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Comparison: 2021 Audi Q5 versus 2021 Lexus RX

Compare the 2021 Audi Q5 vs the 2021 Lexus RX.

2021 Audi Q5 


Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $46,550 CAD

Pros

  • Excellent interior ergonomics 
  • Generous rear cargo space
  • Refined-yet-sporty road manners

Cons

  • Pricey plug-in hybrid 
  • Rear passengers could use more shoulder room
  • Need to opt for sporty SQ5 to get a V6

 

2021 Audi Q5 – Highlights

The Audi Q5 is the best-selling vehicle of the German brand and one of the most popular luxury vehicles sold in Canada. This 5-passenger mid-size SUV has an excellent blend of amenities, practicality, features, and great driving manners. For 2021, the Audi Q5 has been further improved with a mid-cycle refresh that gives it more standard power, added active safety features, and enhanced technology.

The 2021 Q5 offers a choice of two powertrains. The base (all starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices in Canadian dollars) $46,550 Q5 45 TFSI uses a 12-volt mild-hybrid system for added efficiency to its 261-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine. The $70,400 Q5 55 TFSI e is a plug-in gas-electric hybrid that also uses a 2.0-litre turbo-4 but supplemented by a battery-fed electric motor with an estimated 31 kilometres of electric-only driving. Both powerplants use a 7-speed automatic transmission, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard.

The 5-passenger Audi Q5 offers a masterful blend of luxurious features, technology, comfort, and practicality. Upfront is a broad, horizontally laid-out dash that is crowned by a 10.1-inch touchscreen display. Below are intuitive and easy-to-see controls for climate and drive-mode adjustments. Front seat passengers enjoy plenty of elbow room. The cargo room is also generous, with up to 731 litres of space behind the rear seats, considerably more than the 453 found in the Lexus.

The Q5 is among our favourite SUVs to drive. Even its base turbo-4  is powerful and easily moves this Audi. Audi has always done a great job blending sporty handling and comfort, and the Q5 exemplifies that.

 

2021 Lexus RX 


Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $56,650 CAD

Pros

  • Smooth, V6-only powerplants 
  • Comfortable ride
  • Hybrid’s excellent economy

Cons

  • Zero sporty driving intentions
  • Base V6’s relatively poor fuel economy
  • Limited rear cargo space

 

2021 Lexus RX – Highlights

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 and hybrid RX 450h remain two of Canada's most desirable luxury mid-size SUVs. Not surprising, since the RX pretty much invented this vehicle class when the first generation arrived over 20 years ago.

Prices start with the $56,650 RX 350. It has a 3.5-litre 6-cylinder gas engine developing 295 horsepower and drives through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The $59,400 RX 450h gas-electric hybrid adds a battery and electric motor for a total system output of 308 horsepower. Although Lexus doesn't offer a plug-in RX for extended electric-only driving, with a combined city and highway estimate of 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km), the RX 450h hybrid's overall fuel economy is measurably more frugal than the gas-engine RX 350's 10.8 L/100 km estimate and the Q5 55 TFSI e's 8.8 rating.

The cabin of the 5-passenger 2021 RX is full of upscale materials with superb fit and finish. The analog clock is an especially elegant touch. The overall design is distinct but not as sophisticated or flowing as the Audi. All versions have a large infotainment screen operated by a console-mounted mouse-like controller that hasn’t been particularly well-received. A 12.3-inch split-screen multimedia screen is part of an optional navigation package.

With this primary mission to pamper and coddle, the 2021 Lexus RX isn’t focused on aggressive cornering or breathtaking acceleration. Conversely, it’s not sloppy or slow.

 

Final Recommendation

The 2021 versions of the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX represent two of Canada's most popular luxury vehicles, offering just the right amount of room, power, economy, and high-end features buyers in this competitive class demand.

You'll like the Lexus RX for its velvety-smooth V6-only powerplants, comfort-first ride, and the 450h hybrid's outstanding fuel economy.

However, we feel that the 2021 Audi Q5 is the better pick. The Audi scores with its well-thought-out interior ergonomics, larger rear cargo area, the availability of the plug-in powerplant, and a ride and handling setup that can be both sporty and comfortable at the same time.

 

Specs

2021 Audi Q5

2021 Lexus RX

Engine(s)

45 - 2.0-litre Turbocharged I4
55 e - 2.0-litre Turbocharged I4 + Electric Motor

350 – 3.5-litre V6

450h - 3.5-litre V6 + electric Motor

Horsepower

45 - 261 hp

55 e – 362 hp Combined

350 – 295 hp

450h – 308 hp Combined

Torque

45 - 273 lb-ft

55 e - 369 lb-ft Combined

350 - 267 lb-ft

450h - 247 lb-ft (gas only)

Transmission(s)

7-speed automatic

 

 

 

350 - 8-speed automatic

450h - Continuously variable automatic

 

Fuel Economy

45 - 9.3 L/100 km (10.1 city, 8.3 hwy)

55 e – 8.8 L/100 km (9.3 city, 8.2 hwy)

350 – 10.8 L/100 km (12.2 city, 9.9 hwy)

450h - 7.9 L/100 km (7.5 city, 8.4 hwy)

 

Warranty

4 years/80,000 km

4-years/80,000 km

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Wheelbase

2,819 mm

2,790 mm

Overall Length

4,663 mm

4,890 mm

Width

1,893 mm

1,895 mm

Height

1,664 mm

1,720 mm

Curb Weight

1,850 kg

1,990-2,150 kg

Headroom, Front

1,006 mm

1,001 mm

Headroom, Rear

998 mm

993 mm

Legroom, Front

1.039 mm

1,120 mm

Legroom, Rear

965 mm

964 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,466 mm

1,468 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,434 mm

1,462 mm

Cargo Volume

731 L

453 L

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