Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW X5 VS 2016 Acura MDX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 BMW X5

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VS

2016 Acura MDX

Safety Comparison

The X5 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The MDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 MDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MDX 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 MDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The BMW X5 weighs 412 to 1190 pounds more than the Acura MDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Acura MDX:

X5

MDX

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

230

283

Neck Stress

155 lbs.

177 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

470/286 lbs.

467/511 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Acura MDX:

X5

MDX

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

54

72

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

202 lbs.

244 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

71

133

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

685 lbs.

757 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

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. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the MDX.

There are over 28 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura 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 MDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the MDX’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 MDX’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the X5 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the X5’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The MDX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (300 vs. 290) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 155 more horsepower (445 vs. 290) and 213 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 146 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the MDX (24 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The MDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X5 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX (22.4 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

X5

X5 xDrive50i

MDX

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 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 on the MDX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the MDX (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MDX (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The X5’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 MDX’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 MDX’s optional 55 series tires.

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

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 MDX 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. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the MDX.

The X5 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 MDX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the MDX (115.5 inches vs. 111 inches).

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.5% to 50.5%) than the MDX’s (60% to 40%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (8.2 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The X5 has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MDX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X5 and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X5’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 MDX’s standard 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 X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The MDX 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 X5 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 MDX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The MDX 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 X5 has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 first among midsize premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The MDX isn’t in the top three.

 The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The MDX is not ranked.

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