Feature

New Range Rover Velar vs Audi SQ5 vs Porsche Macan

Packing a powerful petrol V6, the hottest Range Rover Velar aims to be the best sports SUV. However, the Audi SQ5 and Porsche Macan will have a thing or two to say about that

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Electrically adjustable seats are standard in each case, although you have to pay an extra Β£200 if you want the SQ5 to be able to recall your driving position at the press of a button. Memory seats (for you and your front passenger) come as standard on the other two.

Combined with lots of steering wheel adjustment, this means nearly anyone will be able to get comfortable in any of these cars – and stay so for several hours. But the driving positions are quite different; the Macan’s is barely any higher than a regular hatchback’s, while the Velar’s lofty seating and long bonnet leave you in no doubt that you’re driving a big SUV.

Both the SQ5 and Velar come as standard with digital instrument displays that can show a variety of information. The Velar’s graphics look sharp but are harder to read than the SQ5’s. As for the Macan, some might like the analogue speedo and rev counter, which give an old-fashioned, sporty ambience. These are accompanied by a configurable digital display that can’t quite match the clarity of its rivals’. It should also be noted that the Macan is the only car here that isn’t available with a head-up display (which projects useful information onto the windscreen).

At first, the Velar’s interior is the most alluring; the leather on its seats is plush to the touch, while the twin-touchscreen layout of the dashboard looks futuristic. Further down, though, you’ll find scratchy plastics that look out of place on a Β£70,000 car, while in practice, the lower screen is distracting to use while driving. The SQ5 can’t match the Velar’s wow factor, but nor does it have any cheap-feeling materials. All things considered, it’s the best of the three. As for the Macan, its small touchscreen and cluster of buttons around the gear selector make it look dated, and although quality is still good, it can’t stand tall in this company.

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