2022 BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5: Is the More Popular Luxury SUV a Better Choice?

Five-seat midsize luxury SUVs are hot. Both BMW and Audi are selling thousands of their small SUVs because they’re a great mix of luxury, performance, and name-brand panache. BMW has sold more 2022 X3 SUVs than Audi does of the Q5, by quite a bit. But, does that mean, in a 2022 BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5 faceoff, the Bimmer is better?

Is a Q5 the same size as an X3?

a silver BMW X3 driving by a green field
2022 BMW X3 | BMW

The 2022 BMW X5 is a larger SUV than the Q5 and really belongs in a different class. The better comparison is 2022 BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5, despite the names. Props to Audi for stuffing the bigger number in the name.  The Q5 holds 54.06 cubic feet with the rear seats down. The X3 is slightly larger and can hold 62.7 cubic feet of stuff.

The Audi has a generous 40 inches of legroom in the front. The Audi is 176 inches long. The BMW is 185 inches long, but it has about the same front leg room. The rest of that length is in the back.

The BMW X3 is more powerful than a Q5

Blue 2022 Audi Q5 on the road
2022 Audi Q5 | Audi

Both SUVs seat five, have all-wheel drive options, either with Audi’s Quattro system or BMW’s xDrive models, and they can both be ordered in special super-fast versions.  The Q5s base turbocharged four-cylinder puts out 201 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic. The second-tier Q5 TSFI 45 is our choice, however, because it has 261 horsepower for not much more money.

While the BMW, too, has a turbocharged four-cylinder, it puts out a healthy 248 horsepower through an eight-speed auto.

The Q5 and X3 are best-selling SUVs

The Audi Q5 is Audi’s best-selling vehicle, not just SUV. In 2021, Audi sold a little over 60,000 Q5s. But, BMW sold nearly 75,000 in 2021, according to GoodCarBadCar.net, which tallies car sales.

The hotrods: X3 M vs. SQ5

2022 BMW X3 M Competition
2022 BMW X3 M Competition | BMW

The magicians at BMW’s M unit turn regular SUVs into hot SUVs. BMW makes two M-badged X3s, the X3 M40i, and the X3 M. The $59.950 M40i has a turbocharged six-cylinder that makes 382 horsepower and the company says it will hit 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. The $72,900 X3 M is brutal, with 473 horsepower and a 3.9-second 0-60 run.

Audi has its own skunkworks, too, but its hopped-up models go under the S moniker. The SQ5 takes the regular Q5 and then adds a hefty turbo boost to make 349 horsepower in the all-wheel-drive SUV. It’s quick, and can hit 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds. To get most of the features that you expect, though, like a heated steering wheel, a top-view camera, and an adaptive suspension you’ll need to step up to the $55,800 Premium SQ5 or the $60,500 Premium Plus versions.

BMW X3 vs Q5: which is cheaper?

The base X3 sDrive 30i starts at $45,400 in two-wheel drive trim. The all-wheel drive xDrive version has an MSRP of $47,400. The 2002 Audi Q5 40 TFSI does have a price advantage, starting at $43,500, but its engine is a bit underpowered for this class. The 2022 Q5 45 version packs a lot more power for $46,000. The top-line Prestige version with ventilated seats, a heads-up display, parking assist, and more will set you back $57,000. For 2023, the Q5 gets a bump in horsepower.

RELATED: Is Now the Time to Buy a 2022 Audi Q5?