Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Audi Q5 VS 2012 Acura RDX Near Phoenix, AZ

Responsive image

2012 Audi Q5

Responsive image

2012 Acura RDX

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q5 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura RDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Q5’s front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Q5 3.0T Prestige offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The RDX doesn't offer a collision warning system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the RDX.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q5’s standard Audi Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The RDX doesn’t offer Audi Hill Descent Control.

The Q5 offers optional Audi Parking System Plus to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The RDX doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Q5 3.2 Prestige’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The RDX doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

Both the Q5 and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard Electronic Stability Control, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Q5 as a “Top Pick” for 2011, a rating only granted to 98 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RDX has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the Q5 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q5 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The RDX’s 105-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Q5 3.2’s standard 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (270 vs. 240) than the RDX’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q5 3.2 is faster than the Acura RDX:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

12.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.5 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

88.9 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Q5’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the RDX:


Q5 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

1500 RPM

Q5 3.2 DOHC V6

3000 RPM

RDX 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

4500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 2.0T gets better fuel mileage than the RDX SH-AWD™ (20 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

The Q5 has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (19.8 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Q5’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:



Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

The Q5 stops much shorter than the RDX:



70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RDX (255/45R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Q5’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The RDX’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Q5 offers an available 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 RDX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the RDX (110.5 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q5 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than on the RDX.

The Q5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.6% to 46.4%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Q5 more stable handling and braking.

The Q5 handles at .85 G’s, while the RDX SH-AWD™ pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Q5 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RDX SH-AWD™ (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the RDX’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.2 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (7.9 vs. 6.3 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Q5 has .7 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Q5 has a much larger cargo area than the RDX with its rear seat up (29.1 vs. 27.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q5 easier. The Q5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.3 inches, while the RDX’s liftover is 29 inches.

The Q5’s cargo area is larger than the RDX’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard power rear liftgate, which opens and closes completely automatically by pressing a button on the key fob. The RDX doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Q5 and the RDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The RDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Q5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The RDX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the Q5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the RDX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Audi Advanced Key optional on the Q5 allows the driver to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Acura RDX doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Q5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q5 3.2 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Q5 3.2 Prestige has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q5 has standard extendable sun visors. The RDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Q5’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The RDX’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q5 3.2 Prestige’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The RDX doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Both the Q5 and the RDX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q5 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The RDX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Q5 3.2 Prestige offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The RDX doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q5 with a number “8” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Q5 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the RDX.



Four Year

38% to 39%


Two Year

58% to 60%


© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.