Acura MDX vs. BMW X5

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - October 23, 2019

Three-row utility vehicles come in all shapes and sizes these days. The Acura MDX and BMW X5 are both mid-size options that are capable of seating seven and have plush features. Despite having similar body styles, features, and seating capacities, the MDX and X5 take two very different routes to complete the job.

The X5 retains BMW’s panache for performance, being one of the most athletic SUVs in the class to drive. Acura’s three-row MDX crossover is one of the more affordable options in the segment and comes with a healthy list of standard safety features, but puts performance on the back foot.

Below, we’ll look at which one is the better buy for the majority of consumers.

See a side-by-side comparison of the MDX & X5 »

What the MDX Gets Right

Acura’s option gets well ahead of the BMW X5 when it comes to pricing. The Acura MDX costs $45,395 including destination to start, while the X5 starts at $59,895. The extra $14,500 could be used to tack on the Technology Package, Advance Package, and all-wheel drive to the MDX and still have some money left over.

If saving money at the gas pump is something you’re interested in, the MDX is the clear winner. Acura offers the MDX with a hybrid powertrain that's EPA-rated to get 27 miles per gallon combined. The best the X5 can get it 23 mpg combined.

The MDX also fared better in crash testing. The 2020 MDX model earned a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, while the 2020 X5 only got a four-star rating.

What the X5 Gets Right

Unsurprisingly, the BMW X5 is the victor when it comes to performance. It has two powerful engines to choose from that outperform the Acura MDX’s available powertrains.

Power for the X5 comes from a 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. A turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes 456 hp, or 523 hp in M50i guise, is also available. The MDX’s standard 3.5-liter V6 is good for 290 hp, while the MDX Sport Hybrid generates a total of 321 hp.

Both the MDX and the X5 come with a good list of standard safety features, but BMW has a few available features that aren’t offered on the Acura. Optional features on the X5 include night vision, traffic-jam assist, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and BMW’s Active Protection System that prepares the vehicle for an impending accident.

The X5 also comes with more high-tech features on the inside, including two 12.3-inch displays, wi-fi hot spot capability, wireless charging, and a 20-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio system.

Cargo capacity is also in the X5’s corner. It can hold 33.9 cubic feet behind the second row and a total of 72.3 cubic feet of cargo. The MDX has more cargo capacity behind the second row at 38.4 cubic feet, but less overall cargo space at 68.4 cubic feet.

Towing capacity is also more impressive in the X5. It can tow up to 7,500 pounds when properly equipped, while the MDX can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds.

More Than a Performance SUV

The BMW X5 may stand out in the mid-size SUV segment because of its powerful engines, but it's more than just a performance vehicle. With a larger cargo area, more technology, more towing capacity, and a more luxurious cabin, the X5 is great all-around option. It’s time for Acura to redesign the MDX, as it hasn’t received any major changes since 2014.

Our Verdict: BMW X5

The BMW X5 may be a lot more expensive than the Acura MDX, but it feels like it’s worth it. A few consumers will enjoy the powerful engines, while everyone will enjoy its plush cabin and spacious cargo space.

Take a closer look at the Acura MDX »

Take a closer look at the BMW X5 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com