Audi Q5 TDI vs Acura RDX vs Lexus RX hybrid--and there is a dog involved

My 1999 BMW 528i has developed a death rattle and I’ve decided I really should not be putting ANOTHER couple thousand into it–though I hate to see it go. So I am thinking along the lines of small, upscale SUV or crossover? What do you think? I would really like for my dog, a 35 lb Brittany Spaniel, to be able to ride comfortably in the cargo area. PLUS I like a nice interior, I want very good mpg, and something that handles the way my beloved 528i does. Which of the three–Audi Q5 TDI vs Acura RDX vs Lexus RX hybrid comes closest? (remember the dog) And if you could choose ANY smaller SUV/crossover, which would it be?? I live down south.

“I live down south” - So AWD isn’t required. I’d say look at the RX non-hybrid, front wheel drive model, the hybrid adds BIG $$ to the price. Are you avoiding BMWs now? The X1 (which is available in a RWD version), the X3, and the 328xi wagon might also meet your needs and would be the most BMW-ish (of course).

The RDX in FWD would also be on my list. The Q5 TDI is also big $$ more than the gas 4.

Ask the dog.
not kidding.

Yes, take the dog with you and check its response to all three.
When anyone has a particular deal breaker such as that…make it an in-their-face obvious issue so they get it…that it matters what the dog thinks.
If it’s gonna matter next week and next year…make it a deal breaker now.

I did in fact take with me on my last truck shopping trip ; guitar amps and three speakers, 5 string bass guitar, mic stands, cable and gear crates, stage monitor, lights etc.

It matters if ;
the kayak fits,
the bikes can be lifted by the 80 year old owner,
the wheel chair won’t tear up the upholstery,
six people can take a four hour drive,
driver visibilty matches the driver,

The Lexus is about as far from a BMW as a luxury vehicle can get. You’ll probably find it way too mushy in its ride and handling. The RDX used to be a bit sportier, but when they redesigned it a couple of years ago they softened it. It will be a bit firmer riding than the Lexus, but not very much so. I like it overall quite a bit. It should be plenty roomy enough for your dog. The Q5 is the smallest of the three, with a noticeably smaller back seat. It should also be the closest to what you’re used to in ride and handling. I suspect your dog will fit, but won’t have as much room to spread out.

BMW makes a couple of pretty good compact utes in the X1 and X3 that will probably feel even more like what you’re used to. The X1 is about as roomy as the Q5 and not much smaller than the X3, just a little less lavishly equipped (when you load it with options). From what I recall (from Consumer Reports) the reliability of the Q5 hasn’t been very good. Some of the basic BMW models have been reasonably reliable. That probably includes these, though I don’t remember what CR has to say about them.

I think Ken has made an excellent point. Pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Review at the local bookstore, pick some that look like good candidates, and bring the dog for test drives.

Thanks everyone. Really helpful. I know a BMW would be most like my old BMW but I really dislike and distrust the only local dealership and it is for that reason that I won’t go in that direction. It looks like the RDX may be the ticket for me–so I think I will indeed take the dog and see how it goes.

My neighbor’s wife has an RDX Acura and loves it. It has been very reliable for the last 6 years with no repairs. She commutes to her hospital job 28 miles away every day and has never missed a day due to car problems.

Having owned a BMW you will be pleasantly surprised as to how good Japanese vehjicles really are.