We’ve written about many Audi and Volkswagen comparisons, but now we want to dive into competing luxury brands such as Audi vs BMW. With that said, we have already written a post about the Audi Q7 vs BMW X5, so we figured we should tackle the Audi Q7 vs BMW X3. The Audi Q7 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV that is positioned between the Q5 and the Q8. The BMW X3 is a compact luxury crossover SUV that is positioned between the X2 and X4. In this article, we will be covering the differences between the two models including price, size, performance, reliability, and more. Unlike other comparisons we have done, the Q7 and X3 have a lot of differences.
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3 – The Basics
The Audi Q7 was first introduced in 2006 and is still being produced today. The Audi Q7 was Audi’s first SUV offering, shortly before the Q5. Since its inception, the Q7 has had two generations: 4L and 4M. The 4L Q7 was built on the PL71 platform and the 4M Q7 is built on the MLB Evo platform. Audi offers a sports variant for those that want more out of their Q7 and it is badged as an SQ7.
The BMW X3 was introduced a few years prior to the Q7 in 2003 and is still being produced today. BMW markets the X3 as a Sports Activity Vehicle. It is the second best-selling BMW SUV behind the popular X5. There have been 3 different X3 generations since its creation: E83, F25, and G01. There are 3 different models the X3 offers: sDrive30i/xDrive30i, M40i, and M.
Audi Q7 Generation
- 4L Q7 (2006 – 2014)
- 4M Q7 (2015 – Present)
BMW X3 Generations
- E83 X3 (2003-2010)
- F25 X3 (2011-2017)
- G01 X3 (2018+)
Audi Q7 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 Q7 and X3.
New Audi Q7 Price
In this portion, we will be going over the new Q7 2022 model year prices. There are 2 different engine options for the Q7: a 45 TFSI, and a 55 TFSI. The 45 TFSI can be found only on the Premium or Premium Plus trims, while the 55 TFSI can be found on all Audi trims. A Premium Q7 45 TFSI quattro® starts at $57,500, and a Premium Plus Q7 45 TFSI quattro® starts at $60,400. A Premium Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $62,500, a Premium Plus Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $66,100, and a Prestige Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $73,300.
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 portion, we will be going over the new X3 sDrive30i 2022, as of this writing, model year prices. Unlike the Audi, there is only one engine offered in the base X3. BMW offers many different add-ons, so we will try to keep it somewhat consistent when it comes to comparing the Q7 and X3. Therefore, a base X3, or sDrive30i, starts at $43,700, with the option of upgrading trims to Premium 2. A Premium 2 X3 sDrive 40i starts at $46,300. BMW also offers an xDrive option, which is BMWs AWD technology, that starts at $45,700. If you’re wanting to elevate your X3 driving experience, the X3 M starts at $70,100.
Used Audi Q7 & BMW X3 Prices
When it comes to used Audi Q7s vs X3s, pricing is pretty much consistent with new prices. With that, we mean that since the Q7 is a midsize luxury SUV and the X3 is a compact luxury SUV, the Q7 tends to be a bit more expensive. Since the Q7 and X3 haven’t been around too long, we will be basing prices on all generations. Therefore, a used Q7s price ranges from $26,998 – $61,998* with an average price overall of $43,000, depending on model year and mileage. A used X3s price ranges from $22,998 – $54,998* with an average price overall of $35,000, depending on model year and mileage. The Q7 is not only more expensive on the new side, but also on the used side. So, is the Audi Q7 worth the extra money? Let’s get into more topics below.
*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 Q7 & BMW X3 Topics
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Audi Q7 and the 2022 BMW X3.
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3
There are many differences between the two models when it comes to size. Unsurprisingly, the Q7 is a larger SUV than the X3. Aside from all of the body dimensions being larger, the Q7 also weighs more, can seat 7 passengers, and can have more cargo space. The BMW X3 has more cargo space without folding any seats down. However, the Q7 has the most cargo space with both rows of seats folded down. If the third row of seats is folded down on the Q7, cargo space is 35.7ft³. Therefore, the Q7 when there are 5 available seats, standard in the X3, gets more cargo space. The Q7 is heavier because of a bigger engine and a bigger vehicle as a whole.
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 Audi Q7 and 2022 BMW X3 factory performance specs.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
Audi Q7 Performance
As stated above, the Q7 has two engine options: a 45 TFSI (2.0T TFSI), and a 55 TFSI (3.0T TFSI). Quattro®, Audi’s AWD system, and an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission come standard on a new Q7. The 45 TFSI quattro® engine puts out 335hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the 55 TFSI quattro® engine puts out 335hp and 369lb-ft of torque. The 45 TFSI engine gets 20mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 22 with a 22.5gal fuel tank. Lastly, the 55 TFSI engine gets 18mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 20 with a 22.5gal fuel tank.
For those wanting more performance, the Audi SQ7 has a bigger 4.0L TFSI V8 engine that puts out 500hp and 568 lb-ft of torque.
BMW X3 Performance
The X3 only has one engine option for all trims: a 2.0L M TwinPower Turbo engine. It puts out 248hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and comes standard with RWD. However, for a couple thousand more, they offer xDrive, which is BMW’s AWD technology. The 2.0L engine features an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine gets 23mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 25 with a 17.2gal fuel tank.
For those wanting more performance, the BMW X3 M has a bigger 3.0L BMW M TwinPower Turbo V6 engine that puts out 473hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.
Audi Q7 & BMW X3 Reliability and Common Problems
Is the Audi Q7 reliable? The Audi Q7s reliability is average. The Q7s reliability rating is 2.5 out of 5, according to RepairPal, which is the average for luxury full-size SUVs. This places the Q7 8th out of 19 in the luxury full-size category. The average annual maintenance cost for an Audi Q7 is $1,185, which is barely above the average ownership cost for other luxury full-size SUVs. Used Q7 model years we would advise choosing if possible is 2006, 2010, 2016, and 2019-2021.
Common problems that we’ve compiled from both Q7 generations are as followed: N80 valve failure, ignition coil and spark plug failure, premature CV boot failure, fuel pump flange failure, and timing chain tensioner failure. If maintained properly, an Audi Q7 can last up to 150,000-200,000 miles. While early 4L diesels can even last up to 300,000 miles. See below for a more in-depth article on the Audi Q7.
Is the BMW X3 reliable? Unlike the Audi Q7, the BMW X3s reliability is also average. RepairPal rated it a 2.5 out of 5, which is the average for all luxury compact SUVs. However, this places the X3 10th out of 11 for all luxury compact SUVs. The average annual ownership cost for an X3 is $1,034, which is well above the average maintenance cost of $859 for all luxury compact SUVs. Used X3 model years we would advise avoiding 2007, 2013-2014, 2017, and 2019.
Since there are three generations, we compiled common problems seen across all X3s: engine oil leaks, timing chain guide failure, window rattle or defective power window regulators, sunroof rattle and leak, radiator overheating, and expansion tank leaks. If an X3 is well maintained, it can last up to 200,000 miles, but preventative maintenance is crucial over 100,000 miles. See below for a more in-depth article on the BMW X3.
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3 – Which is Better?
The question we’re here to answer, which is better: the Audi Q7 vs BMW X3. Usually, we have a simple answer when it comes to the specs of models, however, this comparison is different. Our brand of choice is Audi, but we are a little biased because we run a VW/Audi blog. With that said, either model could be best for different consumers. For example, if a consumer is in need of 7 seats, the X3 doesn’t offer that, so the Q7 is best. However, if a consumer doesn’t need 7 seats and wants to save quite a bit of money, the X3 is the best. Both have 5-star safety ratings. Both have similar tech. The X3 gets better gas mileage and the Q7s 55 TFSI provides more power. For the interior, we personally think the quality of Audi’s is much nicer. Both models also have similar reliability ratings.
Before pulling the trigger on either vehicle, we advise getting first-hand experience. So, schedule a test drive with your local Audi dealer and local BMW dealer to see which one suits you best. We can’t tell you how many times we have changed our minds based on getting behind the wheel.
Audi Q7 vs BMW X3 Conclusion
To wrap this up, we hope the information provided above for both models assists anyone in their purchasing decision. We understand that purchasing a vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle, is a daunting task. Therefore, we hope to ease the research process with this article. In short, if you are a consumer that needs 7 seats, go with the Q7. However, if you don’t need 7 seats, want better gas mileage, and prefer to not spend up to $60k on a new vehicle, go with BMWs X3. If you are a reader that happens to have first-hand experience with either model, please let us know your experience in the comments below. Not only will this assist us in our research, but it will also help future readers in their purchasing journey.