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Used test: Audi Q7 vs BMW X5: costs

By buying used you can have either of these great luxury SUVs for a fraction of the price you'd pay new. But which car is the best choice?...

Audi Q7 rear

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

Bought new, the Audi Q7 was the cheaper car by around £1700. Now, at four years old, that advantage has grown to around £5000. Both cars have good residual values, but the BMW X5 may be holding on to its value a little better at the moment because it's still the current model. It was freshly launched in 2018, whereas the Q7 we're testing is a pre-facelift version (the Q7 range was updated in 2019).

Officially, the X5 is more economical (37.2mpg versus 33.2mpg on average, according to the latest WLTP figures), but we found that there was barely any difference between the two cars in our True MPG tests. There’s little in it for insurance costs, either, but the Q7’s servicing costs are almost half those of the X5.

BMW X5 rear

This latest version of the X5 didn’t feature in our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, but the previous-generation car managed an excellent third place in the luxury SUV class, while the Q7 finished in second place. Audi as a brand finished in 18th place out of 30 manufacturers, while BMW was placed in 13th place in the same survey. 

Both cars are lavishly equipped and come with the essential (in our view) automatic emergency braking (AEB). Other active safety aids, such as lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control, cost extra when the cars were new, so you might struggle to find used examples with them fitted.

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