In recent years the car market has seen a shift in buyers looking for premium SUVs with spacious interiors, powerful engines and high-tech luxury details. The BMW X5 was the first on the market and since its launch a variety of competitors have built rival models. These cars are marketed as sports activity vehicles, which provided the convenience of an SUV with the capabilities of a sports car. One of the closest rivals to the X5 is the Audi Q7, which offers a number of the premium features buyers search for. If you are torn between these two German competitors take a look at this guide in which we pit the Audi Q7 vs BMW X5, to see which comes out on top.
When we take a first look at the exterior of the BMW, the resemblance to its classic models is clear from the styling of the front grille. As the car which sparked the premium SUV boom, it is no surprise that the designers have stuck to what they know works. The Audi has a similarly high-end feel with its large badge and chunky exterior lending a muscular feel, which is sure to get you noticed when cruising around town.
Moving to the interior of the cars, the X5 benefits from clean, simple lines which create a surprisingly sporty feel. The no-cost Innovations Pack includes a useful 360-degree parking camera, touch screen, DAB+ and a host of other useful bells and whistles. That said, the range of dashboard components do feel slightly overwhelming in their layout.
The Audi, on the other hand, uses the best quality materials and a virtual cockpit to create a stylish yet intuitive design. The most basic Audi includes generous standard equipment, such as leather appointed trim, sat-nav, Side Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic alerts. If you are looking for a great sound system you will appreciate the Bang & Olufsen stereo which provides the Audi with 1000 watts of power and 14 clear speakers.
Both of these SUVs have a premium drive quality, and although designed for road use they are both capable of some off-roading. At the time of initial development BMW owned Land Rover, so the crossover of knowledge from the premier off-road manufacturer certainly benefits the BMW’s reliability on tougher road conditions. Although, drive quality will largely come down to your driving style, if you are looking for something smooth and comfortable the Audi is ideal. But, for a sporty, agile drive the BMW lives up to its reputation.
The reliability will largely depend on how the car is driven and maintained. To set yourself up for a reliable motoring experience you should pick the car which best matches your driving style and requirements. Reviews from people who already own the Audi and BMW are positive, with most owners pleased with their engines, gearboxes and handling.
Both cars are some of the largest on the road today, measuring over 4.8m long and 1.7m high. The Q7 does look well-proportioned next to the chunky X5, in part down to the large alloy wheels, which make the body look much smaller.
For most people looking at a large SUV, interior space is one of the key deciding factors. The BMW’s practical design allows the second row of seats to be split into a 40/20/40 format, with a spacious 650 litres of boot room with the third level folded down. The Audi just beats the BMW by offering 770 litres of boot space with the third row down, and a staggering 1995 litres with both the second and third row of seats folded.
The Q7 is only available with diesel engines, and buyers have the choice of two 3.0-litre turbocharged units, which provide either 215 or 268hp. Both engines are surprisingly economical with the smaller engine offering 52.3mpg.
The larger diesel engines in the BMW are very closely matched to the Audi, with the 3.0-litre offering a basic 254hp and 45.6mpg. If you are a lover of high performance petrol engines, then you should opt for the BMW. The 4.4 twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine offers a speed to rival the fastest cars on the road, reaching 62mph in just 4.2 seconds.
When it comes to purchasing a premium level car, value is always important. These cars are so closely matched that for many buyers it will be the value for money which becomes the deciding factor. The most basic Q7 starts at £47,000 but if you are looking for a high-spec car which maintains its value, it is a great option. The X5 will also retain its value well, but if you are looking for a car with an array of optional extras, they will soon push the price up. The most basic BMW is £4,000 cheaper than the Audi but will come with a lower spec than the cheapest Audi.
When taking into account all factors, we think the Audi Q7 beats the BMW X5 thanks to its quality interior, smooth driving experience and ample space. But, if you are looking for a larger petrol engine, which is slightly cheaper, the Audi may not be ideal for you. In the end, everyone has their preferences when it comes to the type of car they are looking for. Both of these vehicles are excellent examples of luxury SUVs, designed to include the best technology, surprising performance and the well-known German build quality and reliability, which both bring something special to the driving experience.
Those looking for a second-hand Audi Q7 or BMW X5 will find various models and trims available at our Carwise dealerships in Harlow and Maidstone. We have a range of quality used cars for sale and will be happy to help you find the perfect option for your needs.