Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW X5 VS 2017 Audi Q7 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW X5

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VS

2017 Audi Q7

Safety Comparison

The X5 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X5 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Q7’s standard 120-amp alternator and largest (optional) 180-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 325) than the Q7’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the X5 xDrive50i is faster than the Audi Q7:

X5

Q7

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.9 MPH

97.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 (24 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/25 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.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5 xDrive50i’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q7:

X5 xDrive50i

Q7

Front Rotors

15.2 inches

14.8 inches

The X5 stops shorter than the Q7:

X5

Q7

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q7’s standard 55 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Q7’s 45 series tires.

The X5 5-Seat offers an optional 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 Q7, 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 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.

The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q7 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.5% to 50.5%) than the Q7’s (55.3% to 44.7%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis Comparison

The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

The X5 is 6.3 inches shorter than the Q7, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the X5 xDrive35i xDrive is quieter than the Q7 Prestige (41 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The X5 has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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.

Ergonomics Comparison

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Q7 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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.

The X5 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Q7 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW X5 won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

 The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Q7 is not ranked.

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