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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 5-door suv body style within the same 'SUV' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (rear for the BMW and 4 x 4 in the case of the Audi). The first one has a BMW-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 184hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 180hp engine designed by Volkswagen.Safety
The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the suv segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, Audi Q3 offers a marginal difference of 4% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, at least on all of the models level. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of BMW, as well as Audi, with the same average rating of 4.2 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed X1 as average reliability-wise, and Q3 is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as BMW X1 rank it on average as 3.5, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 5.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 220 kilometers per hour, 3km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 6.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42 mpg), in combined cycle.
Audi appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, Audi Q3 offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the Audi. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.