Germany is worldwidely known for its culture, its food and many more things, and one of those is the rivalry between its car brands. Three of the biggest companies in the country have a cold rivalry for producing the car that will beat the other rivals. From small cars to sportscars and from estatewagons to SUVs, any model made by one of these brands, will have a rival in the two others. So today, we are going to analyze, compare and get conclusions from the models of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the SUV Coupé segment.
Beginning with BMW, we have the X4. Its production began in 2014 being this model the first to be made of the segment. Mercedes presented the GLC in 2016, a medium-sized SUV, with a coupe chassis known as GLC Coupé C253. Last but not least, Audi offers the Q5, which was presented in 2008 but will not see its coupe variant until later this year, which will be more aggressive and dynamic to cover that “hole” in the segment by the Ingolstadt’s brand.
We will be comparing the car’s size, the available engines, the in-car entertainment system, the fuel consumption, the exterior design and the optional features.
The BMW X4 2019 is 4.74 meters long, 1.91 wide and 1.62 high. Its size is bigger in almost every aspect compared to its rivals. The size is reflected in a comfortable cabin, with a high roof, room for 5 people and a 525-litre trunk. The X4 has 5 available engines, 3 petrol powered and 2 diesel powered. The petrol engines have 184 horsepower, 252 horsepower and 360 horsepower with respective fuel consumption of 6.8 L/100km in the 184 and 252 horsepower engines and 7.9 L/100km in the 360 horsepower engine, the X4 M40i. While the diesel motors are available with 190 or 326 horsepower, these consume 5 L/100km and 6.3 L/100km respectively. Please note that these two engines have ‘Mild Hybrid’ technology which give 11 extra horsepower to the engine. The in-car entertainment system is acceptable, with a simple software and a touchscreen. Although it is by far worse than Audi’s or Mercedes’s ones. BMW offers a automatic transmission but when opting for the 326 or 360 horsepower engines you get shift paddles too.
Now, talking about the exterior, we have a classic BMW grille with the vertical spokes. The air intakes next to the front bumper don’t seem to have found their place in the car design the same as the front kip, which, from our point of view, its reduce sportiness and tries to make the car look more like an off-road when this isn’t its function. In the rear of the car that “spoiler” really pops out. This is what makes the car mostly a SUV Coupé instead of a common SUV. This part is also to be found on its “older brother”, the BMW X6.
From our point of view, one of the worst aspects of the exterior is the line that crosses under the logo and the lights. Yet to complete analyzing the exterior, let’s talk about the exhaust pipes. BMW’s selection is full with sporty, aggressive and young designs in comparison to Mercedes and Audi. By this proportional relation, it should have big and sporty exhaust pipes trims, well, it’s completely the opposite. In fact in doesn’t even have an exhaust pipe trim.
An addition to the comparison is the fact that BMW does sell separate car pieces from its sportsline M, after buying the car. Something that does distinguish them from their rivals.
Now, let’s talk about the Audi Q5. Its size is a bit smaller that the X4, as it is 4’65 meters long, 1’89 meters wide and 1’66 meters high. In comparison to the BMW X4, the cabin is higher and there is also room for 5 people although the mid seat is roughly comfortable. The trunk is 465 litres due to the fact that the Q5 isn’t a coupe, but we are looking forward to seeing the arrival of the Audi Q5 Sportback at the end of the year, which will clearly be a rival to the X4 and the GLC Coupé.
Audi offers us 3 diesel engines and one petrol engine. On the one hand we have two diesel engines which both have 163 horsepower, while one of them has ‘quattro’ drive, the other one has front-wheel drive. This is reflected in the fuel consumption, the front-wheel drive consumes 5.8 L/100km and the ‘quattro’ consumes 7.4 L/100km. The other diesel engine has 204 horsepower and its consumes 6.8 L/100km. On the other hand we have petrol engine also known as TFSI which has 245 horsepower and consumes 8.8 L/100km, this engine allows the car to do the 0-100 km/h run in 6.4 seconds. The gasoline engine and the 163 horsepower diesel front-wheel drive engine have ‘Mild Hybrid’ technology, which allows the ECO label to be worn. The 7-speed ‘S Tronic’ automatic transmission is IT. The Q5’s in-car entertainment system is not the most modern in the Audi selection as it does not have a dual touch screen or digital speedometer.
Now let’s jump outside; The updated grille with a hexagonal figure and new headlights give it a sportier and more attractive appearance compared to the previous model that featured very round curves. Unlike the BMW X4, the front lip offers a more simple off-road look that matches the purpose of the vehicle. On each side, stands out that aggressive line that crosses the entire side from the rear headlight to the front headlight which makes the car seem more “compact”. The rear has fake exhaust pipe trims, a very negative aspect in our opinion and that happens in more models in the latest Audi range. To complete the Audi Q5, it is important to take note of the wide range of materials available for the inside and colors on the outside that Audi offers us compared to BMW and Mercedes.
Mercedes presented us the GLC Coupé in 2015, a model somewhat more sporty and aggressive than its rivals, so let’s check it out. 4.73 meters long, 1.89 wide and 1.6 tall, it is smaller than its competitors, except that it is somewhat longer than the Audi Q5. Its comfortable cabin, with room for 5 people and a 500-liter boot brings with it an excellent in-car entertainment system. Its leather seats come basic, something that does not happen with the X4 or the Q5. Mercedes offers 3 diesel engines and 2 petrol engines. The diesels start at 163 horsepower and go up to 245 horsepower. The fuel consumption starts at 5.9 L / 100km on the 163 and 194 horsepower engines while on the 245HP the fuel consumption is 6.4 L / 100km. The gasoline engines have 211 and 272 horsepower. This is due to both having integrated ‘Mild Hybrid’ technology and that is reflected in a consumption of 8.2 L / 100km. A 9-speed automatic gearbox without shift paddles is IT.
Speaking of the exterior, mention that the standard grille is the same as the rest of Mercedes’s range, but its front lip that stands out for its size and gives it an off-road look. The doors are quite large and a slightly more discreet line crosses them than that of the Q5 or X4, which reaches the fuel inlet. The rear has headlights with an aluminum line on top, which, in our opinion, does not make the car more attractive, but rather it reduces its sportiness. The same happens on the GLE Coupé, its older brother. The exhaust pipes have mid-size trims, which are at least more acceptable than the ones of their competitors… but leave something to be desired. Finally, it’s necessary to indicate that the selection of tires is very wide compared to BMW or Audi. Despite the fact that the interior comes standard with leather seats, there is no other offer than two versions of AMG’s styling line and the basic package.
In this last section of the article we would like to compare prices and not general positive and negative aspects of each model to draw conclusions.
The cheapest car is the Audi Q5, which starts at 45,035 euros. It is our obligation to indicate that the Audi Q5 is not a coupe model but a SUV of segment 4, Although we will see the coupe version, the Q5 Sportback, arrive at the end of the year. Its size is smaller and therefore it has a smaller trunk but it maintains the size of the cabin. Its fuel consumption is higher than that of the Mercedes and the BMW. Keep in mind that we have decided not to mention the engines of the Audi S range as we have done with BMW with the M line and Mercedes with AMG.
The GLC Coupé starts at 54,775 euros and it’s exterior has definitely convinced us the most. With its somewhat less aggressive and round lines we would expect a less sporty design, but it is completely the opposite, the real trims and the face-lift it looks really sporty. Its consumption is acceptable although it is still higher than that of the BMW.
Finally, the BMW X4 series costs 55,000 euros.On the one hand, it is the most expensive of all and it has the lowest consumption. If the 326 diesel or the 360 petrol engine is selected, shifter paddles comee basic. On the other hand, its exterior does not seem to meet expectations, and we could refer to it as a “higher version of the 4-Series “. The 360 and 326 horsepower engines have M line technology, while we have ruled out mentioning Audi’ S version that has a nearly 400 horsepower engine, and Mercedes’s 63s AMG version that has 510 horsepower.
We would like to finally mention the ‘Mild Hybrid’ technology which reduces fuel consumption and is featured in some engine options in all 3 of the cars we have compared.
Source: BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz