We’ve done some Audi & BMW comparisons before, such as the Audi Q7 vs BMW X7 and Audi Q7 vs BMW X5, but we haven’t covered the Audi Q5 vs BMW X3, until now. In this article, we will be covering the many differences between the two luxury-brand SUVs. We will be going into price, size, performance, reliability, common problems, and more. The Q5 is positioned between the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Audi Q7. While the BMW X3 is positioned between the BMW X2 and BMW X4.
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 – The Basics
The Audi Q5 was first introduced in 2008 and is still in production today. Since its inception, there have been two generations: 8R and FY. The 8R Q5 generation was built on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform and the FY Q5 was built on the MLB Evo platform. It has been a big hit since it was introduced and Audi has consecutively produced over 100,000 units a year since 2009. The Q5 offers two body styles: the regular Q5 SUV and a Q5 Sportback.
The BMW X3 was first introduced in 2003 and is still in production today. Since its inception, there have been three generations: the E83, F25, and G01. The X3 was considered the first mid-size luxury SUV on the market. With that said, BMW was undoubtedly ahead of the SUV crave that sparked about a decade ago. It is the second best-selling BMW SUV, behind the BMW X5. There are 3 different models of the X3: the sDrive30i/xDrive30i, the M40i, and the M.
Audi Q5 Generations
- 8R Q5 (B8) (2008 – 2017)
- FY Q5 (B9) (2018 – Present)
BMW X3 Generations
- E83 X3 (2003-2010)
- F25 X3 (2011-2017)
- G01 X3 (2018+)
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 Price
In this portion, we will be going over brand new 2022, as of this writing, model prices and used prices for the Q5 and X3.
New Audi Q5 Price
In this section, we will be covering the new Q5 2022 model year prices. There are three engine options featured in the Q5: a 40 TFSI (2.0T TFSI), 45 TFSI (2.0T TFSI), and a 55 TFSI hybrid (2.0T TFSI + hybrid). All three engines can be found in all three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Premium 40 TFSI Q5 starts at $43,300, the Premium Plus 40 TFSI Q5 starts at $48,300, and the Prestige 40 TFSI Q5 starts at $54,000. The Premium 45 TFSI Q5 starts at $45,800, the Premium Plus 45 TFSI Q5 starts at $50,800, and the Prestige 45 TFSI Q5 starts at $56,500. Lastly, the Premium 55 TFSI hybrid Q5 starts at $55,400, the Premium Plus 55 TFSI hybrid Q5 starts at $59,500, and the Prestige 55 TFSI hybrid Q5 starts at $64,800. For those wanting to up the performance aspect, an SQ5 starts at $55,800.
If you are curious about the trim differences with Audi’s, here is an article we wrote about the different Audi trims.
New BMW X3 Price
In this section, we will be covering the new X3 xDrive30i 2022 model year prices. There are many different add-ons that BMW offers, so we will try to keep it consistent when it comes to comparing the Q5 and the X3. There is only one engine offered in the base X3 sDrive30i. So an X3 sDrive30i, starts at $43,700, with the option of upgrading to AWD, or xDrive, for $2,000. For those wanting more performance, the X3 M40i starts at $57,800. And finally, the top-of-the-line X3 sports package starts at $70,100.
Used Audi Q5 & BMW X3 Prices
As you can see, the Q5 and X3 are pretty competitively priced on the new side, so let’s go over the used side. Since the Q7 and X3 have been around for over a decade, we will be basing prices on all generations. Therefore, a used Q5s price ranges from $6,994 – $60,650* with an average price overall of $33,822, depending on model year and mileage. A used X3s price ranges from $3,995 – $58,275* with an average price overall of $31,135, depending on model year and mileage. So, since the Audi Q5 is very similar in price to the X3, which one is better? We’ll go into more detail below to assist in this decision.
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General Audi Q5 & BMW X3 Topics
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Audi Q5 and the 2022 BMW X3.
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3
Since these are competing vehicles, there shouldn’t be a surprise that the dimensions listed above are not far from each other. The only thing that sticks out to us is the cargo space. The BMW X3 has a tiny bit more cargo space with the seats up and 8 more inches with the seats down. Other than that, you likely won’t notice too much of a difference between the two when inside.
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 Audi Q5 and 2022 BMW X3 factory performance specs.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
Audi Q5 Performance
The Q7 has three available engine options: a 40 TFSI, 45 TFSI, and a 55 TFSI hybrid. The 40 TFSI, 2.0T TFSI, quattro® engine puts out 201hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. For gas mileage, it gets 23mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway for a combined 25mpg on an 18.5gal fuel tank. The 45 TFSI, also a 2.0T TFSI, quattro® engine puts out 261hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. For gas mileage, it gets 23mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway for a combined 25mpg on an 18.5gal fuel tank. And lastly, the 55 TFSI hybrid, 2.0T TFSI + electric motor, quattro® engine puts out 362hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It gets a total electric range of 390 miles and a combined 26mpg on gas with a 14.3gal fuel tank.
All three engines come with Quattro®, Audi’s AWD system, and a 7-speed S Tronic automatic transmission standard. For those wanting more performance, the SQ5 has a bigger 3.0T TFSI engine that puts out 349hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. However, a bigger engine like that comes with lower fuel economy. It gets 19mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway for a combined 21mpg on an 18.5gal fuel tank.
BMW X3 Performance
The X3 only has one engine option for the base X3 sDrive30i: a 2.0L TwinPower Turbo engine. It puts out 248hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. For gas mileage, it gets 23mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway for a combined 25mpg on a 17.2gal fuel tank. xDrive, which is BMW’s AWD technology, is available for an extra $2,000. RWD comes standard otherwise. It features an 8-speed automatic transmission. For those wanting more performance, the BMW X3 M40i has a bigger 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V6 engine that puts out 382hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Lastly, the X3 M is equipped with a more powerful 3.0L engine that puts out 473hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Is the Audi Q5 reliable? Unfortunately, it is average. The main reason the Audi Q5 gets a bad reputation is because of the excessive oil consumption seen in the Gen2 EA888 engines. According to RepairPal, it is rated 3 out of 5, which puts the Q5 11th out of 14 for all luxury midsize SUVs. We highly advise avoiding 2010-2014 Q5 model years for used. The average annual maintenance cost for an Audi Q5 is $928, which is a little higher than the average $805.
Common problems seen in Q5s are as followed: excessive oil consumption, timing chain tensioner failure, start-stop system malfunction, leaking fuel pump flanges, and DRL failure. If maintained properly, Q5s can last well over 150,000 miles. If you happen to get your hands on a TDI (diesel engines), they can last up to 300,000 miles. For a more in-depth guide on the Audi Q5s reliability and common problems, click below.
Is the BMW X3 reliable? Like the Audi Q5, the X3s reliability is average. But RepairPal rated it a 2.5 out of 5, which is lower than the Q5, and is the average for all luxury compact SUVs. However, this puts the X3 10th out of 11 for all luxury compact SUVs. The average annual maintenance cost for an X3 is $1,034, which is above the average maintenance cost of $859 for all luxury compact SUVs. It also happens to be above the Q5’s maintenance cost. We highly advise avoiding 2007, 2013-2014, 2017, and 2019 X3 model years for used.
Since there are three generations, we compiled common problems across all X3s: sunroof rattle and leak, timing chain guide failure, expansion tank leaks, engine oil leaks, radiator overheating, and window rattle or defective power window regulators. If maintained properly, X3s can last up to 200,000 miles, but preventative maintenance is crucial over 100,000 miles. For a more in-depth guide on the BMW X3s reliability, click below.
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 – Which is Better?
Which model is better? That is the question everyone wants to know. Well, between the Audi Q5 vs BMW X3, we are a bit biased, but we lean towards the Q5. When it comes to which model is better, we know consumers’ vehicle preferences and needs are different, so we will lay out the differences. The Audi Q5 is more reliable, cheaper to maintain, has more engine customization, and has better interior quality. The BMW X3 has a more powerful standard engine, has more sport variants, and provides more cargo space. Both have 5-star safety ratings, similar standard fuel economy, seat 5, and similar tech and safety features. We personally like the Q5s exterior more and believe there are more standard features in the interior.
Before making any decisions, we highly advise getting your hands on both. So, schedule a test drive with your local Audi and BMW dealer. There’s no better research than getting first-hand experience and seeing the two models in person.
Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 Conclusion
To wrap this article up, we know that purchasing a luxury vehicle can be a daunting task. So we hope the information provided above assists anyone in determining which model is best for them. In short, BMW and Audi have done an excellent job producing competing SUVs for the price. If you happen to have any first-hand experience with either, please let us know your experience in the comments below. This will help with our research and will help future readers choose which model is best for them.