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New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

BMW’s new X3 SUV will have to be outstanding to beat the class-leading Audi Q5 and Land Rover’s Discovery Sport. Let’s see if it is

Words By What Car? team

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Our verdict

At the start, we said the Q5 is this class’s current hero, and that remains the case. Its individual star ratings tell the story: it’s either good or outstanding in every area, with no real weaknesses. Looking at the highlights, it’s roomy, beautifully made, refined and, if you tick the air suspension option, super-comfortable. On top of that, it’s the most affordable to buy and run.

Despite playing a good hand, the new X3 doesn’t quite bring home the spoils, then. It’s very good in many areas, has a top-notch infotainment system and is the most enjoyable to drive. If only it were a little cheaper, particularly on PCP finance, it would be painfully close.

And far from a distant third, this punchy twin-turbo version of the Discovery Sport is the best yet; it’s just a shame its extra poke comes at such a high price. It’s a great SUV, too, with seven-seat practicality and genuine off-road ability, but it isn’t quite as tidy on the road as these rivals.

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1st – Audi Q5

For Smoothest engine; classiest interior; tidy handling; comfiest ride; biggest boot

Against Gearbox jerky in traffic; many options part of pricey packs

Recommended options Air suspension (Β£2000), Technology Pack (Β£1395)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi Q5 review

Find a great Audi Q5 deal


2nd – BMW X3

For Smart interior; rewarding handling; superb infotainment; cheapest to lease; smooth gearbox

Against Pricey PCP finance; slightly grumbly engine

Recommended options Adaptive dampers (Β£460), Technology Pack (Β£1295)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full BMW X3 review

Find a great BMW X3 deal


3rd – Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Seven seats; most rear leg room; well equipped; strong performance; sweet steering

Against Least composed ride; gruff engine; hesitant gearbox; high running costs

Recommended options Adaptive cruise control (Β£1245)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal


Specifications: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S line S tronic

Engine size 4cyl, 1968cc, diesel

List price Β£41,085

Target Price Β£38,673

Power 187bhp @ 3800-4200rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-3000rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 8.0sec

Top speed 135mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.4mpg

True MPG 41.0mpg

CO2 emissions 133g/km


Specifications: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport

Engine size 4cyl, 1995cc, diesel

List price Β£41,380

Target Price Β£40,673

Power 187bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm

Gearbox 8-spd automatic

0-60mph 8.1sec

Top speed 132mph

Gov't fuel economy 54.3mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 138g/km


Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 SD4 HSE

Engine size 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel

List price Β£44,095

Target Price Β£41,591

Power 237bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 369Ib ft @ 1500rpm

Gearbox 9-spd automatic

0-60mph 7.9sec

Top speed 127mph

Gov't fuel economy 44.1mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 169g/km

Read more: The best family cars >

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