2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2020 Audi Q5

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 Q5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the Q5 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, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 xDrive45e weighs 1627 pounds more than the Audi Q5. 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 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 Q5.

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.

Engine

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The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 141 more horsepower (389 vs. 248) and 170 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 273) than the Q5 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (389 vs. 362) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 369) than the Q5 55 TFSI e’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The X5 xDrive45e has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X5 xDrive45e, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the Q5 (265/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The X5 xDrive45e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/45R20).

The X5 xDrive45e’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5’s standard 60 series tires. The X5 xDrive45e’s optional 275/40R21 front and 315/35R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Q5’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 xDrive45e has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q5. The X5 xDrive45e’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Q5.

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 Q5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the X5 xDrive45e uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Q5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard 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 X5 xDrive45e has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X5 xDrive45e’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Q5 (117.1 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

For greater off-road capability the X5 xDrive45e has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 55 TFSI e (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the X5 xDrive45e to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5 xDrive45e’s minimum ground clearance is .1 inch higher than on the Q5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the X5 xDrive45e 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

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Q5 can only carry 5.

The X5 xDrive45e has 2.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (33.1 vs. 25.1 cubic feet). The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (71.2 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).

The X5 xDrive45e’s cargo area is larger than the Q5’s in every dimension:

X5 xDrive45e

Q5

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/70”

36”/69”

Max Width

49”

48.5”

Min Width

44”

41”

Height

31.5”

29.7”

The X5 xDrive45e’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Q5’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q5’s (7200 vs. 4400 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e 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 X5 xDrive45e’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 Q5.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X5 xDrive45e has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X5 xDrive45e also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X5 xDrive45e offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Q5.

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 Q5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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