Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

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

BMW X3 leading Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport

Our verdict

At the start, we said the Audi 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 fine 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 more than just 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

Audi Q5 rear

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 (£2000), Technology Pack (£1395)

What Car? rating 5/5

Read our full Audi Q5 review

Find a great Audi Q5 deal

2nd – BMW X3

BMW X3 rear

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

Against Pricey PCP finance; slightly grumbly engine

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

What Car? rating 5/5

Read our full BMW X3 review

Find a great BMW X3 deal

3rd – Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport rear

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 (£1245)

What Car? rating 4/5

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal

Specifications: Audi Q5 40 TDI S line S tronic

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1968cc, diesel
  • List price £42,500
  • Target Price £38,783
  • 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 na
  • CO2 emissions 149g/km

Specifications: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1995cc, diesel
  • List price £43,380
  • Target Price £41,066
  • Power 187bhp @ 4000rpm
  • Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm
  • Gearbox 8-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 8.1sec
  • Top speed 132mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 47.0mpg (WLTP)
  • CO2 emissions 142g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 SD4 HSE

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel
  • List price £45,665
  • Target Price £43,003
  • Power 237bhp @ 4000rpm
  • Torque 369Ib ft @ 1500rpm
  • Gearbox 9-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 7.9sec
  • Top speed 127mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 34.9mpg (WLTP)
  • CO2 emissions 181g/km

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