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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 Allroad have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 Allroad are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the A6 Allroad and X3 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A6 Allroad has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X3’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A6 Allroad. But it costs extra on the X3.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Allroad Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The X3 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the A6 Allroad and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 blind spot warning systems 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, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A6 Allroad its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X3 has not been fully tested, yet.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.
The A6 Allroad’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 87 more horsepower (335 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
The A6 Allroad has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3’s standard fuel tank (19.3 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A6 Allroad has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank (19.3 vs. 17.7 gallons).
The A6 Allroad offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The X3 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the A6 Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X3:
For better traction, the A6 Allroad has larger tires than the X3 (245/45R20 vs. 225/60R18).
The A6 Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X3’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 Allroad has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the X3.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6 Allroad’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the X3 (115.2 inches vs. 112.8 inches).
For better maneuverability, the A6 Allroad Prestige w/All-Wheel Steering’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (36.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).
The A6 Allroad is 7.1 inches shorter in height than the X3, making the A6 Allroad much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
The design of the Audi A6 Allroad amounts to more than styling. The A6 Allroad has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the X3 (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A6 Allroad get better fuel mileage.
The A6 Allroad has 1 inch more front legroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.
The A6 Allroad has a much larger cargo volume than the X3 with its rear seat up (30 vs. 28.7 cubic feet).
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A6 Allroad easier. The A6 Allroad’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the X3’s liftover is 28.5 inches.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A6 Allroad’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.
The A6 Allroad’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 Allroad has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The X3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A6 Allroad has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the X3.
The A6 Allroad Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the X3.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A6 Allroad has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the X3.
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