The Q5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RX Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the RX Series.
Both the Q5 and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).
There are over 23 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Q5’s warranty.
The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the RX Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
The Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350 AWD (23 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RX 450h requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Q5 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Q5’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:
For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).
The Q5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Q5’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q5’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the RX Series (111 inches vs. 109.8 inches).
The Q5 is 8.9 inches shorter than the RX Series, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the RX Series (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q5 get better fuel mileage.
The Q5 has 2.3 inches more front headroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the RX Series.
The Q5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the RX Series with its rear seat up (26.8 vs. 18.4 cubic feet). The Q5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the RX Series with its rear seat folded (60.4 vs. 56.3 cubic feet).
The Q5’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 RX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the RX Series, including $422 less for a water pump, $553 less for an alternator, $58 less for fuel injection and $1295 less for a timing belt/chain.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q5 and the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.