2016 Audi Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: Battle of the luxury compact crossovers
A recent article in The Atlantic discussed trends in the automotive industry, noting the compact crossover continues to dominate the market. Sales, in fact, are three times the rate of SUVs and minivans combined. Following this trend, manufacturers have developed numerous models within their own fleets to accommodate the demand. But what makes crossovers so popular? And who would benefit from owning one?
Crossovers are built on a car platform, but include many features common to SUVs. Therefore, they combine the handling, weight, and maneuverability of a car with the size and durability of an SUV. For drivers in Denver and along the Front Range, a vehicle that includes all these characteristics certainly makes sense. Whether you’re driving in downtown or going off-road in search of a camping spot, a crossover offers savvy consumers unparalleled flexibility.
With so many options from which to choose, deciding what vehicle to purchase can prove to be a rather daunting task. If you decide that a crossover is the right choice for you, you’ll want to research your available options.
In order to help those of you looking to buy a luxury crossover, we thought it might be helpful to provide you with some guidance. Since manufacturers have begun to roll out their 2016 fleets, it’s the perfect time to compare the new Audi Q5 and its chief competitor, the BMW X3.
A quick glance at these two vehicles reveals that both manufacturers managed to transfer the sleek and stylish design of their passenger cars onto their crossovers. This is no small task, considering how many other brands continue to produce boxy, less aerodynamic eyesores year-after-year.
Of course, a cursory visual inspection of these two vehicles does little more than confirm that the designers at both Audi and BMW exercise good taste as it relates to aesthetic judgment. The following article, then, more rigorously outlines the specifications of the Q5 and X3 so as to offer you, the consumer, insight into how these vehicles compare to one another. It is our hope that this information will help you select the luxury crossover which most suits your needs.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: PERFORMANCE
One of the many factors that determine whether or not a customer wants to purchase a particular make or model of a vehicle is performance. In order to assess how a vehicle functions, it helps to look at the type of engine it uses and the engine’s output.
Both Audi and BMW offer multiple powertrain options for their crossover models, but the base models are the Q5 2.0T Premium and the X3 sDrive28i, respectively.
Audi’s base model is an all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission. It comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The combined EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23mpg (20/28) and, according to Edmunds.com, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.
Conversely, BMW’s base model is a rear-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission. It also comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, but produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The combined EPA-estimated fuel economy is nearly identical to the Q5, averaging 24mpg (21/28); but it’s acceleration is slightly lower, going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds in an Edmunds.com road test.
As one can tell from the specifications, both base models perform similarly. While the X3’s engine does offer a bit more power, the Q5 comes standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. The increased traction, turning, and safety that an all-wheel drive vehicle affords its passengers, especially in winter and off-road conditions, makes the Q5 a bit more practical.
Audi and BMW both offer upgrades to their powertrains in the form of 3-liter V6 engines, which, again, perform in a remarkably similar fashion. Each brand also provides diesel options. The biggest difference between diesel engines, though, is that Audi’s engine is a 3-liter, V6 with 240 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque; BMW’s diesel, on the other hand, is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Practically speaking, the Q5’s diesel engine vastly outperforms the X3’s diesel engine.
Audi also gives customers the option of purchasing a hybrid version; BMW has no such alternative. The Q5 Hybrid boasts a 2.0T engine with a 54 horsepower electric motor and a battery pack for a total output of 245 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Its combined fuel economy is 26mpg (24/30) and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. So, if the benefits of a hybrid-powered engine are to your liking, the Q5 is your obvious choice.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: APPOINTMENTS
Of course, one’s driving experience cannot be measured, merely, in acceleration and gas mileage. Much of the luxury car experience resides in what a vehicle offers you in the way of comfort, convenience, and style.
The standard equipment on a 2.0T Premium includes 18-inch wheels (with an option for 19-inch wheels), xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, heated exterior mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, aluminum roof rails with crossbars, a power liftgate, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar for the driver and optional heating), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone climate control, a sliding and reclining 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, the Multi Media Interface (MMI) with dash-mounted controls, a 10-speaker sound system with CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio, and Audi’s digital music interface.
The sDrive28i model comes standard with 18-inch wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, LED foglamps, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors (with exterior power-folding functionality), cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, ambient interior lighting, “SensaTec” premium vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the iDrive electronics interface with a touchpad controller, a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio input.
With every ascending trim, each make offers upgrades to their appointments. When comparing the options available to customers in their base models, though, there are some slight differences. For example, the Q5 offers leather interior, tri-zone climate control, and a panoramic sunroof; whereas the X3, conversely, uses vinyl upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and no sunroof. The one advantage the X3 does have over the Q5 is its inclusion of a built-in USB port.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: SAFETY
Another aspect of the driving experience that crossovers customers should consider is a vehicle’s safety features. Especially for drivers with children, owning a vehicle that ensures the passengers’ well-being is of utmost importance.
There are, obviously, many ways in which to judge the overall safety of a particular vehicle. One such measure of safety is braking performance. In an Edmunds’ brake test, the Q5 vastly surpassed the X3. When stopping at 60 mph on 18-inch tires, Audi’s vehicle averaged a distance of 114 feet, while BMW’s vehicle averaged 123 feet. 9 feet is nearly an entire car-length of stopping distance. Using 19-inch tires, the average stopping distances between the two makes became even more pronounced, with Audi topping BMW by an average of 109 feet to 127 feet. An 18 foot differential in stopping distance, obviously, provides quite an extended buffer that ensures your family an additional level of security.
In government crash tests, though, the X3 slightly outperformed the Q5; the former earned five out of five stars overall, whereas the latter earned and overall ranking of four out five stars. Although, the Q5 did earn five out of five stars for side crash protection. The independent Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave both vehicles “Good” ratings.
Ultimately, the overall safety comparisons between Audi’s Q5 and BMW’s X3 produce a mixed result. On the one hand, the Q5’s superior, braking abilities allow it to avoid accidents more readily; on the other hand, the X3’s provides slightly better crash protection.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: INTERIOR
Both the Q5 and the X3 offer premium, top of the line cabins that are stylish and loaded with appointments. Basically, you will have access to all the features you would expect from two of the world’s premier, automotive manufacturers. Regardless of which vehicle you choose, both the Q5 and the X3 will provide you with a stylish ride; although, as previously mentioned, the leather interior and panoramic sunroof found in the Q5 offers an added level of luxury.
But the interior of a crossover isn’t just about style; the amount of storage room within the vehicle is also an important characteristic to consider, especially if you take frequent camping and skiing trips in the Rockies.
As far as passenger room and storage, though, the results are once again mixed. The Q5 provides 29.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, whereas the X3’s same dimensions measure 27.6 cubic feet. Of course, when the seats are lowered, the Q5 measures 57.3 cubic feet to the X3’s 63.3 cubic feet. One cubic feet, to provide a different gauge, is equivalent to approximately 7.5 liquid gallons.
To this end, if you’re traveling with several other passengers and need your seats up, the Q5 will offer you more storage space; conversely, if you’re traveling alone, the X3 will give you more storage space.
The one notable advantage that the Q5 holds over the X3 with regard to their interior is that the rear seats both recline and slide fore and aft. This feature allows rear passengers of the Q5 an extra level of comfort not available to those in the X3.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: PRICE
The MSRP for the Q5 is $40,900 and $38,950 for the X3. The price, obviously, increases on both models with the addition of appointments or upgrades to the powertrain. For example, adding leather interior and a panoramic sunroof to the X3 (which come standard on the Q5) will increase its price to $41,750.
2016 AUDI Q5 vs 2016 BMW X3: OVERALL
Ultimately, when deciding between these two crossovers, one needs carefully to consider their needs and priorities. In nearly every ranking, both vehicles rate as one the top three to five available options within the luxury crossover market. As such, it’s doubtful that you’ll be disappointed purchasing either model. But each vehicle, and especially specific trims, offer distinct advantages.
To test drive an Audi Q5, visit Prestige Imports at 9201 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood CO, 80215. You can also call our Sales Department at (833) 825-5423 to schedule an appointment.
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