A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X6 M 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The X6 M’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The X6 M offers an optional Surround View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The SQ5 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 X6 M 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 SQ5 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 X6 M and the SQ5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors and available blind spot warning systems.
The BMW X6 M weighs 765 pounds more than the Audi SQ5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X6 M 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 SQ5.
There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X6 M’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X6 M has a standard 210-amp alternator. The SQ5’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.
The X6 M’s 4.4 turbo V8 produces 213 more horsepower (567 vs. 354) and 207 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 346) than the SQ5’s 3.0 supercharged V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the X6 M’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X6 M’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The SQ5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The X6 M has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the SQ5 (22.4 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the X6 M’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SQ5:
For better traction, the X6 M has larger standard tires than the SQ5 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 255/45R20). The X6 M’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SQ5 (F:285/35R21 & R:325/30R21 vs. 255/45R20).
The X6 M’s standard 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 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 SQ5’s standard 45 series tires. The X6 M’s 285/35R21 front and 325/30R21 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the SQ5’s optional 40 series tires.
The rear suspension of the X6 M uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the SQ5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The X6 M 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 SQ5.
The X6 M 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 SQ5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The X6 M has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X6 M’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the SQ5 (115.5 inches vs. 110.5 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X6 M is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the SQ5.
The X6 M’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.6% to 48.4%) than the SQ5’s (55% to 45%). This gives the X6 M more stable handling and braking.
The X6 M has .5 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the SQ5.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the SQ5, the X6 M has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The X6 M’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The SQ5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The X6 M offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left down on the X6 M the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the SQ5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X6 M detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The SQ5 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
Both the X6 M and the SQ5 have standard heated front seats. The X6 M also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the SQ5.
On extremely cold Winter days, the X6 M’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The SQ5 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Standard BMW Apps for the X6 M 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 SQ5 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.
The X6 M’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 SQ5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.