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Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX


PUBLISHED THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2021

Luxury crossover rivals go head-to-head

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Hero | CarMax

The luxury crossover market is super hot with a variety of established manufacturers putting out great vehicles with the latest tech and luxury features. Heading out to find the right one for your needs might take a little research as there are several combinations between model year and trim level to consider. To make life easy for you, we've compared the Audi Q5 and Acura RDX.

Audi has been building their Q5 SUV since the 2009 model year and has refined it over the years—with the second-generation launching in 2018. Meanwhile, the Acura RDX is just as established, arriving in the 2007 model year. It was totally redone for 2019, kicking off the RDX's third generation.

Both brands have a great reputation for building luxury vehicles, but just how well do they stack up to each other? Read on to see how the Audi Q5 and Acura RDX compare across a variety of criteria.

Side-by-Side Comparison

2019 Audi Q5

2019 Acura RDX

Average Price

$36,500

$34,400

Performance

Base Engine

2.0L turbo four-cylinder

2.0L turbo four-cylinder

Horsepower

247 hp

272 hp

MPG

24 mpg combined

24 mpg combined

Interior

Seating

5

5

Cargo Space

25.1 cu ft

31.1 cu ft

Front-seat Legroom

41 inches

41.6 inches

Rear-seat Legroom

37.8 inches

38.4 inches

Total Cargo Space

53.1 cu ft

58.9 cu ft

Ratings

Tailpipe Emissions

372 g/mile

370-385 g/mile

NHTSA Safety Rating

5/5

5/5

Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Features and Trim Options

The Audi Q5 is a great luxury crossover and it's definitely not light on content. You'll find standard features on all 2017–2020 base models such as:

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Features #1 | CarMaxAudi Q5 front profile
  • Leather upholstery with eight-way power front seats

  • Tri-zone climate control

  • Heated front seats

  • Xenon headlights with LED running lights and taillights

  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration (2018+)

  • Seven-inch touchscreen (2019+)

  • Heated exterior mirrors

  • Panoramic sunroof

  • Aluminum roof rails with crossbars

The Acura RDX is just as well equipped, with a great mix of trim levels to help you find just the right option. Standard features on 2017–2020 base model RDXs include:

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Features #1 | CarMaxAcura RDX front profile
  • Leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

  • Leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

  • Sunroof

  • Power liftgate

  • Automatic LED headlights

  • Rear privacy glass

  • Heated power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger)

Engine Options

The 2017 Q5 starts with a base 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, putting out a respectable 220 horsepower. After updates in 2018, all 2018–2020 model years of the Q5 come with a standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 252 horsepower. There is a new optional Q5 PHEV plug-in hybrid version available starting in 2020 that retains the turbocharged four-cylinder engine but adds hybrid components for a total output of 349 horsepower.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Engine | CarMax

The 2017–2018 Acura RDX comes with a standard 279 horsepower V6 engine. Updates for 2019–2020 included a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine putting out 272 horsepower.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Engine | CarMax

Fuel Economy

The Audi Q5 saw its EPA-estimated mpg stay fairly consistent over the years. The 2017 Q5 gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined with the 2.0L engine while the 2018 model gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined.†† That trend went down slightly for the 2019 and 2020 model years with an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined with the 2.0L engine.†† The 2020 Q5 PEHV was rated at 65 MPGe (electric only) combined and 27 mpg combined (hybrid mode).3

The RDX definitely varies depending on the model year and drivetrain. For 2017–2018 V6-powered models, the RDX got an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined with FWD and an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined when equipped with AWD.†† For the updated 2019–2020 turbo-four models, that number goes to an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined (FWD) and an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined (AWD).††

Towing

If you really want to maximize the fun, towing a small boat or camper can spice things up on your next trip. The 2017–2020 Audi Q5 has an estimated towing capacity of 4,400 pounds when properly equipped.4 That will make quick work of a small jet ski or fishing boat. The 2017–2020 Acura RDX has a significantly smaller estimated towing capacity, just 1,500 pounds when properly equipped. 4

Tech Features

Both of these compact luxury crossovers have a variety of great tech features and options. Each received significant updates across the 2017–2020 model years, so take a close look at each trim level to find just the right option for you. Starting with the Q5, all 2017 and newer models feature great standard tech like:

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Tech | CarMax
  • Audi's multi-media interface (MMI)

  • Seven-inch touchscreen display (2018+)

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration (2018+)

  • A ten-speaker sound system with satellite radio

  • Rearview camera (optional for 2017)

  • Navigation system (optional)

  • Bluetooth® and USB connectivity

The 2017–2020 RDX is also loaded with a great mix of the latest tech. You'll find features like:

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Tech | CarMax
  • 10.2-inch interface (2019+)

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration (standard 2019+ but optional prior to that)

  • Rearview camera

  • Bluetooth® and USB connectivity

  • Available Wi-Fi hotspot (2020)5

Cargo Space

Arguably, the greatest advantage of adding a crossover to your driveway is additional cargo space. Even though the RDX is technically a compact, it still packs a lot of storage space, even more than the larger Q5 for certain model years. The 2017 Audi Q5 features 29.1 cu ft of cargo space, but it's important to note that the 2018–2020 models drop a bit to 25.1 cu ft.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Cargo Space | CarMax

The Acura RDX starts at 26.1 cu ft of cargo space for the 2017–2018 model year and bumps up to an impressive 31.1 cu ft for the 2019–2020 model years.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Cargo Space | CarMax

Pricing

The 2021 Audi Q5 and 2021 Acura RDX are newer model years and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Audi Q5 and Acura RDX.

Audi Q5

  • 2017—Average prices less than $28,000

  • 2018—Average prices less than $32,500

  • 2019—Average prices less than $36,500

  • 2020—Average prices less than $37,500

Acura RDX

  • 2017—Average prices less than $23,500

  • 2018—Average prices less than $24,500

  • 2019—Average prices less than $34,000

  • 2020—Average prices less than $39,000

Safety Ratings

The 2019 Audi Q5 with AWD received an overall five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2019 Acura RDX in FWD and AWD also received an overall five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Additional ratings are laid out for each vehicle below. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

2019 Audi Q5

Audi Q5 front view

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver-side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.

Overall: 5/5

2019 Acura RDX

Audi Q5 front view

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.

Overall: 4/5

Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver-side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.

Overall: 5/5

Reliability

According to RepairPal, the Q5 received an overall reliability rating of 3/5 while the Acura RDX gets 4.5/5. Read on for the details.

Audi Q5

RepairPal gave the Audi Q5 an overall reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as average.

Cost - RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on an Audi Q5 is $928, compared to an average of $859 for luxury-midsize SUVs and $652 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Frequency - According to RepairPal, Audi Q5 owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 1.2 times per year, compared to an average of 0.6 times for luxury-midsize SUVs and 0.4 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Severity - RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 9% for the Audi Q5, compared to an average of 11% for luxury-midsize SUVs and 12% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Acura RDX

RepairPal gave the Acura RDX an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as excellent.

Cost - RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on an Acura RDX is $497, compared to an average of $859 for luxury-compact SUVs and $652 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Frequency - According to RepairPal, Acura RDX owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.4 times per year, compared to an average of 0.6 times for luxury-compact SUVs and 0.4 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Severity - RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 6% for the Acura RDX, compared to an average of 10% for luxury-compact SUVs and 12% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010–2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.

*RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 12/31/2018. Learn more.

Performance

The Audi Q5 packs a fairly zippy base engine. For 2017, the Q5 will hit 60 mph around 6.7 seconds. Meanwhile, the updated 2018 and newer models will crack the six-second mark, coming in at around 5.9 seconds to 60 mph. The Q5 is restricted to 147 miles per hour (all according to the manufacturer, when new).

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Performance | CarMax

The Acura RDX is a sporty compact luxury SUV that makes the most of its horsepower. Expect a trip to 60 mph around 6.5 seconds for the 2017–2018 model. The updated 2019–2020 RDX was tested at just about the same time despite having a bit less horsepower. The RDX is limited to a 125 mph top speed (according to the manufacturer, when new).

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Performance | CarMax

Emissions

The Audi Q5 has varying tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions ratings depending on the model year.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Audi Q5 Emissions | CarMax
  • According to EPA estimates, the 2017 Audi Q5's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 395 grams per mile on premium gasoline.

  • According to EPA estimates, the 2018 Audi Q5's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 363 grams per mile on premium gasoline.

  • According to EPA estimates, the 2019 Audi Q5's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 372 grams per mile on premium gasoline.

  • According to EPA estimates, the 2020 Audi Q5's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 364 grams per mile on premium gasoline.

  • According to EPA estimates, the 2020 Audi Q5 PHEV's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 165 grams per mile on electricity plus gasoline.

For the Acura RDX, it also varies depending on the model year.

Audi Q5 vs. Acura RDX: Acura RDX Emissions | CarMax
  • According to EPA estimates, the 2017 Acura RDX FWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 386 grams per mile, and the 2017 Acura RDX AWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 406 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the 2018 Acura RDX FWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 386 grams per mile, and the 2018 Acura RDX AWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 402 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the base 2019 Acura RDX FWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 370 grams per mile (FWD A-Spec trim is 374 grams per mile), and the base and A-Spec trim of the 2019 Acura RDX AWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 385 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the base and A-Spec trim of the 2020 Acura RDX FWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 370 grams per mile, and the base and A-Spec trim of the 2020 Acura RDX AWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 385 grams per mile.

These estimates are based on a brand-new model. Visit fueleconomy.gov for more details.

The Bottom Line

This was a great comparison—both the Q5 and the RDX came to win. The Q5 offers standard AWD peace of mind across the 2017–2020 model years, and once updated for 2018, it now includes the latest technology and other luxury-focused standard features. Both vehicles feature standard 2.0L turbo power (2019+) but the RDX has more standard horsepower across 2017–2020 and also features more cargo space. In the end, you can't go wrong with either of these luxury crossovers, so head out to take a test drive and see which one fits your needs the best!

Want to continue your search? Check out these related articles:

Based on CarMax average prices from October 1, 2019, through March 1, 2021. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
††Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
3Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Actual mileage will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
4Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
5Wi-Fi hotspots require a data plan to activate and may also require a compatible device. See the owner's manual or manufacturer website for more information.
* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

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