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Used test: Audi Q7 vs BMW X7

Buy either the Audi Q7 or BMW X7 at three years old and you'll save more than £14,000. But which one should you go for? We have the answer...

Audi Q7 vs BMW X7

The Contenders

Audi Q7 50 TDI Vorsprung

List price when new £80,915
Price today £49,000*
Available from 2015-present

Is our favourite used luxury SUV still the king in its top-spec Vorsprung trim?

BMW X7 xDrive30d M Sport 

List price when new £74,815
Price today £55,000*
Available from 2019-present

The X7 has more luxury, more space and more tech than any other seven-seater.

*Price today is based on a 2019 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

The US is known for its love of excess and it appears us Brits have followed suit. There are more large and luxurious SUVs on the UK market than ever before, with the BMW X7 and Audi Q7 being but two of them. 

To be fair, the Q7 has been around for a while. The first generation arrived for the 2006 model year, while the current model took over in 2015. This latest one is a class leader, too, thanks to impressive refinement, equipment and practicality. 

Audi Q7

The X7 is a more recent creation, having only been on sale since 2019, and it looks to have not only called the Q7's bet, but raised it. It has brash styling and and a lavish interior that simply radiates opulence. 

Is it style over substance, though? We're about to find out – and also save you money. By opting for a three-year-old example of either, the pair come in at around £20,000 less than what they cost when new. You can thank us later. 


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

On paper, the Q7 and X7 are pretty evenly matched. Both weigh more than two tonnes, are powered by a six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel engine and use an eight-speed automatic gearbox. So you can imagine our surprise when the Q7 clocked a 0-60mph time of just 6.3sec, versus a still respectable but less exciting 7.5sec from the X7.

However, you don’t buy one of these cars for the traffic light grand prix. You buy one for effortless motoring, and that’s where the X7 carves out an early lead. Put your foot down at the same time in both cars and you’ll find that the X7’s gearbox is quicker to react, shuffling down a handful of ratios in an instant and enabling the car to surge forward. The Q7’s, meanwhile, is slow-witted and dithers for a second or two before choosing a gear – hugely frustrating if you want to pounce on a gap in the traffic.


While the Q7 accelerates with more force, it’s also more vocal. The X7’s engine, on the other hand, is practically silent at a cruise, as well as being noticeably better at isolating you from its vibration. Factor in minimal wind noise and virtually no road noise (the Q7’s colossal 22in wheels create a bit of a roar) and the X7 is an ideal long-distance tourer. 

But what if you drive more on British country roads than French autoroutes? Well, there’s no hiding the fact that the X7 is a fair bit bigger than the Q7, so it’s harder to place in town and on tight B-roads. And whereas the Q7 seems to shrink around you when you drive spiritedly, with its more accurate steering and tighter body control, the X7 always feels a little wallowy and top-heavy. We know handling isn’t a priority for most in this market, but it’s worth noting that the X7 isn’t the ‘ultimate driving machine’ you might be expecting.

At lower speeds, there’s little to separate the two cars. Even on the Vorsprung’s 22in wheels, the Audi Q7 delivers a relatively smooth and comfortable ride along most urban roads, although cheaper trim levels with their smaller rims are comfier still.

The BMW X7 isn’t all that far behind; potholes and the like send small but noticeable shivers through its body, but its suspension conducts its business in a quieter manner than the Q7’s. The two are similarly smooth on the motorway, and overall among the most comfortable luxury SUVs.