2019 BMW X3 vs. 2019 Audi Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X3’s 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 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X3 and the Allroad have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Allroad was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 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 Allroad.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X3’s warranty.

Reliability

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 X3 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 107 more horsepower (355 vs. 248) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Allroad doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X3’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Allroad (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Allroad (17.7 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X3, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X3 M40i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Allroad:

 

X3 M40i

Allroad

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

The X3’s optional 245/40R21 front and 275/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Allroad’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X3 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X3 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Allroad doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Allroad (112.8 inches vs. 110.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X3 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Allroad.

For greater off-road capability the X3 has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Allroad (8 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the X3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X3 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Allroad doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X3 has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Allroad (101.4 vs. 92).

The X3 has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, .7 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Allroad.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X3’s rear seats recline. The Allroad’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Allroad with its rear seat up (28.7 vs. 24.2 cubic feet). The X3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Allroad with its rear seat folded (62.7 vs. 58.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X3’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Allroad doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the X3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote or with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Allroad can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The X3’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Allroad’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

The Allroad’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The X3’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the X3 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 Allroad’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X3’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 Allroad doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The X3 is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the BMW X3 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X3 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Allroad isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X3 outsold the Audi A4/S4 by 77% during 2018.

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

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