2019 BMW X1 vs. 2018 Audi Q3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X1 has standard 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 Q3 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The X1’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Q3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X1’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 Q3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The X1 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 Q3 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 X1 and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q3.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Q3’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q3 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 more horsepower (228 vs. 200) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 207) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X1 is faster than the Audi Q3:

 

X1

Q3

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

21.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

127 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the Q3:

 

 

 

MPG

X1

 

FWD

sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

AWD

xDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Q3

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’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 Q3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X1 higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi Q3 (3). This means the X1 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q3 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X1, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Q3.

The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Q3 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q3:

 

X1

Q3

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.1 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Q3 are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops shorter than the Q3:

 

X1

Q3

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Q3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Q3 (105.1 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .87 G’s, while the Q3 Prestige Quattro pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Q3’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q3 (7.2 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i is quieter than the Q3 Prestige Quattro (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The X1 has 4.9 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The Q3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 16.7 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 50.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X1 easier. The X1’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the Q3’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

The X1’s cargo area is larger than the Q3’s in every dimension:

 

X1

Q3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

35.1”/69”

34.4”/65.3”

Max Width

51.5”

41.4”

Min Width

39.5”

38.8”

Height

33”

29.6”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Q3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the X1, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The X1 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the X1 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Q3 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X1 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the X1 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Q3’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X1 offers optional 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 Q3 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the X1 offers an optional Active 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 Q3 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The X1’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 Q3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X1 with a number “3” insurance rate while the Q3 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X1 is less expensive to operate than the Q3 because it costs $189 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the X1 than the Q3, including $7 less for a starter and $235 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X1 will be $1373 to $1807 less than for the Audi Q3.

Recommendations

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2016 issue and they ranked the BMW X1 xDrive28i first. They ranked the Audi Q3 Prestige Quattro fifth.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q3 was rated third.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Q3 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The BMW X1 outsold the Audi Q3 by 56% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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