The midsize luxury SUV is the category that has seen a lot of new arrivals in the last two years, like Mercedes Benz GLC, BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX. One crucial name of Audi Q5 was ruled out when the BS6 emission norms kicked in. And after almost two years, the Audi Q5 has made a comeback in the Indian car market with the globally facelifted model.
However, this time around, things are a bit different for the Audi SUV, as it will be a petrol-only model, for the fantastic diesel powertrain is a thing of the past now. Also, with this new version, Audi is focusing on those enthusiasts too, who love to be behind the steering wheel and enjoy the sheer driving pleasure. How it takes on the benchmark of all when it comes to driving dynamics in this segment, the BMW X3? Let’s find out.
While the Audi Q5 will be on sale with a sole combination of petrol-automatic, considering that Audi has decided to go the petrol-only way, the BMW X3 is available with both petrol and diesel powertrains. This gives the BMW an edge for the added versatility of a diesel engine, which is still the more viable option seen by the potential buyers. However, the Audi Q5 is expected to undercut the petrol variants of the BMW X3 in terms of pricing.
|Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)||Audi Q5||BMW X3|
|Petrol-automatic||Rs 55-58 lakh (expected)||Rs 57.90-63.50 lakh|
|Diesel-automatic||–||Rs 64.90 lakh|
(All prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, pan India)
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Engine and Performance
Both the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are offered with state-of-the-art modern era four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines.
For this comparison, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder B48 turbocharged petrol engine of the BMW X3 is the head-on rival to Audi Q5’s powertrain. The engine, which is offered with an 8-speed automatic gearbox as standard, churns out maximum power and torque outputs of 248 bhp @ 5,200 rpm and 350 Nm @ 1,450 rpm respectively.
In this latest iteration, the Audi Q5 has retained the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged TFSI petrol engine, which already powers a range of cars from the Volkswagen group. Coupled with a 7-speed automatic gearbox, the Audi Q5’s engine pumps out a maximum power output of 248 bhp @ 5,200 rpm and maximum torque output of 370 Nm @ 1,650 rpm. These performance outputs are slightly better than those posted by the BMW X3 – while the peak torque is almost 20 Nm more than the X3, the similar peak power output is produced 200 RPMs earlier in the Q5.
|Specifications||Audi Q5||BMW X3|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI petrol||2.0-litre four-cylinder B48 petrol|
|Power||248 bhp @ 5,000 rpm||248 bhp @ 5,200 rpm|
|Torque||370 Nm @ 1,650 rpm||350 Nm @ 1,450 rpm|
|Gearbox||7-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
Exterior and Dimension
In terms of road presence, both the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 have almost equal road presence and dimensions. However, the longer length and wheelbase of the BMW X3 gives in better legroom, knee room and boot space, when compared to the Audi Q5. However, the fuel tank capacity of the Audi Q5 is almost 10-litres more than that of the BMW X3.
|Dimensions||Audi Q5||BMW X3|
|Length||4682 mm||4708 mm|
|Width||1893 mm||1891 mm|
|Height||1662 mm||1676 mm|
|Wheelbase||2819 mm||2864 mm|
|Boot space||520 litres||550 litres|
|Ground clearance||200 mm||204 mm|
|Fuel tank capacity||70 litres||60 liters|
With the new facelifted version, the Audi Q5 has received a much-needed shot of modernity, which surely gives it an edge over the BMW X3. That doesn’t mean that the B MW X3 is a boring and less flashy vehicle to look at. However, the crisp lines of the Audi Q5 make it look snazzier in today’s times, compared to the design of the BMW X3, which is in the market for more than a couple of years now.
Both the SUVs look distinctively different from each other while retaining their traditional design cues. The front profile of the Audi Q5 looks more imposing in flesh, due to its bolder looking octagonal grille with vertical slats and flashier looking all-LED headlamps. The BMW X3 welcomes you with the very familiar double kidney grille setup, which along with the all-LED headlamps, have a slightly rounded appeal.
The edginess of the Audi Q5 is carried forward in the side and rear profiles as well. Both these SUVs get large alloy wheels (standard diamond-cut units of the X3 look better) and LED tail lamps, which are sharper to look at in the Audi Q5.
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On the inside, both these SUVs are generously loaded with comfort and convenience features. While the Audi Q5 is bestowed with features like a full TFT virtual cockpit display, 10.1-inch multi-functional touchscreen infotainment system, powered front seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and ORVMs, wireless charger, ambient lighting, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and three-zone automatic climate control. The BMW X3 gets all of these, along with a different 16-speaker Harman Kardon music system.
In terms of safety features too, both the SUVs are heavily equipped with advanced driving assistance systems, six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, a tire pressure monitoring system, park assist and a 360-degree parking camera.
With extensive updates majorly to its exterior design and retention of the already fantastic TFSI petrol engine and comfortable and luxurious interior, the new Audi Q5 has only become better than before. Like every other Audi on sale out there, the Audi Q5 offers an optimum balance of ride quality and driving dynamics.
The BMW X3 has been in the existence for quite some time now, and in comparison to the Audi Q5, looks a bit older and lacks a bit of freshness. However, for a proper luxury SUV, the BMW X3 is equally desirable and packs in a similarly long equipment list. Also, thanks to a minor edge in dimensions, the BMW X3 offers more cabin space, and the xDrive system works slightly better over Audi’s Quattro system too.
If you want sheer driving pleasure, the BMW X3 continues to make more sense over the Audi Q5. However, with new pizzazz added to it, the Audi Q5 offers a better and flashier road presence and more comfortable seats at the rear.