The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Murano SL/Platinum’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Murano and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Murano the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 113 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q5 has not been tested, yet.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The Q5 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, below the industry average.
The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 8 more horsepower (260 vs. 252) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Murano has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.
The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 250 pounds less than the Audi Q5.
The front grille of the Murano uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Murano has 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.
The Murano has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Q5 with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 26.8 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Q5 with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 60.4 cubic feet).
The Murano offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Murano SL/Platinum offers an optional Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Q5 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because it costs $270 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the Q5, including $311 less for a water pump, $139 less for an alternator, $19 less for front brake pads, $304 less for a starter, $158 less for a fuel pump, $219 less for front struts and $349 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Murano is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Q5 is not ranked.
The Nissan Murano outsold the Audi Q5 by 56% during the 2016 model year.