It’s hard to find a better mix when considering a compact SUV these days other than the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Get them with 3-liter diesel engines and they will also provide plenty of miles on one tank while acceleration spurts will make your head swirl more than a few times. But how closely matched are they when testing them against precise machinery? How real are the claims both German manufacturers are making?

Well, it depends on who you’re cheering for and how long you’ve been watching the auto industry and how it works. It’s a known fact that some car makers are understating the specs and performance figures of their cars. Some are saying that’s only true for high-performance cars like the M5, for example, but my personal experience has shown me that’s not the case. In most of my test drives I realize those numbers, listed in the ‘user’s manual’ are just guidelines.

In this particular case, the xDrive30d X3 and Audi Q5 50 TDI go head to head and show some interesting results. The BMW is the less powerful car here, even though it’s hard to believe. The 3-liter B57 engine delivers 265 HP and 620 Nm of torque while the V6 on the Audi delivers 286 HP and the same amount of torque, as the ’50’ moniker on the boot should tell you. That said, you’d expect the four-ringed car to have the upper hand, right?

Well, on paper, the two are supposed to be really close, given they both have all-wheel drive and 8-speed gearboxes. The Audi is a bit heavier but not by 300 kilos as the video claims. Instead it’s closer to 50 kilos according to our data. That said, the manufacturers claim the X3 will accelerate to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds from standstill while the Audi will do the same sprint in 5.9 seconds. The end result shows the BMW faster, at 5.5 seconds while the Audi is slower than the claims at 6.3 seconds. And before you claim the test wasn’t fair, the guys to say that they perform three runs with each car and measure the times using a Vbox. Care to comment?