Comparative premium diesel SUV: Audi Q5 Vs BMW X3, under review (video)

Comparative Audi Q5 and BMW X3

Although some of us may not like it too much, the truth is that SUV models they are gaining the upper hand over more traditional cars. Look, They are everywhere. Where before we saw an Opel Corsa, now we see a Crossland X; where before there was a Kia Ceed, now there is a Sportage; who before was looking for a Skoda Superb, is now looking for a Kodiaq. They are like a plague! with manufacturers premium exactly the same thing has happened. Many of those who previously bought an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 Series now opt for an Audi Q5 or a BMW X3.

Precisely these last two, the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, have just passed through our hands. Are two premium D-SUVs very consolidated in the market, which have been completely renovated very recently. The new generation Audi Q5 hit the market at the beginning of 2017, while his compatriot BMW X3 did the same at the end of 2017. What better way to check the virtues of each of them than comparing them head to head? We have done that.

market positions

Within the D-SUV segment, Listen Q5 y BMW X3 are not the only members, because there are also other premium alternatives such as Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar F-Pace or Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Each of them has its virtues and disadvantages compared to the others. These seven models have added more than 11.400 sales in the first five months of this year, with the best sellers being the Mercedes, the Audi and the BMW, in that order. The D-SUV segment in total registered about 26.300 units in the same period of time.

With more affordable prices, and also lower qualities, for this same D-SUV segment we have, to cite a few examples, the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail, Peugeot 5008, Renault Koleos, Skoda Kodiaq y Volkswagen tiguan allspace. Some of them can offer, as an option, a third row of seats, becoming seven-seater models.

But as we said, in this comparison we have decided to bet on the Q5 and X3. The rivalry between both brands has been around for many decades, with intense fights in practically all segments, and this is one of the most disputed categories between the firm from Ingolstadt and its compatriot from Munich.

Diesel, 190 hp, automatic and all-wheel drive

Audi Q5 dynamic

The fact is that, putting ourselves in the shoes of any client who is looking for a car with these characteristics, an all-terrain family car with a premium cut that is comfortable on trips and allows the occasional getaway off the asphalt, we have come to the conclusion that maintaining one of these options with gasoline mechanics can be complicated.

It is true, in gasoline they are more refined, but the greater torque from low revs and the lower consumption of diesel mechanics make it advisable to purchase their diesel versions; unless the costs of use, for having a good current account, are not a problem.

BMW X3 dynamic

The point is that we wanted to test the best-selling variants of each model, And so we did. Audi has loaned us a 2-liter diesel 190 hp with manual transmission and four-wheel drive, and BMW… too. The Audi Q5 uses a 7-speed s-tronic gearbox and quattro drive, while the BMW X3 is associated with a Steptronic automatic gearbox with 8 preset ratios and xDrive traction.

But not only in this are they equal. Coincidences of destiny (or not), the performance figures They are very similar in every way. Look: 190 hp at 3.800 rpm and 400 Nm between 1.750 and 3.000 laps for the Audi Q5, and 190 hp at 4.000 rpm with a torque of 400 Nm between 1.750 and 2.500 for the BMW X3. If you are wondering about their approved consumption, the Audi declares 4,9 l/100 km and the BMW just one tenth more. That they homologate, although obtaining them is another story. In any case, get used to the similarities, since these data are not the only ones that are practically identical that we are going to cite.

Following the design line of their respective brands

But patience, we are not going to start their engines yet. Let's talk a little about its exterior. I don't want to go into design matters, because you already know very well what each one is like and, apart from that, that's more a matter of personal taste. Both have evolved from their predecessors, not having a drastic change from one generation to another, although notable. Both maintain the image of their respective brands. In Audi bet on more elegant and technological features, while the BMW X3 combines elegance and sportiness.

External dimensions and dimensions

Comparative Audi Q5 and BMW X3

Comparing the technical data of their bodies, we see that the Audi is slightly shorter than the BMW; something that will be an advantage for those who have a somewhat fair parking space. The Q5 it has a length of 4,66 meters, with a wheelbase of 2,82 meters; Meanwhile he X3 It measures 4,71 long and offers a wheelbase of 2,86 meters. Will those centimeters be noticeable in the interior habitability? The width is identical, while the overall height is very similar.

Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. lower body angles and ground clearance to the ground “at rest” are more advantageous for the BMW X3, with 25,7 degrees entry and 22,6 for exit and 19,4 degrees breakover, in addition to a ground clearance of 20,4 cm. However, in the Audi Q5, as in the case of this tested unit, we can equip a air suspension with variable hardness and height and thus improve the data of its rival. It is an expensive option for the Ingolstadt one -about 2.000 euros-, so if your adventures with the car will never be off the asphalt, you can do without it.

Interior design and sensations of quality

Interior design of the Audi Q5

As for the interior design, we can practically refer to what was said in the previous section. The Q5 is clearly recognizable as an Audi due to the location of its controls and general design lines, exactly the same thing happening with the X3, which "copies" its brothers in the BMW family. A very positive point for both is that, unlike other manufacturers, the air conditioning controls remain physical, leaving them outside of their respective main screens. Of course, in the BMW the always dirty shiny black is abused.

Both units have digital instrument cluster. The one with the Audi, the Virtual cockpit, is quite complete and with a sublime definition quality, while the BMW is somewhat more basic. Luckily for the X3, it makes up the difference with a full head-up display of great quality that informs us of walking speed, road signs or browser indications, among other things.

Interior design of the BMW X3

As for qualitiesTraditionally, Audi has always been one step above BMW; and in other models we continue to believe so. It is worth that in this section the personal tastes of each person can also influence and, above all, the optional configuration of each unit; but comparing these two concrete units, the feel of quality is slightly higher in the BMW X3 than in the Audi Q5; Or at least it seemed that way to me. It is also true that the tested Audi has many more kilometers than the BMW. In any case, the quality perceived in both is much higher than that of any general brand model.

Interior roominess and trunk

It is time to talk about one of the aspects that is most taken into account today when buying a car: the habitability. Customers are increasingly demanding and seek the greatest possible space, both in the passenger compartment and in the boot. The front seats They are more than spacious for two adults of practically any size, traveling quite loose both in width and height.

Rear seats of the Audi Q5

Rear seats of the Audi Q5

Rear seats of the BMW X3

Rear seats of the BMW X3

A few paragraphs above we commented that the BMW X3 won by a few centimeters in length and battle to the Audi Q5. Is that difference noticeable in the rear seats? Yes, but we do not believe that the difference is so great as to opt for one or the other model only for this section unless we normally drive four tall adults.

El legroom it is somewhat better in the BMW, with those extra centimeters of wheelbase noticing, but four adults with heights of up to 1,90 meters can travel comfortably in both cars. If four adults of "normal" size will normally travel, it should not influence at all. In the event that our companions play in the NBA, it is better to opt for the BMW. Jokes aside, five people will be able to travel, but not relatively comfortably. The central squares of these two cars are much more suffered by the shapes of the seats, the armrests that hide in the backrest and the intrusion of the prominent transmission tunnels.

As a curiosity, the second row of the Audi Q5 can be adjusted both in length and in inclination of the backrest, which helps us gain quite a few liters of space in the trunk when we travel heavily loaded, while in the BMW X3 we can only adjust the tilt of the backrest. In both we have power intakes and air outlets, but only in the BMW tri-zone climate control (adjustment of temperature and air flow for the rear seats).

Audi Q5 trunk

Audi Q5 trunk

Trunk of the BMW X3

Trunk of the BMW X3

let's go with him trunk. According to the technical data of each model, both the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 cubic 550 liters of load capacity (610 liters for the Audi moving the bench forward), with quite usable shapes in both one and the other, rings and holes under the floor. In the case of the BMW, a hydraulic cylinder helps keep the floor raised while we store or remove any object from the false bottom. Folding down the rear seats, an operation that in both units can be carried out from the trunk itself using handles, the Q5 offers 1.550 liters and the X3 reaches up to 1.600 liters.

Dynamic behaviors and impressions

And now, yes, it is time to talk about dynamic behavior from each of them. As we mentioned above, our "companions in battle" use 2.0 diesel blocks, 190 hp, identical torque figures, four-wheel drive and automatic transmissions. Foot to the brake and start button.

Comparative Audi Q5 and BMW X3

A power of 190 hp may seem high, but the truth is that moving these cars, due to their weight, dimensions and wheel size, is not easy at all. It is not surprising that these two versions are the best sellers, as they are very balanced. The 190 CV move with enough ease both the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. Less powerful mechanics, such as the 150 hp diesel versions, will be somewhat fair when it comes to overtaking. On the contrary, if you want to stay glued to the seat every time you accelerate fully, it is better to opt for higher-power engines.

Speaking of Audi and BMW, due to the philosophies of each brand, it is to be expected that the first will have a behavior more focused on comfort while the second will obtain a more dynamic response. However, to our surprise and thanks to the driving modes, both are very comfortable and soft when we choose a comfortable driving mode; There are no big differences between them. Perhaps the Audi, due to its optional air suspension, filters the softer potholes somewhat better, having been somewhat rougher in the face of sudden irregularities -such as bumps-, but the X3 approves with a notable high in that sense.

Audi Q5 dynamic

In terms of soundproofing we find two very well isolated cars. Certain rolling noises are "sneaked" by wearing very wide tires, but to notice them we must pay attention to it. If we circulate, as usual, with the audio equipment on, it will be totally camouflaged. Otherwise, barely noticeable aerodynamic noise nor of the propellers, and that both diesel engines do show their status as "oil tankers" abroad. Advantages of having a good checking account and being able to afford a premium model.

When we look for dynamism and activate the sports driving modesBoth keep the engine rpm higher, react more directly to our throttle demands, stiffen the suspension to limit body lean, and the steering gains more weight. In any case, Neither by power nor by concept, they are cars designed to "go around curves", although it is no less true that they accept quite high rates. Needless to say, in these conditions of use, consumption begins to rise significantly.

BMW X3 dynamic

If when it comes to driving smoothly, the BMW has been more comfortable than expected, practically matching the Audi, when it comes to activating the dynamic modes, the Q5 has been the one who has come remarkably close to the character we expected from the X3. Both one and the other contain very well, more than expected -although not as much as an A4 or a Series 3-, the inertia; but in this section I prefer the BMW X3. The reason? Your address is more accurate, direct and transmits something more than in the case of the Audi. If it weren't for that detail, the choice would be more complicated.


Comparative Audi Q5 and BMW X3

After all the above, it's time to take a look at the consumption records. Combining all kinds of uses -road, city and highway- and performing a totally normal driving, the Audi Q5 has normally moved between 6,5 and 7 liters per 100 kilometers; while, in the case of the BMW, with very similar routes, the data obtained has been approximately 0,5 l/100 km more, that is, between 7 and 7,5 l/100 km. Slightly higher in the BMW X3, but the difference is not noticeable at all.


The general summary of this comparison could be that BMW has done its homework to maintain what it already had and add a notable leap in comfort and quality of finishes, while Audi has maintained its usual virtues but, in turn, looking for dynamism that was not previously offered. To be honest, If I were in the position of choosing one or another model to buy, it would be very difficult for me to decide. If you are looking for a point of sportiness, the BMW will give it to you, but if you leave the asphalt, the Audi's air suspension will allow you to go further.


Comparative BMW X3 and Audi Q5

If you like them both very much, and seeing that They are very similar in the vast majority of sections., the logical thing would be to opt for the cheapest, don't you think? The fact is that here the coincidences also appear again.

Leaving aside these two proven units, which come with dozens of optional elements and systems, if we look in the brand's configurators for the least equipped versions -only with the standard equipment- associated with these mechanical variants (190 hp diesel with automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive) the difference between the two is just 800 euros.

El Audi Q5 2.0 TDI s tronic quattro costs 50.400 euros Meanwhile he BMW X3 xDrive20d part of the 51.200 euros. If we start selecting options without too much concern, as in the case of these test units, the final price can go up 50% -or more- without too much trouble.

Comparison gallery Audi Q5 and BMW X3

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