Every month, Graeme Fletcher combines manufacturers’ incentives from Unhaggle.com with resale value, dependability and overall ratings to find you the best deal for your money in new cars. This week, we look at luxury crossovers with all-wheel drive. The hot deals are on the 2017 Audi Q5 3.0 TFSI Quattro Technik, BMW X3 xDrive35i and Lexus NX 300h AWD.
2017 Audi Q5 3.0 TFSI Technik
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $50,700
Audi Canada Incentive*: $2,500
Unhaggle Savings: $1,700
Total Savings: $4,200
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $2,830
Total Before Tax: $49,305 – click here for exclusive local pricing
The 2018 Audi Q5 is already sitting on dealer lots, so there is a good deal to be had on the remaining 2017s. It remains a stylish and sporty crossover with a premium cabin. Materials quality is excellent and the overall feel is one of class. The featured model also comes pretty much loaded — leather upholstery, comfortable front sport buckets, tri-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated front and rear seats, and a panoramic moonroof along with a 10-speaker audio system.
The rear seat accommodates two comfortably and three in a pinch. With the 40/20/40-split folding rear seat upright the Q5 offers 824 litres and 1,622 L folded flat. The Technik trim comes with blind spot monitoring and a back-up sensing system. Rear seat air bags are available.
The features Q5 arrives with a 3.0L supercharged V6. It pushes a healthy 272 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque through a slick eight-speed automatic, and quattro all-wheel drive is standard. The engine is refined and works well with the rest of the powertrain; Audi’s Drive Select feature allows the drive to be tweaked. The Q5 is a potent ride — it runs from rest to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds while returning an average fuel economy rating of 11.4 L/100 kilometres.
The Q5 3.0’s sport suspension is tuned to dial out unwanted body roll without sacrificing highway comfort, and the steering is sharp and direct to the feel. The oversized P235/55R19 wheels and tires then minimize the tendency for understeer when pushed into a corner. Of course, Audi’s AWD system helps the overall driving demeanour by limiting unwanted wheelspin, even when the road is slippery.
The Audi Q5 3.0 TFSI Quattro Technik arrives with a generous $4,200 and a pretax price of $48,735.
2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $52,100
BMW Canada Incentive*: $2,000
Unhaggle Savings: $1,700
Total Savings: $3,700
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $2,980
Total Before Tax: $51,373 – click here for exclusive local pricing
The featured BMW X3 xDrive35i is enjoying its last hurrah — the totally revamped 2018 model arrives later this year. As with the Audi Q5, that’s not such a bad thing because of the deep discounting that will happen between now and then. The current model is still, in spite of its long run, one of the top candidates in the luxury crossover segment.
The cabin is classy with rich materials, the seating is comfortable in all positions and the equipment list lengthy — a back-up camera and power seats with memory to park distance control and rain-sensing wipers. It also brings a degree of driving flare most cannot match. If there is a problem, it lies in the fact that if you want blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a 360-degree camera and auto high beams, well, dig deep — it’s wrapped up in the $8,250 Premium Package Enhanced. Fortunately, the X3 otherwise makes light work of cargo, with 550 litres available with the seats upright and 1,600 L with the seats stowed.
The X3 xDrive35i arrives with BMW’s sweet 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six. It puts out 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,300 rpm. It accelerates with lag-free performance off the line, which brings a run from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, and an average fuel economy rating of 11.1 L/100 km.
The power is relayed to the road through an eight-speed automatic and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Both are very good; the box is slick and quick to shift, while xDrive shuttles the power around in a completely seamless manner. The powertrain combination remains as good as it gets.
Likewise, the handling is a cut above the expected norm for a crossover. Body roll is limited to a handful of degrees and the response to steering input is crisp. It also has tons of lateral grip so a hard and fast corner is something to relish, living up to BMW’s ‘Sport Activity Vehicle’ moniker.
The BMW X3 xDrive35i carries a sticker price of $50,785 after a combined Unhaggle discount of $3,700.
2017 Lexus NX300h
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $54,350
Lexus Canada Incentive*: $2,500
Unhaggle Savings: $3,500
Total Savings: $6,000
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $2,185
Total Before Tax: $50,823 – click here for exclusive local pricing
Now in its third year, the Lexus NX carries on unchanged for 2017. The featured NX 300h is also the lone hybrid entrant in the compact crossover segment, so if fuel economy is paramount, this is the best choice. With its funky exterior styling and avant-garde interior the NX 300h offers a ton of equipment — everything from heated and cooled, eight-way power-adjustable front seats and heated steering wheel, to an advanced infotainment system that houses the navigation and back-up camera functions.
The hitch is the need to option up to the all-encompassing Executive package ($6,650) to get the desirable safety features — blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. This is out of step with the rest of the portfolio, as the Lexus Safety System+ is standard on many other models. The NX 300h also does have slightly less cargo capacity than the other featured rides, including its gas-powered sibling. But it still offers 475 litres with the seats up and 1,520L with them down.
The 2017 Lexus NX 300h comes with a 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that produces 154 horsepower and 152 lb.-ft. of torque, paired to an electronically controlled CVT. It’s work is supported by three electric motors one of which drives the rear wheels, which means the NX 300h has all-wheel-drive. The system produces a net output of 194 horsepower and the final element is a nickel-metal hydride battery.
Along with an EV mode, the NX 300h features three drive modes including Eco, Standard, and Sport, helping the NX switch from maximum efficiency to performance. The powertrain combination delivers an average fuel economy rating of 7.4 L/100 km and a run to 100 km/h of 8.7 seconds, which is quick for a hybrid. The NX 300h is geared towards providing a comfortable and quiet ride, which means there is some body roll through a fast corner. While not as overtly sporty as the other two featured rides, it does provide superior highway comfort and a very quiet ride.
The Lexus NX 300h carries a generous combined Unhaggle discount of $5,712 and a price of $50,823.
Compare the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus NX300h side-by-side right here
Transport Canada lists three recalls for the Audi Q5. Recall no. 2017243 says “on certain vehicles, the fuel pump flange may develop fine cracks or fissures, which could result in a fuel leak.” Dealers will apply a protective film to the fuel pump flange. If cracks are present, the fuel pump flange will be replaced. The second is recall no. 2017003, having to do with water leaking down to the airbag canister. Dealers will inspect the vehicle for evidence of water ingress and will replace the affected component. The third recall (no. 2017002) states: “On certain vehicles equipped with a 2.0L TFSI engine, the coolant pump could become blocked by debris from the cooling system.” Dealers will update vehicle software, which deactivates the power supply to the coolant pump if the pump becomes blocked with debris. A light illuminates to warn the driver if this happens.
The BMW X3 has one recall (no. 2016242). “On certain vehicles, the lower anchor bars that are used for installing child seats using the European-ISOFIX-type rigid-style connector may become damaged during vehicle operation.” Dealers will weld a reinforcing bracket to the lower anchor bars and the vehicle body. There are no recalls for the Lexus NX 300h.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates both the Audi Q5 and Lexus NX as a Top Safety Pick+, with good ratings for all crash tests and an Advanced rating for forward collision prevention. The headlight performance is Acceptable in both cases. The BMW X3 earns good ratings for the moderate overlap and side impact tests, roof strength and head rests/seats tests. It is not rated for the small offset collision. Forward collision prevention is rated as Superior; headlight performance is Marginal.
The projected resale value of these luxurious crossovers in 2022, after being driven an average of 20,000 kilometres per year, is $17,870 for the Q5, $14,480 for the X3 and $19,280 for the NX 300h.
If having the latest on the road is important, the two German crossovers are not going to appeal. However, if you can look past this aspect both are solid propositions, especially for someone who enjoys the drive. The hot deal this week is the Lexus NX 300h. The hybrid brings superior fuel economy, it has enjoyed a strong reliability record and its retained value is better than its European counterparts.
*Manufacturer incentive displayed is for cash purchases and may differ if leasing or financing. For more information on purchasing any of these vehicles or others, please visit Unhaggle.com. While data is accurate at time of publication, pricing and incentives may be updated or discontinued by individual dealers or manufacturers at any time. Typically, manufacturer incentives expire at the end of every month. Vehicle availability is also subject to change based on market conditions. Unhaggle Savings is a proprietary estimate of expected discount in addition to manufacturer incentive based on actual savings by Unhaggle customers. Taxes are extra and vary by province.