BMW X3 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport vs Mercedes GLC

We find out if the Mercedes-Benz GLC can outshine two previous What Car? Award winners – the BMW X3 and Land Rover Discovery Sport

Words By What Car? team

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Mercedes GLC with BMW X3 and Land Rover Discovery Sport

Our verdict

For many the biggest surprise here will be the BMW X3 finishing last. Not so long ago it was our favourite large SUV this side of Β£50,000, and its fall from grace serves to highlight how quickly the game has moved on in this fiercely competitive class.

However, it’s important to point out that cheaper versions of the X3 make a lot more sense than this range-topping M Sport model, not only on financial grounds, but also because of their better ride comfort. Nevertheless, it’s getting harder and harder to overlook the X3’s shortage of standard safety equipment and its comparatively heavy depreciation.

The GLC is one of the best cars Mercedes has launched in years. It’s good to drive, smart inside and, in 250 AMG Line trim, as tested here, both fast and lavishly equipped. It even stacks up well financially for private buyers and company car drivers, which is something we’re not used to saying about many modern Mercedes models.

For now, though, the Land Rover Discovery Sport remains at the top of the pile. The fact it’s so much more practical than its rivals is a huge bonus, but it’s also the most comfortable of our trio and the most generously equipped. Yes, its diesel engine could do with a bit more oomph and we wish its touchscreen infotainment system was better, but these are relatively small criticisms of what’s otherwise a thoroughly brilliant SUV.

1st – Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Superb practicality; good to drive; slow depreciation; loads of standard equipment

Against So-so performance; infotainment system slow to respond; unsettled low-speed ride

Verdict One of the best large SUV you can buy for less than Β£45,000

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal

2nd – Mercedes GLC

For Strong engine; smart and clever interior; low CO2

Against Fiddly infotainment system; smallest inside

Verdict A fine choice if practicality isn’t your priority

Read our full Mercedes GLC review

Find a great Mercedes GLC deal

3rd – BMW X3

For Spacious for five; brilliant infotainment system

Against Overly firm ride; heavy depreciation; safety kit

Verdict Cheaper X3s make far more sense

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£39,115

Target Price Β£36,196

Power 188bhp

Torque 295lb ft

0-60mph 8.5 seconds

Top speed 130mph

Fuel economy 38.4mpg

CO2 emissions 136g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 HSE auto

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£41,125

Target Price Β£38,532

Power 178bhp

Torque 317lb ft

0-60mph 10.3 seconds

Top speed 117mph

Fuel economy 35.9mpg

CO2 emissions 139g/km

Specifications: Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 d 4Matic AMG Line 9G-Tronic

Engine size 2.1-litre diesel

List price Β£40,765

Target Price Β£39,175

Power 201bhp

Torque 369lb ft

0-60mph 7.7 seconds

Top speed 138mph

Fuel economy 39.3mpg

CO2 emissions 129g/km

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