Lexus NX vs Audi Q5
Lexus has fitted the NX with a turbocharged petrol engine in the pursuit of performance SUV perfection. Can it beat the Q5?
Turbo power is all the rage these days. As car makers reduce engine sizes to improve efficiency, they’re turning to turbos to maintain performance. However, that hasn’t always been the case.
The new engine is offered exclusively in F Sport trim to further boost its racy credentials, while power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The S line Plus model offers plenty of kit to rival the Lexus, while quattro four-wheel drive and an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox help put the power on the road. So, does the NX turbo have the punch to beat it?
Click on the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to find out the result of this twin-test...
The Q5 has a practicality advantage over the NX, due to its wider boot opening and the 540 litres of space on offer with the seats up. Both cars get a fixed parcel shelf with a hinged section to improve access, and they also feature electric tailgates. However, the Lexus’ powered bootlid was fiddly to use – it proved so slow to react when we pressed the button, we were left wondering if it actually worked in the first place.
You get LED headlights as standard on the NX, and they are supplemented by IS-style running lamps set into the bodywork. The Audi features xenon lights with halo-style daytime running lamps, and these can be upgraded to adaptive xenons for £330.
You can save cash on both cars by going for different engines. The hybrid NX 300h F Sport costs £1,100 less, promises 54.3mpg (compared to 35.8mpg) and does 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. The Q5 2.0 TDI S line Plus S tronic diesel is only £115 cheaper, but economy of 47.1mpg trumps the 39.2mpg TFSI.
1st place: Audi Q5
The Q5 was a clear victor in this test. It’s getting on a bit, but it still has first-rate build quality, while the S line Plus model boasts plenty of standard kit. It’s better to drive than the NX, with greater cruising comfort and tidier handling in corners. Add in better economy and lower running costs, and it makes more sense; although if you want to save cash, we’d recommend the 2.0 TDI over the TFSI tested here.
2nd place: Lexus NX
It’s hard to tell who the NX 200t is supposed to be aimed at. The turbo petrol engine isn’t the most responsive performer, while the soggy chassis and vague steering mean the Lexus isn’t very sporty to drive. Combine that with poorer economy and higher running costs, and the Audi runs rings around the newcomer. Buyers would be better off saving some cash and going for the NX 300h hybrid model instead.
|Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S line Plus||Lexus NX 200t F Sport|
|On the road price/total as tested||£39,170/£41,585||£38,095/£40,735|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£19,742/50.4%||£16,990/44.6%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£2,174/£4,348||£2,337/£4,674|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£2,064/£3,440||£2,387/£3,979|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||30/£381/H/£205||38/£530/I/£225|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£18p/m (3yrs)||£245/£445/£245|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,984cc||4cyl in-line/1,998cc|
|Peak power/revs||222/4,500 bhp/rpm||235/4,800 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||350/1,500 Nm/rpm||350/1,650 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd Tiptronic/4WD||6-spd auto/4WD|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||75 litres/repair kit||60 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||540/1,560 litres||475/1,520 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.7 metres/N/A||11.4 metres/0.34Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/121||10,000 miles (1yr)/51|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||12th/26th||4th/1st|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||92/84/32/5 (2009)||82/82/69/5 (2014)|
|0-60/30-70mph||6.4/6.2 seconds||6.6/6.3 seconds|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.1/3.8 seconds||3.6/5.5 seconds|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th||5.2/6.8/8.5 secs/N/A||7.7/10.3 secs/N/A/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||138mph/1,900rpm||124mph/2,000rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||29.5/6.5/487 miles||25.5/5.6/337 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||221/168g/km/28%||256/183g/km/31%|
|Auto box/adapt dampers/adapt cruise||Yes/£680/£900||Yes/£750/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/£300||Yes/yes/yes|
|Metallic paint/LEDs/power tailgate||Yes/no/yes||£645/yes/yes|