2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2019 Audi e-tron

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 xDrive45e offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The e-tron doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Full-time four-wheel drive is standard on the X5 xDrive45e. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the e-tron.

The X5 xDrive45e’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 e-tron doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the e-tron have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 xDrive45e 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 e-tron.

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 xDrive45e’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 18th in initial quality. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 32nd.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The X5 xDrive45e’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 430.4 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The e-tron’s range is only 204 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 9 hours.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the e-tron (265/50R19 vs. 255/50R20). The X5 xDrive45e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the e-tron (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 265/45R21).

The X5 xDrive45e’s optional 275/40R21 front and 315/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the e-tron Prestige’s optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 xDrive45e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The e-tron doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The X5 xDrive45e offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the e-tron; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the e-tron (117.1 inches vs. 115.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the e-tron.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the e-tron can only carry 5.

The X5 xDrive45e has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the e-tron.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the e-tron with its rear seat up (33.1 vs. 28.5 cubic feet). The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the e-tron with its rear seat folded (71.2 vs. 57 cubic feet).

The X5 xDrive45e’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The e-tron’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

© 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 2020/10/20

The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the e-tron’s (7200 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The e-tron’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The X5 xDrive45e’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The e-tron doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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