Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC in the test

Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC in the test

Audi Q5 50 TDI Quattro, with its 286 horsepower and 620 Nm of torque, offers a balanced blend of power and efficiency. With an eco consumption of 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers, it showcases Audi’s commitment to reducing environmental impact. Additionally, it boasts a substantial trailer load capacity of 2.4 tons, making it suitable for various hauling needs. The spaciousness of the vehicle is evident in its 520–1,520-liter trunk, providing ample room for luggage and cargo.

Audi Q5 | AutoZubak

Reflecting on the evolution of the Audi Q5, one cannot help but appreciate its ability to stay relevant in an ever-changing automotive landscape. Since its debut in 2016, the Q5 has managed to maintain a sense of timelessness while incorporating modern elements. The 2020 facelift introduced three distinctive light signatures at the rear and an updated front grille, although some critics felt that the latter lacked character.

Another notable change was the transition from a rotary pushbutton to a touch layout for the infotainment system. However, this shift did not necessarily equate to improved usability, as the small touchscreen can be less intuitive to navigate compared to its competitors.

In terms of the user interface, the Audi Q5 falls slightly behind the X3 and GLC in terms of voice control and menu navigation. While the basic functions are efficiently regulated by Audi’s familiar and user-friendly interface, the overall communication experience may not be as seamless as its rivals.

Furthermore, the Audi Q5 offers a remarkable level of versatility. The rear seat is not only comfortable but also adjustable in multiple ways. It can be moved lengthways, the backrest angle can be varied, and it can even be folded in three parts. The ability to lock the seat in place adds to the overall sense of solidity that the Q5 exudes, showcasing Audi’s commitment to quality.

Despite not being the most youthful model in Audi’s lineup, the Q5 impresses with its sophistication, extending beyond just its impeccable craftsmanship to encompass a high level of comfort. The test car’s well-tuned air suspension (optional at an additional cost of 2,000 euros) enhances the driving experience by gliding over rough surfaces without any jostling or rumbling, although it exhibits a slight sway during cornering.

The Q5’s comfortable seats contribute to the overall sense of comfort, ensuring that passengers are not compromised even during the car’s more dynamic maneuvers. However, it’s important to note that the Q5 is not designed to be a thrilling performer on winding roads, despite the inclusion of the sport differential at the rear (optional at an additional cost of 1,350 euros) and dynamic steering at the front (optional at an additional cost of 1,000 euros).

Audi Q5 | 株式会社ヤナセ

The car lacks the necessary feedback and responsiveness to truly captivate in such scenarios. That being said, the Q5 handles its weight of 2,050 kg with ease and offers unobtrusive acceleration while maintaining a high level of driving safety.

Its true enjoyment lies in long journeys, where the gentle hesitation during initial acceleration doesn’t hinder the power delivery of its three-liter diesel engine. The only drawback could be the relatively higher fuel consumption resulting from the combination of the torque-boosting TDI engine and the cleverly converting eight-speed automatic transmission.

The spaciousness of the Q5 is another noteworthy aspect, but it comes at a considerable price. With a price tag of almost 80 thousand, the Q5’s grandeur in terms of progress and features is surpassed only by its cost. Whether it’s truly worth the investment is a decision that requires careful consideration.

BMW X3: The joy series


Hans Dieter Seufert

The BMW X3 xDrive 30D is a high-performance SUV with a powerful engine, impressive torque, and various features designed to provide a luxurious driving experience. It boasts 286 horsepower and 650 Newton meters of torque, allowing for exhilarating acceleration and performance on the road. The eco-consumption is rated at 6.2 liters per 100 kilometers, indicating its fuel efficiency. It can also handle a trailer load of up to 2.4 tons, making it suitable for towing purposes. In terms of storage capacity, the X3 offers a spacious trunk ranging from 550 to 1,600 liters, providing ample room for cargo.

The pricing for the BMW X3 xDrive 30D starts at 65,900 euros, reflecting its premium status in the market. The brand value associated with BMW suggests that owning and driving an X3 should feel significantly more valuable than driving a more affordable vehicle like the Dacia Sandero.

This perception is not simply based on the car’s functionality, but rather on the driving experience it delivers. BMW aims to create a premium promise, wherein the driving experience of a BMW should be distinct and unique compared to other vehicles. This is emphasized by referring to the introduction of front-wheel-drive models, which might deviate from the typical BMW feel.

The current X3 model has been considered the benchmark among mid-range SUVs for the past five and a half years. Despite its age, it still incorporates traditional features such as a rotary pusher and a multitude of switches and buttons. While the voice control may have minor communication issues, the focus is now on the new inline six-cylinder engine.

This engine incorporates an 8 kW generator for a 48V mild hybrid system, which enhances performance during low-speed situations before the twin-scroll charger kicks in. The hybrid system also provides power to the vehicle’s electrical system when the engine is idle during the coasting phases. The smooth operation of the ZF automatic transmission with its eight gears further enhances the overall driving experience, making the X3 feel even more engaging and dynamic, especially considering its fuel efficiency of 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers in the test.

When it comes to handling, the X3 offers precise and responsive steering, allowing for seamless control and providing feedback to the driver. The chassis has been specifically tuned to balance dynamics and comfort, resulting in a consistent driving experience. However, during dynamic tests, such as slalom and lane changes, the X3 falls slightly behind expectations despite being equipped with 20-inch mixed tires, adaptive dampers, and the M-Sport package.

Nevertheless, on country roads, the X3 excels in terms of handling, combining precise steering, excellent chassis connectivity, and the intelligent torque distribution of its all-wheel drive system. In Sport mode, the torque bias is slightly shifted towards the rear wheels, enhancing acceleration and adding a touch of excitement by slightly embellishing the rear-end behavior. This reinforces the notion that driving a BMW is a unique and pleasurable experience.

Comfort is another aspect that the X3 delivers. The chassis is designed to smoothly absorb small bumps, while effectively communicating medium and rough ones to the driver, offering a balance between comfort and road feedback. The driver’s position is elevated at 66 centimeters, providing a commanding view of the road, and the sports seats are ergonomically designed and supportive.

The rear seating area may not be as spacious as some competitors, but the three-part folding bench with an adjustable backrest compensates for this limitation. The X3 offers a wide range of optional extras, which can significantly increase the overall cost of the vehicle, as the evaluated sum of extras, in this case, is approximately 10,000 euros above the base price.

Ultimately, the BMW X3 xDrive 30D aims to fulfill its premium promise by delivering a distinctive driving experience characterized by performance, handling, and comfort. The combination of power, precision, and luxury features makes the X3 a competitive choice in the mid-range SUV market. However, the final judgment regarding whether the X3 lives up to its promises and surpasses its rivals remains subjective and requires further evaluation.

Mercedes GLC: More ‘cedes is not possible

Mercedes GLC

Hans Dieter Seufert

The Mercedes GLC 300 D 4MATIC is a powerful and well-designed car that showcases the best of Mercedes’ engineering prowess. It combines advanced features with practical functionality, offering a spacious interior comparable to the luxurious Audi Q5. The GLC provides convenient entry and loading options, with a foldable bench and a large storage area in the trunk. It also incorporates voice assistance, which is generally easy to use, although some precision is required when interacting with the touch-sensitive areas on the steering wheel.

In many aspects, the GLC excels. It boasts top-notch assistance systems that provide seamless support without being intrusive. Its LED projector headlights provide excellent visibility, illuminating the road and displaying lane guidance and warning symbols. The GLC’s driving experience is enhanced by its superior drive and chassis qualities. The car features a four-link front and multi-link rear axle, and the test model includes air suspension and all-wheel steering with a technology package.

The GLC’s ride comfort is comparable to the Audi Q5, though with a slightly different characteristic. It maintains a high level of comfort while effectively controlling body movements and providing a sense of bumps on the chassis. The characteristic curves of the GLC’s handling are well-tuned, allowing for sporty driving without sacrificing comfort even on uneven roads. Overall, the GLC demonstrates exceptional handling capabilities.

While it may not have the razor-sharp responsiveness of the BMW X3, the GLC achieves a similarly high level of smoothness. Its precise steering offers excellent feedback, response, and manual torque, enabling effortless cornering. At speeds up to 60 km/h, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels (up to 4.5 degrees), providing maneuverability in tight corners. Above 60 km/h, the rear wheels turn in the same direction to enhance track stability. Even during quick maneuvers on highways, the GLC remains highly confident.

The GLC’s driving dynamics are evident in performance tests such as slalom and lane change. While the Audi Q5 may be faster in these tests, it should be noted that it was equipped with 21-inch wheels and a lower profile tire (40 cross-sections) compared to the GLC’s narrower 19-inch wheels with a higher profile (55 and 50 cross-sections). Nevertheless, the GLC delivers both safety and excitement in equal measure.

Under the hood, the diesel engine may feel slightly less prominent. The four-cylinder engine produces a slightly more robust sound and exhibits a somewhat subdued temperament. However, specific modifications were made for the GLC’s use. The OM 654 engine received a two-millimeter lift and an increased injection pressure of 2,700 bar. Both turbochargers now feature variable geometry.

The most powerful mild hybrid electric powertrain in the GLC operates in conjunction with the four-cylinder engine. Integrated into the nine-speed automatic transmission, the electric generator provides an additional 17 kW and 200 Nm of torque. This ensures seamless acceleration, even from a standstill. The electric motor also assists during intermittent acceleration, while the hybrid battery powers the vehicle’s electrical system during coasting.

These enhancements improve efficiency, along with reduced friction losses in the lighter four-wheel drive system, which now distributes torque more flexibly. In the test, the GLC 300 D achieved fuel consumption of 7.3 liters per 100 kilometers, which is one liter less than the Q5 and half a liter less than the X3.

There are a couple of noteworthy details to mention about the GLC. Firstly, the air conditioning system offers a “discreet scenting experience,” raising questions about the availability of a more intrusive scent option. Secondly, Mercedes provides an optional “technical underrun protection” for a cost of 511.70 euros. This suggests that the standard protection may be primarily for aesthetic purposes.

In conclusion, the Mercedes GLC stands out without the need for flashy displays. It outperforms its competitors, securing a well-deserved first place. Mercedes can confidently acknowledge the achievements of its esteemed premium rivals, Audi and BMW, who take second and third place respectively.

Technical specifications

Audi Q5 50 TDI Quattro Advanced BMW X3 xDrive30d M sports package Mercedes GLC 300d 4Matic
basic price €61,550 €70,600 €70,680
external dimensions 4682x1893x1662mm 4708x1891x1676mm 4716x1890x1640mm
trunk volume 520 to 1520L 550 to 1600L 550 to 1600L
displacement/engine 2967 cm³ / 6 cylinder 2993 cc / 6 cylinder 1993 cc / 4 cylinder
Performance 210 kW / 286 hp at 3500 pm 210 kW / 286 hp at 4000 rpm 198 kW / 269 hp at 4200 rpm
top speed 240km/h 245km/h 150 mph
0-100km/h 5.9s 5.6s 6.0s
consumption 8.1L/100km 6.1L/100km 5.6L/100km
test consumption 8.3L/100km 7.9L/100km 7.3L/100km

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