Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Audi Q5 VS 2014 BMW X3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Audi Q5

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VS

2014 BMW X3

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q5 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Q5’s front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X3 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q5 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Q5’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X3 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the Q5 and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Q5’s reliability will be 89% better than the X3.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Q5’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 168 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 260) than the X3 xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q5’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 300) than the X3 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 3.0 TDI gets better fuel mileage than the X3 xDrive28i (24 city/31 hwy vs. 21 city/28 hwy).

The Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 (19 vs. 17.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q5’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 (19.8 vs. 17.7 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Q5 3.0T/3.0 TDI/Hybrid’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the X3:

Q5 3.0T/3.0 TDI/Hybrid

X3

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.9 inches

The Q5 stops much shorter than the X3:

Q5

X3

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Q5 3.0T/3.0 TDI/Hybrid’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X3 (255/45R20 vs. 245/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q5 3.0T/3.0 TDI/Hybrid offers optional 20-inch wheels. The X3’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Q5 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the X3, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Q5 handles at .85 G’s, while the X3 xDrive28i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Q5 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the X3 xDrive28i (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the X3’s (38.1 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Audi Q5 amounts to more than styling. The Q5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the X3 (.35 to .36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q5 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Q5 2.0T Premium Plus is quieter than the X3 xDrive28i (36 vs. 37 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Q5 has 1.1 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The X3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Q5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X3 with its rear seat up (29.1 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The Q5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X3 with its rear seat folded (57.3 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Q5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The X3’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q5 has standard extendable sun visors. The X3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Q5 Prestige’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The X3 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Q5 3.0T Prestige offers an optional Adaptive 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 X3 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Q5 offers optional rear seat controls for the radio that can play a separate audio source. The X3 doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Q5 will retain 45.73% to 50.82% of its original price after five years, while the X3 only retains 43.84% to 44.94%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the X3 because typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the X3, including $87 less for a water pump, $495 less for an alternator, $34 less for front brake pads and $276 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® chose the Audi Q5 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The BMW X3 isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Q5 second among compact premium CUVS in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The X3 isn’t in the top three.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The Audi Q5 is ranked second in the Near-Luxury Utility category. The BMW X3 is ranked below average.

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