Side-By-Side Luxury SUV Comparison

BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5 vs. Mercedes GLC-300

Head-to-Head Luxury SUV Comparison


Audi Q5

Mercedes-Benz GLC

  • BMW X3. 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 248 horsepower/258 lb-ft torque (xDrive30i), or 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 355 horsepower/369 lb-ft of torque (xDriveM40i). Standard AWD.
  • Audi Q5 . 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (2.0T Quattro). Standard AWD.
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (GLC 300). Standard RWD, available AWD
  • Why Buy?Newest compact luxury utility on the market, standard xDrive AWD, best cargo volume of the three, driving dynamics similar to old-school BMW sport sedans, excellent ground clearance.
  • Why Buy?All-new, competitive efficiency with standard all-wheel drive, class-topping cargo, standard safety/luxury amenities.
  • Why Buy?Prestigious, lavish in ride quality and technology, dynamic handler, interior space.
  • Why Not? Difference in power between 30i and M40i might make choosing difficult, variable ratio steering imprecise at times.
  • Why Not?Difficult LATCH anchors impede securing car seats, cup holder location can be awkward.
  • Why Not?Infotainment system bugs, exterior design doesn't stand out like competitors, highest price.

Compare the New BMW X3 to the Competition

If you're shopping for a new luxury compact SUV close to home in the Monterey area, you need to check out the new BMW X3. The first thing you have to tackle when shopping for a new BMW SAV, is to find the right fit for your lifestyle and budget needs. We know how time consuming this can be, so we're here to help make the process easier for you. We've taken the BMW X3 and pit it against some popular competitors to show you exactly why you should choose the BMW X3, over the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

Still having trouble deciding on a vehicle? If you're the more value-oriented type, maybe even the class-leading pricing of the X3 might not sway you-but perhaps one of our BMW incentives might! Take a look, and see what you find.

If you're ready to take the X3, or another model available at our BMW dealership in Seaside, CA, we can get you acquainted. Take some time to fill out our credit application, or contact us by phone, email, or live chat and we can schedule your appointment. We'll break down all the important points you look to when shopping in Salinas, so you don't have to spend all of your time comparing and shopping around.

BMW X3 vs. Audi Q5


  • The BMW X3 has an MSRP of $41,000, while the Audi Q5 comes in at just above that with an MSRP of $41,500.
  • While this may seem like a small jump in price, you have to consider the extras and trim level climbing you'll have to do with the Q5 to get everything you want. The BMW X3 offers numerous standard features and amenities to please, even at the base level.


  • To start, the BMW X3 outshines the Audi Q5 when it comes to fuel economy when you compare the standard four-cylinder engines.
  • You'll also love how athletic and nimble your X3 is, especially when you consider the less-than-thrilling steering response and feel from the Audi Q5. There's no comparison when it comes to on-road driving feel in your new BMW X3.

Engine Options

  • The standard engine on your BMW X3 is a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, though there is an available 355-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine that can carry you from zero to sixty in less than five seconds.
  • The upgraded Audi Q5 V6 engine offers less horsepower, and a less engaging drive for your life in Watsonville.

Safety Technology

  • Standard features on your new BMW X3 include a rearview backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and even traffic sign recognition technology.
  • The Audi Q5 falls short when it comes to standard features, only offering a rearview camera, Audi Pre Sense Basic and Audi Pre Sense City. These features offer forward collision warning, pedestrian warning and pre-collision braking. You'll have to pay extra to get the safety tech you want on your Audi Q5.

Interior Features

  • Both seat five, but you'll love how spacious and comfortable the BMW X3 is. With class-leading cargo space, nearly 29 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 63 cubic feet with the second row folded, you'll have room for anything and everything you could need. The Audi Q5 only offers 26.8 cubic feet behind the second row of seats, and a maximum of 56.5 cubic feet with those folded down.
  • The Audi Q5 also falls short on passenger space, with the second row leaving your passengers feeling cramped, especially in the middle.


  • Another area the Audi Q5 falls short is the infotainment system. Compare it to the BMW X3's iDrive infotainment system and it's beautiful 6.5-inch touchscreen and you'll see the clear winner.
  • Standard features on the BMW X3 include Bluetooth, a USB port, 12-speaker sound system, and more. The Audi Q5 still doesn't offer a touchscreen, and requires you to use a difficult touchpad.

BMW X3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLC-300


  • The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class has an MSRP of $40,050 and the BMW X3 has an MSRP of $41,000.
  • Though the Mercedes-Benz is less, don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that it's the better deal. It's easy to see that number climb when you look at the available trim levels and options packages.


  • The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is designed to be a comfortable cruiser, and while it does just that, it lacks the energetic and engaging performance of the BMW X3.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class gets about average fuel economy for the luxury compact SUV class, but the BMW X3 beats the GLC-Class when it comes to highway mpg.

Engine Options

  • The BMW offers a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine standard, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class offers a weaker 241-horsepower four-cylinder standard.
  • Available on the BMW X3 is a 355-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder. The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class offers a V6 with 362-horsepower, but you have to pay a pretty penny for the AMG nametag that it requires.

Safety Technology

  • Both feature a rearview backup camera, forward collision warning, and driver drowsiness monitoring standard.
  • The BMW X3 also offers automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition standard. You'll have to pay extra for the features of the BMW X3 on your new Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

Interior Features

  • Both rows of seating on the BMW X3 offer comfortable and spacious room for all your friends and family. The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class offers comfortable seating in the front, though the rear row can be cramped for long journeys.
  • The BMW X3 offers 29 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, the GLC-Class only offers 17 cubic feet. With the rear row of seats folded, the X3 offers a spacious 63 cubic feet, where the GLC-Class only holds 56 cubic feet.


  • The BMW X3 offers the iDrive infotainment system standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class offers an infotainment system, but it lacks a touchscreen and requires using a confusing knob and touchpad to operate. You'll love how simple and intuitive the iDrive infotainment system is for life in Santa Cruz.

See Which Luxury SUV Comes Out On Top

Compact utility vehicles like the all-new 2018 BMW X3 are among the most popular in the industry, so it goes without saying that every mainstream and luxury automaker out there offers one. But where the X3 offers the blend of performance, handling, technology, and comfort that only an Ultimate Driving Machine can boast, alongside other offerings like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, making a decision that's true to you can be a bit more challenging.


However, helping our Salinas, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Watsonville, CA customers find the vehicle they want on their terms is an every-day occasion at our dealership, and we know that sometimes the best way to choose is to compare models side-by-side. Take some time to read over our run down of the BMW X3 vs. the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and your prospects will become clearer.


Luxury SUVs At a Glance

Like the X3, both the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class are compact luxury crossovers competing in the automotive industry's most competitive segments. So, as one might guess, all three have been required to bring their best to bear to remain relevant. In fact, these three models bring so much of their A-game to the table, it almost comes down to a matter of taste. Almost. In a few key areas, the X3 makes itself known as the smartest pick.

One example is cargo volume-an area any compact utility must excel. With 62.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, the 2018 X3 trounces the 60.1 cu-ft of the Q5, and the 56.6 cu-ft of the GLC-Class. But where that might fool you into thinking the X3 as the most utilitarian of the pack, think again. Even without M Performance touches, the BMW is the most fun-to-drive, the most powerful, and comes with the most choices.

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BMW of Monterey

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