2019 BMW X5 vs. 2018 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 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 Q7.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5’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 X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 83 more horsepower (335 vs. 252) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the Q7 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (335 vs. 333) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 325) than the Q7 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 123 more horsepower (456 vs. 333) and 154 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 325) than the Q7 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive40i gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 3.0T (20 city/26 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.

Transmission

The X5’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 Q7 doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Q7 (265/50R19 vs. 255/55R19).

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 2.0T’s standard 60 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Q7’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q7 2.0T. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Q7.

The X5 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. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Q7 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

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’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the Q7’s (55% to 45%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Q7 (8.7 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The X5 is 5.3 inches shorter than the Q7, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q7 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 has 2.4 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Q7 with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 71.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q7 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

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.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (6603 vs. 4400 pounds).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear fixed 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’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

The BMW X5 outsold the Audi Q7 by 23% during the 2018 model year.

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

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