Son's Automotive Group Compares 2014 Acura MDX VS 2014 BMW X5 Near Norcross, GA

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2014 Acura MDX

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2014 Acura MDX

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2014 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

The MDX’s optional 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.

Both the MDX and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

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

The engine in the MDX has 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’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 16th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the MDX FWD gets better fuel mileage than the X5 sDrive35i (20 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).

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.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura MDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The MDX offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

For better maneuverability, the MDX’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the X5’s (37.6 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 800 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.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

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



Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


22.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

66 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

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, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Acura MDX, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Acura MDX outsold the BMW X5 by 33% during 2013.

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