70”

36.5”/68”

Max Width

49”

50”

Min Width

44”

40.3”

Height

31.5”

30.5”

The X5 M’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The SQ5’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/06/05

The X5 M 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The X5 M’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the SQ5.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X5 M has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The SQ5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X5 M also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X5 M has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the SQ5.

The X5 M offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the SQ5.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 M has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the SQ5.

The X5 M’s Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The SQ5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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