Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2018 BMW X5 VS 2018 Acura RDX Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2018 BMW X5

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VS

2018 Acura RDX

Safety Comparison

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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 RDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

The BMW X5 weighs 679 to 1358 pounds more than the Acura RDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 RDX:

 

X5

RDX

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

54

118

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.5 inches

Hip Force

202 lbs.

398 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

69 G’s

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

Warranty Comparison

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

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

There are over 25 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

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The camshafts in the X5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RDX’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 RDX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 second among midsize premium suvs in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The RDX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 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 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 4 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine Comparison

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The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (300 vs. 279) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 252) than the RDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 166 more horsepower (445 vs. 279) and 228 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 252) than the RDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 161 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 252) than the RDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the Acura RDX:

 

X5

RDX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.7 sec

16.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (23 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X5’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 RDX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X5 has 6.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (22.4 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

 

X5

X5 xDrive50i

RDX

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

14.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12 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 RDX are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops shorter than the RDX:

 

X5

RDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

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 RDX’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 RDX’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the RDX. The X5 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

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 RDX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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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 RDX.

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 RDX’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 RDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer than on the RDX (115.5 inches vs. 105.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the RDX.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the RDX’s (59.8% to 40.2%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive35i xDrive handles at .79 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.2 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X5 xDrive35i xDrive is quieter than the RDX AWD:

 

X5

RDX

Full-Throttle

73 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The X5 has 27.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RDX (131.2 vs. 103.5).

The X5 has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available middle row seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The X5’s cargo area provides more volume than the RDX.

 

X5

RDX

Third Seat Removed

35.8 cubic feet

26.1 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 RDX’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the RDX, the X5 xDrive50i has a 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 X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The RDX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that 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 RDX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X5 and the RDX 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 RDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X5’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.

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 RDX’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 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 X5 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

Both the X5 and the RDX have standard heated front seats. 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 RDX.

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 RDX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X5 with a number “3” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X5 is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the X5 than the RDX, including $299 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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

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

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