Family drivers in Los Angeles love the SUV as a stylish alternative to the minivan, but not all luxury SUVs are good enough for your family. When comparison shopping, be sure to check out safety ratings and the availability of driver assistance technology.
In the face-off between the 2017 Lexus RX 350 and the 2017 Audi Q5, it’s a close call, but there is a clear winner. Read on to find out, then visit our El Monte location to test drive the RX 350.
Safety Ratings and Tech
Lexus RX 350
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2017 RX 350 with a Top Safety Pick+ title, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating.
Plus, the RX is nicely equipped with a range of active and passive safety features. Each model has the Lexus Safety System+ (including a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlights, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist). Other standard safety features include a backup camera, 10 airbags, bi-LED headlamps, LED fog lamps, daytime running lights, an electronic parking brake, Vehicle Stability Control, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect.
While the 2017 Q5 was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, it earned just a 4-Star Overall Rating form the NHTSA. It lost points in frontal crash and rollover categories.
While the Q5 does feature driver assistance technology, you’ll need to choose an upper trim or individual options to get it. Standard safety features on the Audi SUV include airbags, Electronic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Available features include auto-dimming mirrors, adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, and a parking system plus with rearview camera.
Performance and Fuel Economy
Lexus RX 350
Under the hood, the RX 350 features a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, making 295 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. It’s available with all-wheel drive, and features Drive Mode Select so you can adjust performance to optimize for driving conditions.
According to EPA estimates, front-wheel drive models get 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, and AWD models get up to 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. The RX 350 can use regular unleaded gasoline.
The 2017 Q5 comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that makes 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and you can upgrade to a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that makes 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s standard with all-wheel drive and has an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The base Q5 gets up to 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway and the V6 gets 18 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. One big difference between this and the RX 350 is the Audi’s requirement for premium fuel.
Lexus RX 350
Starting at $43,220 MSRP
Starting at $40,900 MSRP