Is BMW’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than Audi’s?

In the battle of midsize luxury SUVs, the Audi Q5 is a close winner over the BMW X3, with better child seat anchors being the deciding factor.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Safety ratings between midsize luxury SUVs for the Audi and BMW are worth comparing
  • Insurance carriers use safety ratings to do rating comparisons
  • The IIHS, along with the HLDI, conduct research and analysis on policies

The market for midsize luxury SUVs is highly competitive. Companies like BMW and Audi continue to go toe to toe regarding the features that they offer, the safety capabilities, mileage, and overall luxury.

BMW and Audi, individually, are always compared regarding the safety ratings that each of them earns. You can easily be lulled into a false sense of security with a midsized luxury SUV.

When you are shopping for car insurance, these safety features are going to be taken into consideration.

The higher the rating for one company over the other, the likely the lower premium you’ll be paying for that particular type of vehicle. Insurers use these scores to come up with the rates charged for cars.

The Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent organization that aims to reduce the number of losses on the open road.

Working with this group is the Highway Loss Data Institute or HLDI. This unit uses studies of insurance data, looking at a human, as well as economic losses, to figure out which cars have the top safety ratings.

The goal of both groups is to assess safety in real life situations and should be relied upon by you, the consumer, as you shop for the cars, as well as buying auto insurance.

If you want to ensure the safety of your car, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies to get the best auto insurance!

Models Used in the Ratings and Scores

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The two models utilized in the ratings by the IIHS included the Audi Q5, as well as the BMW X7. For Audi, the 2018 model was reviewed, while the 2017 model was evaluated for the BMW brand.

Both of these are top-rated models among consumers, but safety ratings between the two differ.

The way in which the scoring system works is that it can receive the following ratings:

  • Good
  • Acceptable
  • Marginal
  • Poor

If you have scored in the Good or Acceptable range, you are generally in excellent shape as a consumer. Marginal or Poor is where you want to pay a bit closer attention to the details.

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In the area of crashworthiness, there are a lot of comparisons to make between the Audi Q5, as well as the BMW X3. Surprisingly, though, the scoring is primarily aligned between the two.

For Front (moderate overlap), Side, Roof Strength, as well as Head Restraints and Seats, all of the scoring came out as Good. The Front (small overlap) was not rated for the BMW X3 but was assessed a Good for the Audi Q5.

Across the board, both of these models of vehicles were mostly similar, in alignment with scoring.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Crash avoidance and mitigation testing are also very aligned. The Front Crash Prevention testing that was done between the two types of cars came in at a rating of Superior, the highest score that you can get among the models.

The headlights, though, came in at Marginal for both of them as well. Again, very aligned, but the ratings for both models, with the marginal for the BMW and Audi, leaves an area for improvement.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

Child seat anchors or LATCH is the last area of focus that you want to pay attention to, especially if you are a family with young children. The Audi Q5 had a Good rating for this type of testing. The ease of use score for the LATCH for the BMW X3, though, came in only at Marginal.

The 2018 score for the Audi was better in this regard.

Both BMW and Audi are doing great things with the midsize luxury SUV models they are releasing. More technology than ever before is being put into trying to make each of these cars safer on the open road.

It is up to you, as a consumer, to know the data, and understand what it means to you. When you are making car insurance decisions, comparison pricing between carriers is essential.

With the scores as such, the Audi Q5 is the winner over the BMW X3, but not by a wide margin.

Looking to safeguard your midsize SUV? Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping for better car insurance today!

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