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The 2021 Audi e-Tron is a fairly new car to the midsize luxury SUV class, and it’s a pretty solid car. Additionally, it’s electric, which is a huge advantage. However, it can’t compete against the Consumer Reports-recommended 2021 BMW X5. Let’s look at why Consumer Reports likes the 2021 BMW X5 over the 2021 Audi e-Tron.

The front of a 2021 BMW X5.
2021 BMW X5 | BMW

The X5’s road test score is higher

The BMW X5 has a very high road test score of 98, while the e-Tron has a still-high score of 90. Why is the BMW’s score so much higher?

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 BMW X5 scores a 5/5 for its acceleration. It can reach 0 to 60 in 6.0 seconds. Routine handling receives a 4/5, while emergency handling only gets a 3/5. The BMW X5’s max avoidance speed is 52 mph.

Braking is excellent in the X5. It scores a 5/5 and can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 129 feet. On wet pavement that becomes 142 feet.

Consumer Reports also gives the 2021 Audi e-Tron a 5/5 for its acceleration. It can reach 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds. Routine handling also receives a very good 4/5. Like the X5, the emergency handling rating is only a 3/5. The Audi e-Tron max avoidance speed is 50 mph.

The biggest difference in the road test is the brakes. The e-Tron’s brakes are still very good, getting a 4/5, but that just isn’t good as the X5. It can stop from 60 mph on wet pavement in 131 feet and dry pavement in 134 feet. 

The Audi e-Tron has more safety features

The 2021 Audi e-Tron comes standard with all of Consumer Reports’ recommended safety equipment.

Both the IIHS and the NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 Audi e-Tron. The IIHS gives it all good ratings. The NHTSA gives it five stars for overall crash, side crash, and side-crash on the driver and passenger side. However, the overall frontal-crash, frontal-crash driver and frontal-crash passenger ratings are four stars. The side pole crash gets five stars, as does the 4WD rollover. 

The 2021 BMW X5 comes standard with nearly all of these features. The exceptions are automatic emergency braking at highway speeds and lane keeping assist, which are optional. 

Both the IIHS and the NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 BMW X5. The IIHS gives the X5 all good ratings. The NHTSA gives it 4/5 stars for its overall crash, overall frontal-crash, overall frontal-crash: driver, and overall frontal-crash: passenger tests. The 4WD rollover test rating also gets 4/5 stars (there’s no available 2WD rating). Everything else gets 5 stars. 

The BMW X5 is way more reliable than the 2021 Audi e-Tron


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The 2021 BMW X5 gets a 3/5 for its predicted reliability, while the 2021 Audi e-Tron gets just a 1/5. BMW BMW X5 owners give the X5 a 4/5 for owner satisfaction, and 79% would buy it again. 

Even though the Audi e-Tron’s reliability score is abysmal, e-Tron owners love their SUVs. The owner satisfaction score for the e-Tron is a 4/5. 75% of Audi e-Tron owners would buy their SUVs again. 

Obviously, the fact that the X5 is a fuel-powered car and the e-Tron is not is a huge difference between these two SUVs. However, if you’re still torn, Consumer Reports is pretty clear: the BMW X5 is the winner.