2022 Audi Q5 vs. BMW X3 Comparison

Erin Riches-Wong | Aug 05, 2021

Compact SUVs aren't just practical. They're desirable. Audi and BMW sell more small utility vehicles in the United States than anything else, including luxury sedans.

For the first half of 2021, the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 led the compact premium SUV segment in sales. Both target consumers who like to drive, and with their diverse powertrain offerings, you're sure to find a version that satisfies your requirements. Inside, the Q5 leads the class in interior design, while the X3 looks like any other BMW, which might be a positive or a negative depending on your taste. Both offer high-quality furnishings, comfortable rear-seat accommodations, and useful cargo space. Factor in leading-edge safety technology, and it's easy to see the appeal of these two.

If you're shopping for a compact premium SUV, this 2022 Audi Q5 vs. 2022 BMW X3 comparison should help.

Price and Value

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro Silver Front Quarter View

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI

Consumers will find that the 2022 Audi Q5 ranges in price from $44,100 to $65,700, not including a $1,095 destination charge. Audi offers the Q5 in different models, distinguished by the engine under the hood. The Q5 45 TFSI is the base 4-cylinder model, while the Q5 55 TFSI e is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The high-performance SQ5 features a turbocharged V6 engine.

You'll also notice Audi Q5 Sportback versions of the Q5 45 TFSI and SQ5 models. The Sportback seats five like a regular Q5, but it has a fastback roofline and slightly more standard equipment. It looks great but sacrifices headroom. Get the regular Audi Q5 if you need to put car seats or teenagers in the backseat.

All versions of the Q5 come in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels. The Premium has everything you need, but the higher trims offer more driver-assistance technology, upgraded audio, and more deluxe seats. All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard across the board.

Audi offers a variety of connected services for the 2022 Q5. Rapid access to emergency services and roadside assistance is complimentary with your vehicle purchase. You also get a free 6-month trial for Google Earth mapping, advanced voice-recognition technology, and traffic light information technology. Every Q5 has a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Audi does not offer complimentary scheduled maintenance.

Consumers will find that the 2022 BMW X3 ranges in price from $43,700 to $69,900, not including a $995 destination charge. BMW offers several versions of this compact premium SUV, each with its own personality. The base model comes in both rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive30i and AWD X3 xDrive30i variations and has a 4-cylinder engine. Next up is the X3 M40i, which has a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and AWD.

The BMW X3 M is the top model; it features an even more powerful turbo 6-cylinder available in both base and Competition states of tune. Either way, you'll have a hugely powerful small SUV.

BMW has discontinued the X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid, which never seemed like the right fit for typical X3 buyers who value performance over fuel efficiency.

Connected services for the 2022 X3 include remote access features, live emergency assistance, concierge services, digital key access, and even a drive recorder. You'll typically need to purchase additional options to unlock specific features, and then you'll need to manage them in the My BMW app. There's also a Wi-Fi hotspot.

BMW offers complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles that you own a new X3.

Advantage: BMW X3

Reliability and Quality

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Front Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Neither the Audi Q5 nor the BMW X3 ranks among the top three compact premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study or the 2020 Initial Quality Study. At the brand level, BMW outperforms Audi in both studies.

The 2022 Audi Q5 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

The 2022 BMW X3 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 80,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 8 years or 80,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

Advantage: BMW X3

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro Interior Dashboard

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI

Buyers have three powertrain options on the 2022 Audi Q5. First up is the Q5 45 TFSI, which has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) is standard.

Next up is the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e PHEV. It combines a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a battery pack. It's rated for a total of 362 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The 2022 Q5 55 TFSI e gets a larger-capacity battery pack (now 17.9 kilowatt-hours) and should offer more electric-only driving range as a result. The hybrid Q5 also uses a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Finally, there's the 2022 Audi SQ5. It uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates 369 hp and 349 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives all four wheels, and a torque-vectoring rear differential is optional. The SQ5 is significantly lighter than the similarly powerful Q5 PHEV, and with its sport-tuned suspension, it feels genuinely athletic when driven hard.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Audi Q5 45 TFSI will return 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving, regardless of whether you select the regular Q5 or the Q5 Sportback. The SQ5 rates 21 mpg in combined driving. For the plug-in hybrid Audi Q5, you can expect 23 miles of all-electric range and 26 mpg in combined driving. The Q5 55 TFSI has a 61-MPGe rating.

The base engine on the 2022 BMW X3 is also a turbo 4-cylinder. It generates 248 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. For 2022, this engine gains a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that can power the SUV's electrical system, provide a slight power boost when needed, and smooth out the operation of the start-stop system. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on both the X3 sDrive30i and xDrive30i.

If that's not enough, there's the 2022 X3 M40i, which features a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine rated at 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The X3 M40i also picks up the mild-hybrid system and uses an 8-speed automatic transmission.

If your need for speed exceeds the capabilities of the X3 M40i, consider the 2022 BMW X3 M, which has a high-performance, turbocharged inline-6 engine. The base version of this engine cranks out 473 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque. If you select the X3 M Competition, those totals swell to 503 hp and 479 pound-feet. A specialized 8-speed automatic transmission with a proper manual shift mode drives all four wheels through an AWD system that biases engine torque to the rear wheels.

The EPA has not yet released fuel-economy ratings for the 2022 BMW X3, but it's likely that they will at least match the combined ratings on the 2021 models. The 2021 X3 xDrive30i rated 25 mpg in combined driving, while the X3 M40i rated 23 mpg combined. Given their emphasis on performance, the M models are unlikely to improve much on last year's 16-mpg combined rating.

Advantage: BMW X3

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Interior Dashboard

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Every 2022 Audi Q5 comes standard with all the must-have advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). This list includes Audi Pre Sense City, a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with automatic emergency braking (AEB). It's capable of detecting pedestrians and vehicles that are stationary or executing a turn. You also get Active Lane Assist, which includes lane-departure warnings (LDW) and lane-keeping assist (LKA), and Audi Side Assist, which is Pre Sense Rear, a rear automatic emergency braking system.

The Q5 Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels take you into the realm of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance with the addition of Adaptive Cruise Assist, which is a traffic jam assist (TJA) system with adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering assistance.

The structurally similar 2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback earned a highest-possible 5-star rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2021 Q5 a Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's highest safety rating.

Every 2022 BMW X3 comes standard with Active Driving Assistant, which includes FCW with pedestrian detection and AEB, as well as LDW and blind-spot warning (BSW) with rear cross-traffic warnings.

The available Driving Assistance Professional package adds LKA, upgraded side-collision avoidance functionality for the BSW system, and front cross-traffic warnings. You also get Level 2 TJA, including ACC with stop-and-go capability, lane centering, and evasive steering assistance.

The 2021 BMW X3 earned a 5-star NHTSA rating. The 2021 X3 also earned Good ratings in all the crash tests conducted by the IIHS, but Marginal ratings for headlight performance and child-seat anchor location kept it from earning a top safety award.

BMW ranks second among premium automotive brands in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study at the brand level, while Audi ranks mid-pack.

Advantage: Audi Q5

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro Silver Rear Quarter View

2022 Audi Q5 55 TFSI

Every 2022 Audi Q5 comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen interface backed by Audi's MIB 3 infotainment platform. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are standard, as is a 3-month SiriusXM 360L trial subscription. An available Bang & Olufsen audio system provides 3D sound processing through 19 speakers.

The 2022 BMW X3 has a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface backed by the iDrive 7 platform. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality are standard, and the system uses over-the-air updates. A Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system is optional.

Both infotainment systems offer deep functionality, and that means you'll need to spend time getting familiar with their menus before you're off and running. Of the two, though, BMW's iDrive typically has a steeper learning curve.

Advantage: Neither

A thorough test drive will help you decide which system you prefer.

Comfort and Utility

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Rear Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

There's nothing over the top about the 2022 Audi Q5's interior design, but it's clean and coordinated. Moreover, there's an artistry to the instrument panel and steering wheel that distinguishes the Q5 from other compact premium SUVs. The SQ5 has a flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum accents.

The standard Audi Q5 has 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 54.0 cubic feet with those seats folded down. If you shop at warehouse club stores, you might want to avoid the Q5 Sportback, which has 24.7 cubic feet and 51.9 cubic feet, respectively, due to reduced vertical clearance.

What the 2022 BMW X3 lacks in style it makes up for with rich, high-quality furnishings and simple controls (apart from iDrive). Seat comfort is excellent, and the thick-rimmed steering wheel feels good in your hands. The X3 M has a more dramatic interior, as it features a BMW's Live Cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument panel as standard (it's optional on other X3s), carbon-fiber trim, and sport seats with quilted inserts.

Although storage space for small items is hard to come by, you will find ample cargo capacity in BMW's compact premium SUV. The cargo bay measures 28.7 cubic feet, and folding the rear seats provides 62.7 cubic feet.

Advantage: Neither

The Audi has the edge in style, but the BMW has more cargo space.

Learn More About the Audi Q5 and BMW X3

If you'd like to learn more about these compact premium SUVs, be sure to read our previews of the 2022 Audi Q5, including the higher-performance SQ5, and 2022 BMW X3. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on August 4, 2021, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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