Is the Cheaper Audi Q5 a Better Deal vs. the Lexus RX 350?

Luxury SUVs are hot, and both Audi and Lexus are going head-to-head with the Audi Q5 vs Lexus RX 350. Both SUVs seat five, and both have all-wheel drive optional. They both can tow a few thousand pounds. They both offer tons of technology, driver aids, and a badge on the grille that will make the neighbors jealous. For both brands, these are some of their best-selling vehicles in 2022. But in an Audi Q5 vs. RX battle, is the more spacious Q5 a better SUV?

The Lexus has a bit more cargo room

 A Silver RX 350 parked in front of a modern house
2021 Lexus RX 350 L | Lexus

The RX is a larger SUV, and it has 44.1 inches of front legroom and 38 in the back. Taller drivers may not like that the Q5 only has 40.9 inches of front leg room and 38 inches in back. It holds 58.5 cubic feet of stuff in the back, while the Q5 holds 54 cubic feet of stuff.  Technically, the Audi is in a smaller class because of its shorter wheelbase, but it acquits itself well to the midsize RX 350 in many ways.

The Q5’s smaller wheelbase means it has a great turning circle of just 38.7 feet, but the Lexus’s is nearly identical at 38.8 ft, which wouldn’t make much difference even in a tight parking garage. The RX 350 can be ordered in a longer L version that adds more room.

Consumer Reports Recommends both

Front angle view of gray 2023 Audi Q5, highlighting its release date and price
2023 Audi Q5 | Audi

Consumer Reports recommends both the Audi Q5 and the Lexus RX, but for different reasons. At U.S. News, both rate about the same, too, but again for different reasons. U.S. News dings the Audi for its reliability. It dings the Lexus for its interior. Both suffer in the class because behind that cool-looking sloping hatch in each, they offer below-average cargo capacity.

Do you prefer sporty or luxury?

On the inside is where you will see the biggest difference between these two. The Lexus is designed around soft leather and wood, lots of technology enhancements, and a large 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s also designed to give a plush ride.

The Q5 is sportier, and in this case, that means a firmer ride. That also means that you get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit with customizable gauges, a 10.1-inch screen, and a leather-look upholstery that may not feel like it belongs in a $50,000 SUV. But, the driver-focused cabin (appointed in dark plastic and wooed) appeals to many.

They are both sales leaders

The RX is Lexus’s best-selling SUV because it combines understated good value, utility, and performance. However, there is a new 2023 Lexus RX on the way for 2023 that is going bolder with more power and a bigger grille. If you like the looks of the RX, or simply a fourth-generation version, now is your last chance to pick one up new.

The Q5 is Audi’s best-selling SUV, too. It sold more than 60,000 Q5s in 2021.

The Audi Q5 does have a horsepower advantage

White 2022 Audi SQ5 on the road
2022 Audi SQ5 | Audi

In a base Audi Q5 vs Lexus RX drag race, the Lexus would win. But, if you spring for the $55,800 SQ5, look out. The hot rod version of the Q5 packs 349 horsepower and can vault you to 60 in 4.7 seconds. While the base motor in the 2022 Q5 makes a meager 201 horsepower, the 2022 Q5 45 version packs a lot more power for $46,000. The top-line Prestige version with ventilated seats, a heads-up display, parking assist, and more will set you back $57,000. For 2023, the base Q5 gets a bump in horsepower.

The RX350 comes with a powerful V6 that makes 295 horsepower, standard. It can be ordered in F Sport trim, too, which also has a clever adaptive suspension. Its base price is $45,920.

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