Audi Q7 vs. BMW X5: Battle Of The Best SUV

May 26th, 2020 by

Several excellent rivals fight for your consideration in the luxury midsize SUV market. The 2019 Audi Q7 and 2019 BMW X5 are two of the longtime favorites. The Q7 is lauded for its innovation, while the BMW X5 brings an athletic edge to the class.

BMW has completely redesigned the X5 for 2019, while the last Audi Q7 has been revamped for the 2017 model year. Audi is fitted with three rows of seats per Q7. The third row is optional on the X5. Both are close to the top of our luxury midsize SUV list. The Audi was named our Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families in 2019. The BMW was an award finalist.

Which one would you like to buy or lease? We’ll help you answer the question on the following pages by looking at the variables that shoppers tell us are important to their decision-making. Remember that our scores are updated regularly as new information becomes available. The scores referred to in this feature may differ from those on the individual review pages.

Price

With a base price of $53,550, the 2019 Audi Q7 Premium costs around $7,000 less than the cheapest 2019 BMW X5 available, the X5 xDrive40i priced at $60,700. The Q7 comes standard with a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a full-wheel drive.

The BMW X5 also comes standard with all-wheel drive, but is powered by a powerful 335-horsepower BMW TwinPower turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.

At the top of the lineups are the $68,700 Audi Q7 Prestige and the BMW M Sport Design xDrive50i, starting at $79,550. The prices of both can rise to around $90,000 if you add the available options and packages to the top trim level.

Winner: Audi Q7

Reliability

When it comes to predicting reliability, the 2019 BMW X5 is out of the 2019 Audi Q7. The X5 has a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 on our scale, which is above average. The Q7 scores three out of five at the same level, which is the norm.

Predicted vehicle reliability rating is a guide to the likelihood that you will face expensive repair bills as a car ages. In the class, neither the X5 nor the Q7 scores are close to 4.5 out of five of the 2019 Lexus RX and Lexus GX scores.

Winner: BMW X5

Cargo Space

Fold the second and third rows of seats down the 2019 BMW X5, and you’ll start opening 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s just a little better than the 71.6 cubic feet the 2019 Audi Q7 has with its second and third rows folded.

With the middle row of seats up, the X5 has a cargo room of 33.9 cubic feet. The Q7 has a cargo room of 37.5 cubic feet with its second row in the up position. Every X5 comes standard with a power opener for its horizontally split rear hatch, while a hands-free power lift is optional on the X5 and standard on the Q7.

Winner: Tie

Interior Quality

The interior quality of either the 2019 Audi Q7 or the 2019 BMW X5 will not disappoint you. They are both elegantly designed, opulent and immaculately assembled. Nonetheless, the edge in this class goes to the Audi because of its higher level of quality finishes.

The 2019 X5 comes standard with synthetic leather, available in various grades of natural leather on higher profiles and with additional packages Each 2019 Q7 comes standard with a leather upholstery, with higher grades of material available on top trim models. Both are available with a range of natural wood, metal and carbon-fiber-looking interior accents.

Both the 2019 BMW X5 and the 2019 Audi Q7 are digital power stations, showcasing some of the latest technology provided by the brands. Furthermore, after a year of ownership, the X5 only supports Apple CarPlay as a subscription service. Q7 includes support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at no additional cost.

The Q7 features Audi’s impressive MMI interface, standard navigation, 8.3-inch infotainment screen, and handwriting recognition. A tri-zone automatic climate control system is standard, while a quad-zone system is available. Base models include a 10-speaker audio system, although you can upgrade to either the Bose 19-speaker sound system or the Bang & Olufsen 23-speaker setup. The standard comes with a 7-inch digital dash screen flanked by analog gauges. Upper trim models replace the traditional instrument panel with the Audi 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, which is a fully customizable digital display.

Each BMW X5 comes with the latest iDrive infotainment system from the company. This includes navigation as a standard feature, a 12.3-inch touchscreen in addition to a rotary controller, and a 10-speaker audio system. Many functions can also be controlled by movements, such as rotating your finger to adjust the volume of the radio. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, while quad-zone climate control is available. The simple audio configuration can be upgraded to a 16-speaking Harman Kardon unit. The X5 instrument panel is a digital display, similar to the optional Virtual Cockpit of the Q7.

Winner: Audi Q7

Acceleration

BMW offers a choice of two 2019 X5 engines, both of which are powerful. The base engine is a 335-horsepower inline-six turbocharged TwinPower engine that produces more thrust than the most powerful Q7 engine. A 456-horsepower turbocharged V8 is available for the X5.

According to BMW, the V8 will drive the SUV from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Both BMW power plants are fitted with an8-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

The base engine for the 2019 Audi Q7 is a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has enough power to run around the area, but gets bogged down when the vehicle is fully loaded. You can switch to a much more powerful 329 horsepower supercharged V6 to gain more power and torque. Like the X5, the Q7 uses an8-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with an all-wheel drive.

Winner: BMW X5

Fuel Economy

In addition to having a more powerful base engine than the Audi Q7, the regular BMW X5 is more fuel efficient than the Audi’s. The X5 xDrive 40i EPA is estimated to have 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

The engines available in the Audi Q7 have similar EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Both X5 and Q7 models require premium fuel, which is significantly more expensive than regular unleaded fuel.

Opt for a BMW X5 with a V8, and you can consider a fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

The fuel economy estimates for both vehicles are higher than most of the class competitors, but for trail vehicles such as the Lincoln Nautilus 2019 and the Volvo XC90 2019.

Winner: BMW X5

Safety

In Testing by the National Highway Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Highway Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS), the 2019 BMW X5 comes ahead of the 2019 Audi Q7.

The Q7 received an overall NHTSA crash test rating of five stars, while the X5 scored four stars. Both SUVs earned four stars onto the frontal crash test, as well as a five-star performance on the side crash test and a four-star rating on the rollover test.

The X5 has passed all of the IIHS crash tests and has received headlight scores of “good” or “bad” depending on the version you select. Both scores were enough to win the BMW Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest rating of the company.

The Q7 also performed wonderfully on the IIHS crash tests, but it’s headlight performance was rated as “marginal” or “poor” depending on the lighting configuration. The sub-par headlight performance kept the Audi from receiving the IIHS award. On a positive note, the Q7 earned the IIHS “Good+” score for its LATCH hardware. This is the highest rating the company offers for ease of use for child seat attachment hardware.

All SUVs have a wide range of standard and optional advanced driver assistance and safety technology, but BMW offers many of these features as standard equipment. There are still unusual items on their lists of features available, such as night vision.

Winner: BMW X5

The Winner…

You just can’t go wrong with either the BMW X5 or the Audi Q7, both of which are rated at or near the top of our luxury midsize SUV list. In the final count, however, the 2019 Audi Q7 outperforms the 2019 BMW X5 with a lower base cost, better interior materials and more interior features.

If your SUV decides to turn towards quality, an X5 fitted with a 465-horsepower V8 might be a better choice, although you’ll have to pay considerably more to put one in your car.

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