Audi and BMW
Two of the most successful car manufacturers on the planet, Audi and BMW fly the flag for the quality we have come to expect from German vehicle manufacturers, alongside the likes Porsche, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
German marques have given us excellent refinement, superb performance and a prestige that has seen them become incredibly popular all over the world.
Audi and BMW have a back catalogue of iconic models, as well as cutting-edge current and future models to ensure consumers and enthusiasts are kept wanting more.
In a world where the SUV is extremely popular, it's no surprise to see Audi and BMW offering two incredible examples in the form of the Q7 and X5 respectively.
But which is the right used large premium SUV for you?
- Introduction and Design
- Versions and Performance
- Interior and Technology
- Value and Final Thoughts
Introduction and Design
BMW were first to launch an SUV, with the first generation X5 debuting in 1999, with Audi following suit with theirs, which happened to be the Q7 a little later in 2005.
It was actually Mercedes-Benz that started this German SUV contest, launching their ML in 1998, which today is called the Mercedes-Benz GLE. Either way as all three SUVs are still in production, albeit in a newer generation, and in Mercedes-Benz's case under a different name, but all show just how popular these premium and practical SUVs have been.
These are 'proper' SUVs too, with all-wheel drive as standard and lots of model choice, despite many SUVs these days featuring just front-wheel drive.
Both the BMW X5 (pictured above) and Audi Q7 have become more modern, more sophisticated and offer more of a total package with their evolution. Both are respected and their design mirrors the rest of their respectable BMW and Audi ranges.
Versions and Performance
This article compares the fourth generation BMW X5 (2019 onwards) and the second generation Audi Q7 (2015 onwards, facelifted in 2020) - the latest generation of each model from BMW and Audi at the time of writing.
With both the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 being large premium SUVs, there's plenty of choice in diesel, petrol and hybrid options, although the latter is rarer in the Audi.
Both models offer a range topping performance model with the BMW X5 M Competition and the Audi SQ7 (pictured above). These are ultra fast for their size, but the BMW pips the Audi in terms of performance across the board in comparable models.
A snapshot of the engine choices of both SUVs is shown below.
- 3.0-litre diesel (261bhp / 355bhp) 0 to 62mph 6.3 or 5.3 seconds respectively, up to 40mpg depending on spec
- 3.0-litre petrol (328bhp) 0 to 62mph 5.3 seconds, up to 30mpg
- 3.0-litre petrol PHEV (388bhp) 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds, mpg significantly enhanced when using electric
- 4.4-litre petrol (X5 M Competition, 616bhp) 0 to 62mph in 3.8 seconds, circa 22mpg
- 3.0-litre diesel (227bhp /281bhp) 0 to 62mph in 7.1 or 6.3 respectively, up to 43mpg depending on spec
- 3.0-litre petrol (335bhp) 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, up to 27mpg
- 3.0-litre petrol PHEV (375bhp) (very rare in comparison) 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, mpg significantly enhanced when using electric
- 4.0-litre petrol (SQ7 499bhp) 0 to 62mph in 4.0 seconds, circa 23mpg
Interior and Technology
Audi digital cockpits first appeared in the popular TT back in 2014, but it took a number of years for them to appear as standard in most models. In the Q7's case, it was from 2019 onwards, around the same time the BMW X5 had an updated fully-digital instrument cluster too.
When looking at used cars, high spec models before 2019 may well have updated digital instrument clusters, but as with most used cars, later models will generally have better kit and the full digital vibe.
Both are excellent in their ergonomics and feel and both are complemented by digital infotainment systems too. The BMW X5's set-up feels like that bit more intuitive, whilst despite Audi's digital cockpit coming out a little earlier, it still looks incredible, with both cars feeling excellent in their presentations.
Both the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 are hugely practical, being two of the largest SUVs you can buy used.
The BMW X5 has a choice of 5-seat and 7-seat versions, whilst the Audi Q7 is a 7-seater as standard (pictured above). Both offer capacious amounts of space in their respective cabins.
As for boot sizes, we've listed them below.
- 650 litres (5-seat version)
- 500 litres (PHEV versions)
- 575 litres (7-seat versions in 5-seat mode)
- 1870 litres (all rear seats folded), slightly less for PHEV models
- 865 litres (5-seat mode)
- 295 litres 7-seat mode)
- 1955 litres (all rear seats folded flat)
Value and Final Thoughts
German manufacturers continue their premium dominance. Some buyers may prefer the feel of a BMW, whilst others will rather take an Audi. And let's not forget Mercedes-Benz have a rival in the form of the GLE too.
No matter which one you choose, you're guaranteed a fine car which offers superb refinement, along with a vehicle that doesn't look out of place no matter if it's outside the supermarket or a five-star hotel.
The BMW X5 will suit the keen driver (M Competition version shown above) as it feels much more dynamic, whilst the Audi Q7 oozes typical Audi refinement.
If you're looking for a large premium SUV that feels sharp and car-like, then the BMW X5 will more likely be your cup of tea, whilst if you're looking for enhanced practicality and want comfort rather than out and out sharpness, then the Audi Q7 will be more your thing.
Find your perfect used car at Evans Halshaw
Whether you are after a used Audi Q7, used BMW X5, used Audi, used BMW or perhaps a used car from another manufacturer, Evans Halshaw have a comprehensive selection of new and used car offers for you to browse online.