2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 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.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Q7:

X5

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

114

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

26 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.41/.52

.57/.7

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, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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’ 2019 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 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 87 more horsepower (335 vs. 248) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (335 vs. 329) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 325) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 127 more horsepower (456 vs. 329) and 154 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 325) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the BMW X5 is faster than the Q7 55 TFSI:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

Q7

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

n/a

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

4.2 sec

6.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3 sec

n/a

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

12.7 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

109 MPH

96 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the Q7:

MPG

X5

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Q7

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6

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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5 M Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Q7:

X5 M Sport

Q7

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13.8 inches

The X5 stops shorter than the Q7:

X5

Q7

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

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.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Q7 Prestige pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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 volume with its rear seat folded than the Q7 with all its rear seats folded (72.3 vs. 71.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X5 easier. The X5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

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 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 X5’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Q7’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q7 isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X5 outsold the Audi Q7 by 20% during 2018.

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

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