BMW X3 vs Jaguar F-Pace vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

Will Jaguar's first SUV sink or swim against the practical Land Rover Discovery Sport and sporty BMW X3?

Words By What Car? team

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Jaguar F-Pace under bridge

Our verdict

Let’s not beat around the bush: the Land Rover Discovery Sport remains the best large SUV this side of Β£45,000. The fact it’s so much more practical than its rivals gives it a big head start, but it’s also the most comfortable of our trio, the most lavishly equipped and scores the highest for safety. Yes, its diesel engine could do with a bit more oomph and we wish its standard infotainment system was slicker, but these are relatively small criticisms of what’s otherwise a thoroughly excellent SUV.

Second spot goes to the new Jaguar F-Pace. Jaguar’s aim to make this the sportiest car in the class has largely been achieved because, aside from the much more expensive Porsche Macan, no other SUV is as agile or fun to drive. However, that only counts for so much and we’d wager many buyers would actually trade some of the F-Pace’s cornering skills for a more pliant ride and quieter cruising manners. Nevertheless, the F-Pace is still practical, well equipped and nippy enough to notch up a solid four stars.

  • 'Jaguar’s aim to make this the sportiest car in the class has largely been achieved'

The ageing BMW X3 still has its strengths. Big discounts, attractive finance deals and a strong engine certainly help make up for its heavy depreciation and a glaring shortage of standard safety kit. However, we’d recommend avoiding standard M Sport trim because its overly stiff sports suspension delivers a truly uncomfortable ride. If you want an X3, we’d advise going for the cheaper and softer SE trim. If you must have the M Sport looks, do take BMW up on its offer to fit softer suspension for no extra charge.

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1st – Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Good to drive; wonderfully practical; slow depreciation; lots of standard luxuries; driving position

Against So-so performance; slow-witted touchscreen; slightly unsettled low-speed ride

Verdict Still the finest large SUV this side of Β£45k

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal

2nd – Jaguar F-Pace

For Decent handling; lots of safety kit; spacious interior

Against Fairly noisy; firm ride; priciest to buy and own

Verdict Fun to drive but could be more comfortable

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Jaguar F-Pace review

Find a great Jaguar F-Pace deal

3rd – BMW X3

For Cheapest to own; infotainment system; spacious

Against Unbearable ride; depreciation; safety kit

Verdict Spoilt by overly stiff M Sport suspension

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full BMW X3 review

Find a great BMW X3 deal

Also consider:

Specifications: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport auto

Engine size 2.0-litre, diesel

List price Β£39,045

Target Price Β£36,286

Power 188bhp

Torque 295lb ft

0-62mph 8.4sec

Top speed 130mph

Fuel economy 38.4mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 136g/km

Specifications: Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d 180 R Sport auto AWD

Engine size 2.0-litre, diesel

List price Β£41,260

Target Price Β£41,210

Power 178bhp

Torque 317lb ft

0-62mph 9.2sec

Top speed 129mph

Fuel economy 36.7mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 139g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 HSE auto

Engine size 2.0-litre, diesel

List price Β£39,800

Target Price Β£37,621

Power 178bhp

Torque 317lb ft

0-62mph 10.1sec

Top speed 117mph

Fuel economy 35.9mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 139g/km

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