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

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2018 Acura MDX

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VS

2018 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

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The MDX’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura MDX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the MDX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the MDX and the X5 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

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

 

MDX

X5

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

30.2%

Neck Stress

244 lbs.

305 lbs.

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

37 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

134/382 lbs.

195/471 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

29%

29.7%

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 Acura MDX is safer than the BMW X5:

 

MDX

X5

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

113 G’s

143 G’s

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 87 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

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The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the X5 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

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The MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 21 more horsepower (321 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Acura MDX V6 is faster than the X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.:

 

MDX

X5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.4 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

93.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive35d (26 city/27 hwy vs. 23 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the MDX gets better fuel mileage than the X5:

 

 

MDX

X5

 

2WD

3.5 V6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.0 6 cyl./Auto

 

3.5 V6/Auto

19 city/27 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

3.5 V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

3.0 6 cyl./Auto

 

3.5 V6/Auto

18 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The X5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The MDX stops shorter than the X5:

 

MDX

X5

 

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The MDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

The MDX SH-AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the X5 xDrive35i xDrive pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.7 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the MDX SH-AWD is quieter than the X5 xDrive35i xDrive (36 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The MDX has 1 inch more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

MDX

X5

Behind Third Seat

15.8 cubic feet

12 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

35.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

76.7 cubic feet

The MDX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The MDX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MDX offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the MDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MDX will cost $2545 to $4315 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

The MDX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the MDX will retain 43.75% to 94.45% of its original price after five years, while the X5 only retains 44.2% to 46.16%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the X5 because it costs $117 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the X5, including $330 less for a water pump, $822 less for an alternator, $136 less for front brake pads, $75 less for a starter, $384 less for fuel injection, $76 less for a fuel pump, $305 less for front struts and $536 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura MDX will be $13273 to $15889 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura MDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Acura MDX outsold the BMW X5 by 8% during 2017.

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