Audi vs. BMW: Luxury Vehicle Competitive Comparison at Audi Cincinnati East

Audi and BMW - perennial benchmarks in the automotive industry for their unique combinations of performance and luxury throughout their lineup of sedans, coupes, crossovers, and SUVs. On the surface, it may appear that these two German brands manufacture similar vehicles in each segment, but to help dispel that myth, we've done the research, examined the details, and assembled a side by side comparison of some of their most popular models so that you can better determine which brand delivers more for your money.

Audi A3 vs BMW 3 Series

Audi A3

2022 Audi A3


BMW 330i Sedan

2021 BMW 3 Series 330i

2022 Audi A3 40 TFSI quattro Premium PlusCompetitive Comparison2021 BMW 330i xDrive
$39,200 ✔MSRP$43,250
201Horsepower255 ✔
2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI® engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) systemPowertrain2.0L TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cyl.
Full LED Standard Headlamp TypeLED Standard
Standard ✔Heated Front SeatsOptional
Standard ✔Leather InteriorOptional
10.25 inches ✔Digital Instrument Cluster Size8.8 inches
Standard Panoramic ✔SunroofStandard 2-way

The Audi A3 is skipping the 2021 model year to allow Audi engineers to focus on the all-new 2022 model. In an effort to compare "apples to apples" in terms of trim level, we will compare the 2022 Audi A3 40 TFSI quattro Premium Plus with the 2021 BMW 330i xDrive Sedan. This trim level equips both sedans with similar drivetrains in terms of horsepower and all-wheel-drive capability. Now with the two vehicles lined up, side-by-side, let's explore the key differences between these two 'seemingly' equal competitors.

Starting with the largest difference, the A3 40 TFSI quattro Premium Plus holds a price advantage of more than $4,000 versus the BMW 330i xDrive. If you purchase the BMW, you will get more horsepower for your $4,050, but that is one of the few areas where the BMW out-classes the Audi A3 Sedan S Line® Premium Plus.

Looking at standard equipment found on the Audi A3 and BMW 330i, there are a variety of areas where Audi outshines BMW. Let's start with the fact the Audi A3 40 TFSI quattro Premium Plus includes leather interior as standard equipment - something you'll need to pay BMW an additional $1,450 to include on the 330i xDrive Sedan.

In addition, the Audi A3 40 TFSI quattro Premium Plus offers better tech. The standard 48 volt mild hybrid (MHEV) system makes the new A3 more fuel-efficient than ever, and the larger digital gauge cluster helps you to keep an eye on important systems at all times.

If you buy the Audi A3, you'll save thousands of dollars and get more standard equipment, like heated leather seats and a panoramic sunroof. If you buy the BMW, you'll spend over $4,000 more to get some additional horsepower and less of everything else. It's that simple.

Audi SQ5 vs BMW X5

Audi SQ5 Quattro

2021 Audi SQ5


BMW X5 xDrive40i

2021 BMW X5

2021 Audi SQ5 3.0T Premium Plus QuattroCompetitive Comparison2021 BMW X5 xDrive40i
$57,300 ✔MSRP$61,700
349/369 ✔Horsepower/Torque335/330
3.0L TFSI® turbocharged 6-cylinderDrivetrain3.0L BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder
Full LED Standard Headlamp TypeLED Standard
5.1 Seconds ✔0-60 MPH5.3 Seconds
Standard12.3-inch Digital Instrument ClusterStandard
Standard ✔Leather InteriorOptional
19.2 inches ✔Turning Radius20.6 inches
40.9 / 37.8 inches ✔Front/Rear Leg Room39.8 / 37.5 inches
Standard ✔Wireless Cell Phone ChargingOptional

Much like our previous match-up, in an effort to match driveline configuration and horsepower, we chose Audi's high-performing SQ5 to go head-to-head with the BMW X5. Each trim level comes standard with a similar powertrain, drivetrain, and 5-passenger capability. But while both luxury SUV's are powered by a 3.0L turbocharged V-6 engine with all-wheel drive, that's where the similarities end and the Audi begins to shine in terms of performance, standard equipment, and value.

The first noticeable contrasts between the SQ5 and X5 are pricing and performance. When comparing price tags, the Audi SQ5 will save you $4,400 versus the BMW X5. Although their drivetrains and powertrains are similar, Audi's SQ5 delivers 14 more horsepower and 39 lb-ft. more of torque than its competitor. This additional horsepower and torque translates to a quicker 0-60 straight-line acceleration time for the Audi SQ5 versus the BMW X5, while a smaller turning radius is additional evidence of the nimbleness of the Audi SQ5.

In addition to its performance and handling, the Audi also outshines the BMW in terms of interior appointments. The SQ5 delivers what you would expect in a $50,000+ luxury SUV - standard leather seating. If you want leather seating in your BMW X5, that will cost you an extra $1,450. Additionally, Audi's SQ5 has more legroom in its front and rear rows for drivers and passengers alike to stretch their legs.

Both vehicles also have sophisticated dashboards - each with standard technological features including smartphone integration and 12.3-inch Digital Instrument Clusters for displaying vital driving information. However, if you want a wireless charging pad for your smartphone, you'll need to add BMW's $1,050 convenience package to include that feature.

While the Audi SQ5 and BMW X5 may appear to be equals, a closer look reveals the Audi as the better option where it counts. To equip the BMW X5 with the same features that come standard on the Audi SQ5 such as leather seating and a phone charging pad, you're looking at a $7,000 difference in price. That's an extra $7,000 for a vehicle with less horsepower, less legroom, and slower acceleration than the Audi SQ5.

Audi Q7 vs BMW X7

Audi Q7 3.0T Premium Quattro

2021 Audi Q7


BMW X7 xDrive40i

2021 BMW X7 xDrive40i

2021 Audi Q7 55 TFSI Premium Plus QuattroCompetitive Comparison2021 BMW X7 xDrive40i
$63,800 ✔MSRP$74,900
335/369 ✔Horsepower/Torque335/330
5.7 Seconds ✔ Acceleration 0-60 MPH5.8 Seconds
7,700 pounds ✔Towing Capacity5,400 pounds
Full LED StandardHeadlampsLED Standard
Standard12.3-inch Digital Instrument ClusterStandard
Standard ✔Leather SeatingOptional
StandardWireless ChargingOptional
41.7/38.6/29.2 ✔Legroom (1st/2nd/3rd)(39.8/37.6/33.3)

Here, we see two full-size luxury SUVs that have a lot in common. Both the Audi Q7 and the BMW X7 xDrive 40i provide standard All-Wheel drive, 7-Passenger seating capacity, LED headlamps, as well as driver assistance and interior convenience features, but just from the above chart, you'll see there are some significant differences as well.

Let's start with the MSRP of each vehicle. Audi's Q7 Premium Plus has a MSRP that is $11,100 less than the BMW X7 xDrive40i. Though both SUVs have the exact same horsepower, Audi's Q7 delivers more torque, which translates to a small advantage in acceleration from 0-60, but a dramatic advantage in terms of towing between the two SUV's. The 2021 Audi Q7 can tow 2,300 more pounds than the 2021 BMW X7. Adding a $550 towing option increases the BMW X7's towing capacity to 7,200 pounds, which is still 500 pounds less than the Q7.

Day-to-day driving pleasure comes from more than just powertrain and towing specs however, and on the inside of each of these flagship SUV's you'll find the latest tech - including a 12.3-inch digital instrument screens and wireless cell phone charging. However, the BMW X7's lack of standard leather seating and limited legroom are both reasons to choose the Audi over the BMW.

So if you're looking for the 7-Passenger Luxury SUV with the best combination of performance, towing capability, interior room, and luxury appointments - while also saving yourself $10,000, the choice is clear - the 7-Passenger Audi Q7 Premium Plus SUV.

Audi Earns Top Safety Honors

Audi Earns Top Safety Honors

In addition to pioneering its legendary quattro® all-wheel-drive technology, Audi vehicles have earned a reputation as the safest vehicles out there. In fact, no fewer than 11 Audi models have received the coveted 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). BMW, by comparison, has received just six 5-star ratings for their 2021 model lineup. It's clear that Audi vehicles offer superior crash protection.

Q7 Exterior


Both Audi and BMW are known for their luxury vehicles, but Audi comes out as the superior brand for earning its trust in providing the best features for the greatest value. Where BMW expects you to spend more for less, Audi believes you should pay less for more. Visit Audi Cincinnati East where our well-trained professionals will take care of your every need while showing you even more benefits from choosing Audi over its competitors.