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Compared: Audi Q5 Vs. BMW X3 Vs. Mercedes-Benz GLK

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2009 Audi Q5

2009 Audi Q5

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2009 BMW X3-Series 30i

2009 BMW X3-Series 30i

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2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK

2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK

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For your shopping pleasure, three German SUVs--each one spun from the parts bin at their respective automakers to satisfy an emerging demand. What do buyers like you want? Sport-utility convenience, without the sheer bulk of the full-size utes falling out of favor with every rise in gas prices. A nice badge with some street cred wouldn't hurt., either.

What do these three have for you? Seats for five passengers, six-cylinder engines, all-weather capability and distinct personalities to go with their semi-lofty pricetags--not to mention the ability to slide easily into normal parking spaces.

Which one ranks best? Sounds like time for a comparison from TheCarConnection.com between the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK.

By now you know TheCarConnection.com rates vehicles for styling, performance, safety, comfort and utility, and features. From there, we arrive at an overall score, based on each vehicle's individual merits and on its competitiveness in its class of cars, vans, trucks or SUVs. We also let you compare cars of your choice, side by side, to see how they stack up in price, fuel economy, and by our editors' ratings.

We also do our own comparisons based on our experts' hands-on road tests. For example, TCC's editors have driven each of these vehicles in various forms, in locations around the country and in Europe, to be able to explain the ratings and to help you make your own decision.

Which of these three is best for you? First, know that each of these three compact luxury SUVs has been introduced or revamped in the past two years. The BMW X3 was refreshed in 2008 with an improved ride and a smoother shape; the Audi Q5 emerged brand-new in 2009; and the Mercedes-Benz GLK arrived late last year as a 2010 model.They're state of the art, in the small-luxury-ute segment. They're similar in size, equipment, and mission, too. Each of these compact utes has a six-cylinder engine, an automatic transmission, and available four-wheel drive (it's standard on the Q5 and X3, an option on the GLK). Maybe most important to you, each wears a luxury-brand badge that conveys a certain standing in the world far more effectively than the badges on other very pleasant vehicles like the Volvo XC60, Infiniti EX35, even the Acura RDX.

Among them, one tops the TCC ratings by a small margin. Of Germany's most prestigious, pint-sized SUVs, which one is the most highly rated by TheCarConnection.com?

We'll compare Audi Q5 vs. BMW X3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLK shortly. But first, the basics:


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Comments (11)
  1. Q5 definitely wins this, and I'm a big BMW fan. I could never get over the X3's minivan and too high queues. The Q5 would be a no brainer if it were fuel efficient, where's my diesel, slowpokes?
    That said, the Chevy Equinox (and planned GMC equivalent), seem to nail this segment pretty well. You'd do well to eventually put it on the same page as these big boys just to see what would happen. At the minimum, you could claim patriotism ;)
     
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  2. Posted this in the wrong forum under the 3-Series. Posting here for the pleasure of people who DID NOT buy the X3 or any BMW this year. Hooray for you guys.
    ===> I feel like a complete idiot. Just got into a brand new 2009 X3. What a disaster. The jerky transmission is one thing (latest s/w fix btw) and may bloom into a bigger and more dangerous disaster in the future but the ride of the BMW X3 is unacceptable.
    It rolls, sways, rocks, undulates...whatever you want to call it until it creates nausea. This is a first for a car I believe...drive it without seasickness pills and you will consider upchucking your lunch.
    After sitting in the shop, the upshot is: it is NORMAL. NORMAL? This is what BMW calls NORMAL?
    A car that is so unstable that is actually launches things into the ceiling because it cannot keep it together on a paved road? NORMAL?
    So, the car loses 20% of its 'value' in 1 month and I feel like an idiot for believing that BMW can still make a great car.
    After decades of BMW ownership, this **** car is the limit of endurance. I will never buy another BMW again but I will share my nightmare with as many people as I can.
     
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  3. Drive the Mercedes first, guys, then write reviews...
     
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  4. Agree with Mike, you need to drive the GLK 350 first before poting out reviews. I seriously thought that this was going to be an indepth review as i was surfing through the pages.. guess i was wrong.
     
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  5. Marty, I doubt that you are much of an "expert" after reading your review. You're just incapable of presenting your point with arguments, and you're embarrassing yourself. Like other people said, drive it first, boy, the write! Or just go to Mc Donald's to sell cheeseburgers! :(
     
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  6. The Audi Q5 tames down BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK as far as looks are concerned.
     
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  7. I did test drive GLK and 2011 X3, and I owned RDX for 3 years. Audi Q5 is clearly winner because of its handling and performance, and gas milage (guess you don't care because it's a 40k+ car). I bought the Q5 and so far very satisfied, milage is incredible for the T2.0, full tank gets you 450 miles on highway. And the power is indeed sufficient, torque is way bigger than the X3. GLK is the weakest among the 3, underpowered, and much smaller inside.
     
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  8. I did test drive GLK and 2011 X3, and I owned RDX for 3 years. Audi Q5 is clearly winner because of its handling and performance, and gas milage (guess you don't care because it's a 40k+ car). I bought the Q5 and so far very satisfied, milage is incredible for the T2.0, full tank gets you 450 miles on highway. And the power is indeed sufficient, torque is way bigger than the X3. GLK is the weakest among the 3, underpowered, and much smaller inside.
     
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  9. I purchased 2011 BMW X3 in March. It has been one headache after the next, computer problems, key problems. But, the most irritating is the drive, salesman holds fast that there is nothing wrong..however the acceleration lags, jumps, skips. I don't dare pull into traffic hard on pedal because it does not jump, rather engine roars then huge jump.
    Anyone out there hear of similar problems with 2011 X3 BMW?
     
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  10. My wife has BMW X 3 WORSE CAR FOR THE MONEY OF ANY CAR SOLD . THEY ARENT MADE OF GOLD ! WE PAID CASH AND WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER LOW END CAR AGAIN . LOOK CUTE BUT ROUGH RIDE AND NO AMENITIES AT ALL LEXUS RX WAY BETTER AND GLK BETTER Q5 IS WAY OUT FRONT BELIEVE ME TRY THE 2.0 IT WILL SUCK THE DOORS OFF THE X3 AND THEN SOME !!!!
     
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  11. My husband fed up with the problems and has spoken with Regional, chicago area, to come pick up the car. I'm convinced I have a lemon, passenger window going up and down at will, remote key flashes on dash "engine won't start", while engine running, then car won't start different day, while gear in reverse with foot on brake pedal car still wants to move. However, dealer offering 35K in return. I will write later tell you what engineer says about this vehicle.
     
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