Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW X5 VS 2015 Audi Q5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW X5

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2015 Audi Q5

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Collision Mitigation optional in the X5 as “Superior.” The Q5 scores only 3 points, and is rated only “Basic.”

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Q5 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Q5 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The X5’s optional 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.

The X5 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Q5 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X5 and the Q5 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 and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 4 years and 50,000 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 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the X5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Q5 2.0T Hybrid Prestige 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Q5’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X5 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Q5’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 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 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 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 11th in reliability. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The X5 has more powerful engines than the Q5:



X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

Q5 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

220 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Q5 2.0T Hybrid Prestige 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid

245 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Q5 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6

272 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 15 more horsepower (255 vs. 240) than the Q5’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.

As tested in Consumer Reports the X5 s/xDrive35i is faster than the Q5 2.0T:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

88.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35i gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 3.0T (18 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Audi only offers a regenerative brake system on the Q5 Hybrid Prestige.

Regardless of its engine, the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Audi only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q5 3.0T/Hybrid.

The X5 has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 19.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:


X5 xDrive50i


Q5 3.0T/3.0 TDI/Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Q5 are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the Q5:



60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Q5 (255/55R18 vs. 235/60R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q5 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 235/60R18).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5 2.0T’s standard 60 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Q5’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Q5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 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 Comparison

The X5 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 Q5.

The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Q5 (115.5 inches vs. 110.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.5% to 50.5%) than the Q5’s (52.9% to 47.1%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive35d handles at .82 G’s, while the Q5 pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Q5 (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q5 (8.2 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The X5 has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5 has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (66 vs. 57.3 cubic feet).

The X5’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.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q5 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Q5 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The X5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Q5. The X5 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q5.

On extremely cold Winter days, the X5’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q5 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Standard BMW Apps for the X5 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Q5 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X5 and the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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