Comparo: BMW X5 xDrive40e Versus Audi Q7 e-tron

MAR 18 2015 BY STAFF 32

Audi Q7 e tron Versus BMW X5 xDrive40e

Audi Q7 e tron Versus BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW just took the wrapping off of its newest X5 for the whole world to see; the BMW X5 xDrive40e, the very first plug-in hybrid X5. It’s truly remarkable, what BMW’s been able to do with this X5. With a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a synchronous electric motor, combining to make 309 hp, can surge the X5 hybrid to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and get around 70 mpg. It can also run in pure electric mode for 19 miles and hit up to 75 mph.

Editor’s note: BMW USA just released us specs/trims for the X5 xdrive40e (full details here).  For America the plug-in SUV is rated at 55 MPGe, with an all-electric EPA estimated range of 13 miles.  The electric BMW arrives in us showrooms this fall.

Mighty impressive stats, and promising for the future of the brand. BMW says it would like to make a plug-in hybrid version of each of its cars in the future. If that’s the case, the X5 xDrive40e is a good place to start.

audi q7 e tron bmw x5 750x208 BMW X5 xDrive40e vs. Audi Q7 e tron

Audi Q7 e tron Versus BMW X5 xDrive40e

In Ingolstadt, it seems a contender is in the works. Audi is creating its own plug-in hybrid SUV in the Q7 e-tron. However, the e-tron has a bit of a twist on the formula as it uses a diesel (gas in U.S. and China) engine to pair with the electric motor. A 3.0 turbo-diesel V6 will pair with the electric motor to create a combined power rating of 373 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Or enough to pull planets out of orbit if need be.

*Editor’s Note: This post also appears on BMWBLOG. Check it out here.

It also gets a claimed 138 mpg and can do 34 miles on just the batteries alone. According to Audi, when combined with the engine and fully charged battery, the Q7 e-tron can get 876 miles to a single tank. Impressive numbers indeed.

bmw x5 xdrive40e audi q7 e tron 750x206 BMW X5 xDrive40e vs. Audi Q7 e tron

Audi Q7 e tron Versus BMW X5 xDrive40e

It’s tough to say which will be better. Obviously we won’t know until both are driven, but it’s going to be close. The X5 is a genuinely impressive machine, with a stat sheet that hurts the brain because of the sheer amount of impressive numbers. On the flip side, the Q7 e-tron’s use of a diesel engine optimizes the performance and efficiency of the powertrain.

It’s going to be very interesting, in the coming months, to see which is superior. Will BMW’s knowledge gained from the i8 deliver a superior product? Is the V6 diesel from Audi a better choice? BMW seems to be the best at plug-in hybrid technology at the moment, but only hands-on drives will be able to determine the victor.

Regardless, though, the future looks bright.

Categories: Audi, BMW

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32 Comments on "Comparo: BMW X5 xDrive40e Versus Audi Q7 e-tron"

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Sounds like Audi will have double the EV range, so it is the clear winner IMO.

IMO, the Audi is more aesthetically pleasing.

I don’t find either particularly appealing. The Audi has the edge on appearance, but not much of an edge.

Almost triple. BMW EPA is 13 miles….

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is half price and i like it more with CHAdeMO.

The Outlander PHEV will probably get twice the electric miles as well.

I also like the Outlander’s two motor design that lets you go off-road in all electric mode. So far, Outlander is the only PHEV SUV that has such a design. From what I can tell, Volvo, BMW, and Audi use single motor designs and the IC engines need to be on for 4WD/AWD mode.

“..Sheer amount of impressive numbers.”

The small battery and EV range in the BMW are not impressive numbers.

My sentiment exactly, but even the facts conflict on EV range. See I’m so suprised InsideEVs would even publish this article. The author tries to suggest a comparison, despite obvious bias for the BMW. Yet straight comparisons:
EV Range BMW 13, Audi 34
Power BMW 309, Audi 373
MPG BMW 55, Audi 138
Sorry BMWBLOG, what at poor attempt at trying to save face.

Yeah, some of the BMWBLOG pieces are factually interesting and worthwhile re-posting , but InsideEVs posts all too many of the puff pieces, which can’t say anything negative about BMW vs. a competitor. This is unfortunately one of the latter.

10 extra miles, of extremely useful range, give Audi the knod, if not the TDI.

17-18kwh get to a $$ minimum threshold of “worth it” gas savings, metrics I hope Audi is beginning to appreciate the appeal of.

Yesterday’s headline, which is still up on top of this page says “13 miles EV range and 55MPGe.

Which is it? seems optimistic and enthusiastic, gushing over the specs of a gas SUV that will cost in the $60,000 range that will get you what sounds about 10-13 miles on electricity.

Not so exciting or amazing.

I just added in a note reflecting the just released us numbers at the top of the story.

We published out the US story immediately when the data was released yesterday evening – while this story was already queued for today just before then.

The numbers in the article reflect euro NEDC metrics…which are wildly optimistic. No US numbers yet for the Audi, but it looks to get 2-3 more miles of all EV range when it does get a number.

The PHEV X5 gets “around 70 mpg,” and the Q7 e-Tron gets a “claimed 138 mpg”!!! Really? Does the Volt still get 230 mpg?

MPG ve MPGe, very different, I suspect there are Volts that comfortably get 230 MPG.

Test cycles are only for comparison and do not match reality, especially the EU test cycle with a car that can do 0-60 km in 6.8 sec. The EU test cycle is 25 km long and requires the vehicle to accelerate at a rate that a car in the 1970’s could achieve.

My Volt used 2 gallons of gas in the last 500 miles. So, it is 250MPG and higher than the posted 230mpg.

So, yes, it gets more than 230MPG.

And NO, Volt doesn’t get 230MPGe.

The most welcome news is that these two new plug-in entries have conventional styling.

You mean conventional bad aerodynamics?

Yes, conventional boring styling. The Outlander’s styling is conventional but not boring at all!

They should only be allowed to provide “discharged” mpg — what you’d get if you drove 1000 miles without plugging in. And then of course provide the all-electric range. The combined numbers are meaningless.

Stop it! You’re making too much sense.

Honestly, the new Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV looks to be the best of the big PHEV luxury SUV offerings arriving late this year. None will likely have great electric range (as we see with the X5’s paltry 13 miles). Still, even this small range does have the potential to double the average MPG of this big rides…no other traditional ICE advancement does that.

The XC90 T8 PHEV probably has a better architecture to achieve a higher electric drive efficiency too. I believe that it uses an “electric prop shaft” which means that it is a through the road hybrid. An independent electric motor drives the rear wheels while the ICE can only drive the front wheels. The two German cars in this story both use a single electric motor between the engine and transmission, with the ability to decouple the ICE and run the electric motor without the friction of turning the ICE. However, it also means that the Germans always have the friction drag of the AWD system.

Ah, I did not know that. That’s a good way to use one motor and get all electric 4WD/AWD. Still, I think Mitsubishi has the better system with it’s dual motor AWD system. No frictional losses that will most likely deplete the battery faster.

Diesel for EU is actually pretty good. Around 70-90% of the expensive cars sold in germany are diesel versions. So adding a diesel PHEV means a lot people will buy the PHEV-Version. And more influent people (they drive high costly cars, so chance is high they work for car producer rather than cleaning service) will soon want more AER! Cool.

“BMW seems to be the best at plug-in hybrid technology at the moment”


This ‘article’ reads more as an advertisement.

Must be one of those Native Ads we’ve heard about lately…

Point of clarification: I’m not accusing InsideEVs of native advertising, but rather, being the victims of it since BMW probably set this up for other publications to use as Native Advertising. 🙂

Thanks for the added note Scramjett, (=

We are friends with BMWBlog and they do a lot more specific coverage of BMW products such as the (unfortunately named) X50 xDRIVE40e, so when they do…we like to pass it along.

They are obviously more distinctly pro-BMW as that is what they do/all they cover (which is why we note the source of the story in our copy).

Yes, no problem. After I posted that, thought about it and realized it my come off as an accusation which was not the intent. (=

Yes, that is a mouthful to say!

I do appreciate that InsideEVs (and you specifically) go to great lengths to identify the originator of these types of posts. 🙂

As much as I welcome any new entrant to the plug-club I really think BMW will struggle with this one. The PiP was able to succeed because it had no other competition (IMO the volt and the Fords are a very different customer to the PiP buyer).

Maybe this car will sell very well with people who were going to buy an X5 anyway but, in the end, when this car has to compete with the Porsche, Mitsu, Audi, Volvo and Model X, I think it will be a hard sell.

I am completely bi-polar with some of these PHEV’s, part of me screams:

“YES! one less fat chugging boat floating through our cities on a sea of its own filth”

but then the other half screams:

“NO! in a car that big and expensive why not put more batteries in and do it properly”

Hopefully the market will make the right choice and we will see bigger packs coming in pretty quickly. I think I would still have this car now than one with a 20 kWh pack in 2019…. 2020…. 2021…..

BTW, I’d have the i3 over this or the i8