The X5 offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Q7 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Q7 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The X5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Q7 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Q7 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The X5’s optional 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The X5 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Q7 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the X5 and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q7.
There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X5 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Q7’s 190-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 16th in reliability. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 23rd.
The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (300 vs. 280) than the Q7 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 112 more horsepower (445 vs. 333) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 325) than the Q7 3.0T S line’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.
The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 15 more horsepower (255 vs. 240) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 406) than the Q7’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.
On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 TDI (23 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35i gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 3.0T (18 city/27 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Q7 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Q7 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The X5 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Q7’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The X5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Q7’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Q7.
For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q7 (8.2 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Audi Q7.
The X5 is 7.1 inches shorter than the Q7, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the BMW X5 amounts to more than styling. The X5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Q7 (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X5 get better fuel mileage.
The X5 has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q7.
The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Q7’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Q7.
The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q7 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Q7 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
Standard BMW Apps for the X5 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Q7 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.
The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The BMW X5 outsold the Audi Q7 by over two to one during 2013.