Which Is More Reliable? BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5

The 2022 BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 both take top sales spots at their respective manufacturers. They’re well-matched, competitive SUVs that are about the same size and offer the same power. However, one of these luxury SUVs earns reliability scores consistently higher than the other. What do rating agencies say about these two SUVs reliability?

What’s new in 2023 for the X3 and the Q5?

The X3 was all-new for 2022. It grew a bit, and added a lot of interior features, like a larger screen and new driver’s assistance features. It’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 248 horsepower. The X3 starts at $45,400. For 2023, it gets a new keyless entry system standard and a new color is available.

The Q5 was las all-new in 208, but it got a fairly significant upgrade for 2021. It comes with a standard 261-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. New for 2023, it gets adaptive cruise control standard and higher-trim versions get a new sound system. The Q5 starts at $43,300.

J.D. Power says the X3 is more reliable

2022 BMW X3 parked on a large lot
2022 BMW X3 | BMW

At J.D. Power, the X3 achieves a “great” score for quality and reliability with a score of 85. Also, the spunky X3 gets a “great” score of 83 for the driving experience at J.D. Power, which is no surprise given that BMW badge on the huge grille and it’s best-selling status. Unfortunately, the Audi doesn’t even come close at J.D. Power. The Q5 scores only “fair” with a quality and reliability score of 69. Also, for the driving experience, it only garners an “average” rating of 71.

The quality and reliability scores at J.D. Power measure the number of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws in the vehicle as reported by owners. The scoring covers the whole vehicle, not just the engine.

iSeeCars agrees with J.D. Power about the reliability of the BMW X3

The interior of the 2022 BMW X3 SUV, which is a reliable luxury SUV.
2022 BMW X3 interior | BMW

iSeeCArs also rates cars and ranks the X3 as No. 2 on its list of the best luxury small SUVs. It gives the X3 a reliability score of 8.2 of 10.0.  The iSeeCars ranking generally jives with the J.D. Power reliability rating, and the Audi gets a score of 7.8 of 10.0. Interestingly, at iSeeCars, the hot-rod version of the Q5, the much more expensive SQ5, gets a poor reliability score of 4.9 of 10.0. The site has its own proprietary research methods.

At iSeeCArs the Acura RDX takes the top spot and has a reliability score of 8.2. However, it has a slightly better value retention score that earns it the top spot.

When it comes to repairs, expect more with the Audi

2022 Audi Q5 interior
2022 Audi Q5 interior | Audi

The updated Q5, at least according to the site RepairPal.com, gets an average reliability score of 3 of 5 stars, which ranks it 11th in its class. The average annual repair cost for the Audi is $928, and Audi Q5 owners take their vehicle to the shop more often than the average luxury SUV owner.

The X3, however, ranks just 10th in the luxury compact SUV class. It earns just 2.5 stars, but the reasoning is slightly different. While it goes to the shop less often than the Audi, according to RepairPal,  those repairs are more expensive, at $1,034 annually.  Also at RepairPal, the Acura RDX ranks highest for reliability.

Overall the X3 gets better reliability scores at rating agencies. However, as a member of a family that owns a Q5, from personal experience, it has been trouble-free or issues that we had were covered under its warranty.

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