2020 Acura MDX vs 2021 BMW X5

2020 Acura MDX
2020 Acura MDX
$44,500MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 BMW X5
2021 BMW X5
$59,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Acura MDX
$44,500MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW X5
$59,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Acura MDX was 7.2 out of 10, while the 2021 BMW X5 scored 8.0 out of 10. Given these ratings, the BMW X5 stands out as the superior option, particularly for those seeking more powerful performance options, a modern infotainment system, and slightly higher levels of luxury and technology. The Acura MDX remains a solid choice for families needing reliability and flexibility, but the X5’s advanced features and overall refinement make it the better pick in this comparison.

Overview

MSRP

$44,500

MSRP

$59,400

Average price

$29,268

Average price

$44,615

Listings

962

Listings

1266
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10
Pros
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Spacious
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard

2020 Acura MDX Reviews Summary

The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time, with solid performances through three generations of production since 2001. While it may not be an industry leader in any one category, the MDX delivers competitive levels of comfort, convenience, and technology and an attractive overall package that has spawned a loyal repeat audience.

2021 BMW X5 Reviews Summary

The BMW X5 was fully redesigned for the 2019 model year. In 2020, high-performance models were added to the mix and for 2021, the SUV’s second-generation plug-in hybrid variant joins the family. All feature similar body design and utility, including a large cargo area.
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.5L 290 hp V6

Engine

3.0L 335 hp I6

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

7

Seating Capacity

7

Horsepower

290 hp @ 6200 rpm

Horsepower

335 hp @ 5500 rpm

MPG City

20

MPG City

21

MPG Highway

27

MPG Highway

26
2020 Acura MDX
2020 Acura MDX
$44,500MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW X5
2021 BMW X5
$59,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Acura MDX
$44,500MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW X5
$59,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Acura MDX was 7.2 out of 10, while the 2021 BMW X5 scored 8.0 out of 10. Given these ratings, the BMW X5 stands out as the superior option, particularly for those seeking more powerful performance options, a modern infotainment system, and slightly higher levels of luxury and technology. The Acura MDX remains a solid choice for families needing reliability and flexibility, but the X5’s advanced features and overall refinement make it the better pick in this comparison.

Overview
MSRP
$44,500
$59,400
Average price
$29,268
$44,615
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
4.9
Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10

Read full review

8.0 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Spacious
Cons
  • Uninspired styling
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Summary
The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time, with solid performances through three generations of production since 2001. While it may not be an industry leader in any one category, the MDX delivers competitive levels of comfort, convenience, and technology and an attractive overall package that has spawned a loyal repeat audience.
The BMW X5 was fully redesigned for the 2019 model year. In 2020, high-performance models were added to the mix and for 2021, the SUV’s second-generation plug-in hybrid variant joins the family. All feature similar body design and utility, including a large cargo area.
Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.5L 290 hp V6
3.0L 335 hp I6
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
7
7
Horsepower
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
335 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG City
20
21
MPG Highway
27
26
Look and feel
2020 Acura MDX
6/10
2021 BMW X5
9/10
The 2020 Acura MDX had a pleasing aesthetic while avoiding breaking new ground in the world of SUV design. Its styling wasn’t groundbreaking or breathtaking but managed to fit into any setting without shame. The MDX stood out with Acura's early adoption of LED headlights, specifically the Jewel Eye headlights. This feature added both function and a luxurious touch to the front fascia, with five horizontally arranged LED elements per side. The trapezoidal grille, decked with a prominent Acura logo, anchored the expressive face of the vehicle. For a three-row SUV, the MDX managed to appear sleek and low-slung, featuring chiseled details and a fast roofline. The paint and chrome work were impeccable, consistent with Acura's reputation for high-quality finishes. Inside, the MDX carried a modern and simple design. The highlight of the interior was the center stack with twin infotainment screens—a high-mounted 8.0-inch LED screen for navigation and an On Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD) touchscreen. The interface was complemented by a three-row button layout and a central command wheel. The MDX felt solidly built, with knobs and switches actuating with a satisfying authority, reinforcing a sense of craftsmanship. In contrast, the 2021 BMW X5 continued BMW's tradition of high-quality craftsmanship. Part of BMW's true SUV range, the X5 displayed traditional SUV proportions and unmistakable BMW design cues, such as the iconic kidney grille. The car's design allowed it to blend in among other BMWs, both a testament to the brand's design consistency and a drawback for those seeking a more distinct look. The X5 featured full adaptive LED headlights and stylistic variations based on trim levels. Models with xLine styling used satin aluminum finishes for grilles, underbody, roof rails, and side window surrounds, while M Sport models had body-colored accents and matte aluminum details, presenting a sportier appearance. The interior of the X5 carried the BMW family design with familiar switches, dials, and displays. Though some criticized this sameness, it ensured a high level of quality. However, the interior also had an abundance of black plastic that proved to be a dust magnet, detracting slightly from the luxury feel. M Sport models introduced aggressive styling elements like an M sports steering wheel and exclusive trim strips, adding a sporty touch.
Performance
2020 Acura MDX
6/10
2021 BMW X5
8/10
The 2020 Acura MDX offered two powertrains. The primary engine was a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, delivering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Buyers could choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The MDX Sport Hybrid boasted a 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine combined with three electric motors, achieving a total system output of 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The gasoline model with Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) provided commendable straight-line performance, with energetic takeoff and acceleration. Its transmission allowed for both automatic and paddle shifting. SH-AWD used torque vectoring to enhance cornering and handling, making the MDX nimble and easier to drive quickly. The four-wheel independent suspension contributed to a comfortable ride, absorbing road imperfections well. In comparison, the 2021 BMW X5 offered multiple powertrains. The base sDrive40i/xDrive40i featured a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The AWD constituted the standard for most models apart from the base, which had a rear-wheel-drive option. The X5 M50i used a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, pushing out 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The high-performance X5 M produced 600 horsepower from a twin-turbo V8, escalating to 617 hp with the Competition Package. A new addition for the 2021 model year, the X5 xDrive45e, was a plug-in hybrid model combining a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a 24-kilowatt-hour battery to deliver 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. It managed 30 miles of all-electric range and offered seamless power transitions. While the X5 variant exhibited strong performance, some steering dynamics suggested a disparity with traditional BMW expectations. Lower-speed steering felt truck-like, and at higher speeds, the car's dynamics didn't offer the connected driving experience BMW is known for. On the other hand, the X5 maintained a quiet cabin and comfortable ride, with a suspension adept at absorbing bumps.
Form and function
2020 Acura MDX
7/10
2021 BMW X5
8/10
The 2020 Acura MDX was designed to be a family-friendly SUV with features like sliding and reclining second-row seats for easier third-row access and flexible legroom distribution. The headroom in all three rows was commendable. The MDX offered 15.8 cubic feet of luggage space behind the third row, expandable to 43.4 cubic feet with the third row folded flat, and up to 90.9 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded. The cargo area featured a recessed cubby and covered underfloor storage for additional discretion. In terms of storage, the front cabin included a spacious glove box, a sunglass pocket overhead, and a flexible center console with cupholders, USB ports, power jacks, and sufficient space for a small laptop. Door panels provided water-bottle pockets and open storage spaces. The second-row offered cupholders and seatback pouches, while third-row passengers had armrest storage and cupholders. Tri-zone climate control further elevated passenger comfort. For the 2021 BMW X5, space utilization was another strength. Cupholders were conveniently positioned at the front of the center console. However, the console's buttons and dials proved difficult to differentiate at night. The wireless phone charging pad kept distractions at bay. Seating was comfortable for short trips but could be hard on longer journeys. Rear seats provided sufficient comfort for two adults. An optional third row, not tested, was available. The vehicle's climate controls were easily accessible and straightforward. The split liftgate with full power operation and vehicle height adjustment made loading cargo easier. Without the third row, the X5 offered ample cargo space. The xDrive45e variant sacrificed some cargo room due to battery placement but still provided adequate space for most needs. The doors, however, didn't open as wide, making child and cargo access slightly more cumbersome.
Technology
2020 Acura MDX
7/10
2021 BMW X5
9/10
The 2020 Acura MDX focused on package-based trim levels rather than custom build options, incorporating numerous standard tech features like Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, hands-free Bluetooth, SMS/MMS text and email, a CD/MP3 player, five USB ports, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an eight-speaker audio system. Upgrading to the Technology Package added rain-sensing wipers, LED puddle lights, parking sensors, navigation, GPS-linked climate control, remote engine start, and a premium audio system with 10 speakers. Adding the Advance Package further included the Active Damper System, LED fog lights, heated and ventilated seats, power lumbar support, heated rear seats, a surround-view camera, Head-Up Warning, and extra USB ports for the third row. The Entertainment Package expanded the tech suite with a rear DVD system, a 110-volt outlet, wireless headphones, and additional speakers or a larger screen depending on the package. The BMW X5 came with strong standard features, starting with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10-speaker sound system, voice recognition, Bluetooth, five USB ports, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, automatic climate control, a proximity key, and a panoramic moonroof. Enhancements could include remote start, a head-up display, quad-zone climate control, a wireless charger, massaging seats, a Wi-Fi hotspot, upgraded audio systems, rear sunshades, and a dual-panel panoramic roof. The BMW iDrive system received praise for user-friendliness after an initial learning period but had issues with wireless Apple CarPlay occasionally taking control of music operations unprompted.
Safety
2020 Acura MDX
9/10
2021 BMW X5
6/10
The 2020 Acura MDX came with the AcuraWatch suite of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. The Technology Package added blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and the Advance Package added a Head-Up Warning. Safety gear included multiple airbags, stability control, Trailer Stability Assist, tire-pressure monitoring, LATCH mounts, and a theft-deterrent system. Acura's ACE Body Structure aimed to divert crash energy away from occupants. The MDX received top ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA. The 2021 BMW X5 featured an array of standard safety features like blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, fatigue and focus alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. However, some elements of BMW's adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems occasionally malfunctioned, particularly in bright sunlight or light rain. The X5 received top ratings from the IIHS and a four-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.
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