Comparison: BMW X5 LCI vs. Audi Q7 vs. Mercedes-Benz ML

BMW X5, Featured Posts | February 9th, 2010 by 42
q7 x5 ml heck 750x500

With the launch of the facelift for the BMW X5 (E70), it is also time to compare the revised design and engine line-up to its …

x5 q7 ml teaser 655x346

With the launch of the facelift for the BMW X5 (E70), it is also time to compare the revised design and engine line-up to its classic competitors from Ingolstadt and Stuttgart. While design can be quite subjective and usually based on personal preference, the technical details are the one that remain set in stone and help us differentiate between similar models.

So let’s begin first with the vehicle curb weight, the one element that influences the dynamic and sportiness of the car. Starting in the 300 horsepower range, the heaviest contender comes from Audi, the Q7 stops the scale at 5,206 lbs (2,280 kg). Second in weight comes the BMW xDrive35i with its 4,728 lbs (2,145 kg). The Mercedes-Benz ML350 is a tad lighter than the X5 35d, at 4,706 lbs (2,135 kg).

To compensate for its clear disadvantages, Audi has already announced the next Q7 will save about 440 lbs (200 kg). It is also worth noting that the Q7 is about 9 inches(23cm) longer than the X5, and around 12.2 inches(31 cm) longer than the M-class.

q7 x5 ml heck 655x120

While you can order all three models with the Lane Change Warning technology, Active Cruise Control and a rearview camera, the BMW X5 offers even more exclusive optional equipment.The Head-Up Display provides additional comfort and reduces in some situations the need to monitor the speedometer, allowing the driver to focus on the road ahead. In addition, the BMW X5 offers the option of side cameras integrated in the front wheel arches (side view) and also a view of the vehicle from above (surround view).

BMW X5 features a Professional Navigation system with 8.8 inch LCD, the largest one when compared to its competitors. Audi Navigation Plus MMI comes with a 7.0 inch LCD and 6.5 inch LCD in the Mercedes COMAND APS system. One unique selling point for the X5 is unrestricted Internet access available in Europe.


Now, let’s get to the fun part: engines. Starting wit the “top dog” from BMW, the xDrive50i, powered for the first time by the 407 horsepower Twin-Turbo V8 engine found in several other BMWs. Its equivalent, at least on paper, from Audi is the Q7 4.2 FSI which produces 357 horsepower. Mercedes-Benz joins the game with its ML500 and 388 horsepower.

The entry-level engine is xDrive30d outputting 241 horsepower. In the same range, Mercedes introduces the ML 350 CDI with its 231 ponies. In the fuel consumption test, the X5 leads 7.4 liter/100km (31mpg), followed by the Mercedes 350CDI with 8.9 liter/100km(26.4mpg) and Q7 3.0 TDI at 9.1 liters/100km(25.8mpg).


With the new facelift, BMW introduces a new model in the X5 line-up. The xDrive40d is powered by the same 3.0-liter engine found in the 740d. The engine delivers 306 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque (600Nm). The Audi Q7 TDI tops it with its 340 horsepower and 9.9 liter of diesel per 100 km. Mercedes is being represented by the ML 450 CDI and its 306 horsepower.

Moving over again to the petrol engine market, BMW’s entry level model is the xDrive35i rated at 306 horsepower. Mercedes responds with the ML 350, 272 hp. Audi brings to the fight the Q7 3.6 FSI, along with its 280 hp. The xDrive35i average fuel consumption is rated at 10.1 liter/100km(23mpg), Audi Q7 at 12.1 liter/100km(19.43mpg) and around 12 liter/100km(19.6mpg) for the ML 350.


Once we have compared the most important technical facts, as always, the pricing comes into play. In Europe, the Audi Q7 3.6 FSI has a base price of 51,750 euro. The ML350 and xDrive35i go head-to-head with 54,859 euros, respectively 54,900 euros.

In the big petrol engines in the Audi Q7 4.2 FSI offers the lowest base price again, 69,200 euros, but with significant less power than the 388 hp from the ML 500 and 407 hp found in the xDrive50i. The high-end BMW X5 model will sell in Europe for 73,400 euros, while the ML 500 is slightly priced lower again, 72,982 euros.


At the entry level diesels with three liters of displacement, six cylinders, a turbocharger and 240 hp 3.0 TDI is priced at 52,700 euros. It is followed by the more fuel efficient BMW X5 xDrive 30d at 54,200 euros and the 231 hp Mercedes ML350 CDI priced at 55,751 euros.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40d comes with a great entry point price, 61,800 euros, more than 10,000 euros cheaper than the Q7 4.2 TDI (72,700 euros) and the ML450 CDI (72,923 euros).

As we mentioned earlier, the exterior design brings out different emotions in each of the above brands’ fans. While some are fond of the flashier, younger looking Q7, there are plenty others that enjoy a classic, solid but beautiful design seen on the X5 or the ML.

So we decided to leave our input out this time and instead, we’ll let you vote again.

[poll id=”51″] [Source: BimmerToday ]

42 responses to “Comparison: BMW X5 LCI vs. Audi Q7 vs. Mercedes-Benz ML”

  1. Tom says:

    Just when I thought they couldn’t squeeze any more Christmas lights onto an Audi, I was proven wrong yet again!

  2. badger says:

    what does the LCI in bmw x5 lci stand for?

  3. Giom says:

    Typical BMW style, the X5 doesn’t look greatest in photos, but in the flesh it’s got pressence like no other. I can just imagine that the LCI has bags more.

    Lol @ the christmas lights on the Audi! They really are taking that to the extream. I just hope that the next one will look less like a building and more like a car.

  4. joe says:

    Q7 looks something out of disney land. however Q7 is 23 cm longer and thats what large families look for.

  5. viper says:

    as for the looks and size the audi is a clear winner.bottom line. 2nd place share bmw and mercedes…
    but they should have put the GL instead of ML if you ask me then the Q7 and mercedes would look the same leaving the X5 look like a corsa next to them. or to some who dont know what corsa is , X5 wold look like hornswoggle next its rivals.
    size and presence does matter because the stock Q7 looks like a tuned car next to x5 and ml, great job audi.
    from a technical standpoint the obvious winner is X5….also there is X5 M who competes with the better looking ML AMG but looks outdated to even more brutal Q7 V12 diesel…which you didnt brought up in ur little comparison.
    overall it all comes down to a personal taste…
    if you ask me BMW should make a bigger suv a 7seater like the Q7 , and GL otherwise they will always lack in size and interior space.
    Id go with the Q7 4.2 tdi or at best the V12 tdi , then Id chose the x5 over ml

    • Vaybach Khan says:

      in every category,audi have a little longer or ˝bigger˝ car compering to merc or bmw…and gl is not x5 competitor ,it will be with next generation x5 cos now we have x1 replacing the x3 segment and other two models are heading up in class,so bmw made excellent move…and dont forget x6 without competitor….

    • plaxico says:

      never been big suv fan, but ur right

  6. viper says:

    I think we will be seeing X6 from MB and audi.

    • bmwm6 says:

      probably further proof that BMW is an innovative company unlike merc and Audi which copy what bme does

      the banglebutt was a perfect example

  7. bunker says:

    seriously…the front end of the Audi is just stoopid.

  8. viper says:

    The x5 is the best awesome. Id proberly buy one if I had money.

  9. viper says:

    Yeah I bought one after I made that post. Its really sweet. b4 i was really just mouthing off because i couldn’t afford a bmw or a mercedes. In fact i couldn’t drive at all but i learnt today and bought this bmw with money from my awesome new job on the stockex change. my girlfriend loves it and she says im awesome.

    • bmwm6 says:

      as someone said before

      you seem to be getting smart

      now do you see how much of an idiot you were acting before
      Hoepfully this is a lesson learned but I havent seen any of these LCI yet in my local dealership
      how did you get one

      • XC says:

        There is NO WAY the real viper posted that!

        • plaxico says:

          ofcours he didnt ……….where is HORATIU when you need him……
          people cant make their own identity here so they steal one

          • XC says:

            You share computers or what? So ‘viper’ is the one and only viper in the whole freakin’ world! OMG!


            Any snake in the family Viperidae
            Water viper (Agkistrodon piscivorus), a venomous snake found in the eastern United States
            Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos), a harmless snake found in North America

            Aircraft and engines

            AH-1Z Viper, a twin-engine attack helicopter
            Armstrong Siddeley Viper, a turbojet engine
            Wolseley Viper, a V-8 aircraft engine
            F-16 Fighting Falcon, a jet fighter aircraft, nicknamed the Viper
            HMLA-169, a USMC helicopter squadron, nicknamed the Vipers

            Rockets and missiles

            AGM-80 Viper, American air-to-surface missile
            Dornier Viper, an air-to-air missile
            FGR-17 Viper, an antitank rocket, subject of a government spending controversy
            Giant Viper, a rocket-launched mine-clearance system
            Viper Dart, an American sounding rocket

            Roller coasters

            Viper (Darien Lake), in New York
            Viper (Six Flags Astroworld), in Texas
            Viper (Six Flags Great Adventure), in New Jersey
            Viper (Six Flags Great America), in Illinois
            Viper (Six Flags Magic Mountain), in California
            Viper (Six Flags Over Georgia)

            Film, TV and cameras

            Viper (TV series)
            Viper (pornographic actress)
            Dr. Viper, a SWAT Kats character
            Colonial Viper, a type of spacecraft in Battlestar Galactica
            Thomson Viper, a camera
            Viper, an American Gladiators contestant

            Toys and games

            Viper (G.I. Joe)
            VIPER (Hero System), a role-playing game supplement
            Viper Squad, characters in the Manta Force toyline
            Vic Viper, a ship in the Gradius game series
            Crimson Viper, a Street Fighter character
            Viper, a hentai computer game series by Sogna
            Black Arts Viper, a Metal Gear Solid character


            The Viper (wrestler)
            Alabama Vipers, an American football team
            Calgary Vipers, a Canadian baseball team
            Newcastle Vipers, a British ice hockey club
            Rio Grande Valley Vipers, an American basketball team
            St. Louis Vipers, an American roller hockey team


            Viper (band)
            Viper Records, an American hip-hop record label
            The Viper Label, a British indie record label

            Other uses

            Viper (hieroglyph)
            Viper (rebreather)
            Viper (Marvel Comics), the name of three fictional villains
            Viper Comics, a graphic novel publisher
            Dodge Viper, a car
            VIPeR, a military robot
            VIPER, a microprocessor designed by the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment
            Viper-mode, an emulation of the vi text editor

            Valley Vipers (disambiguation)
            Vyper (disambiguation)
            VIPIR, a weather radar system

          • XC says:


          • plaxico says:

            ur one special kid ….

  10. A# says:

    Since Merc has copied the Led dotted structure from Audi I noticed they have moved from that and in due time they are beginning to look cheap on certain imitation vehicles.

    Non the less This battle is between Audi and Bimmer I don’t see the other guy.

    • Sam-6 says:

      It’s your personal opinion, some people like the led dotted things. I agree with Viper …. at the end each individual has different taste in SUVs and Vehicles in general are like women each has its own beauty for some one. every day I see cars in the streets and I wonder how people buying such cars (in my personal opinion its ugly) but they love what they drive and some of them really expensive cars so I can’t say that may be he can’t afford buying better looking car!!!

  11. wazon8 says:

    I think these posts are not from real viper.

  12. viper says:

    No Im the same viper. I realised i was making myself look like like a 14 year old kid trolling on a bmw enthusiast blog and that i should get a job and make something of myself. I can barely afford any car, never mind a bmw or mercedes. That’s why im here really. Im all angry because my life isnt all i hoped it would be.

  13. Tom says:

    Is there some kind of account registration plugin for WordPress you guys could get installed? :) This is all getting very confusing.

  14. 2011bmw says:

    Yes, I need my account back!
    I was $100 GUY and now my messages from my usual computer cannot be entered in the site anymore.
    I hope that ain´t the real viper, cause I liked better the old comments.
    Now they are too bland and boring.

  15. Elgee says:


  16. Horatiu B. says:

    Ok guys, move on! Let’s stay on the subject here otherwise we’ll start cleaning up. Soon, everyone will be able to sign up and use their own name.

  17. 2011bmw says:

    As for the thread per se
    X5 all the way
    Why? BMW engines are too darn efficient and powerful and no doubt the driving dinamics are superior
    I like better the interior design of the bimmer
    ML looks like got chopped the butt LOL
    Audi like a huge builiding wanting to eat you at front LOL

  18. Tom says:

    One of the things I dislike about Audi is their MMI interface, which looks like a low-resolution DOS screen from 1994.

    Their next version, which is 3D accelerated based on an nVidia graphics chipset, should be awesome:

    And… Mercedes… what’s that?? ZzzzzZzz :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.