What are they like inside?
You’re unlikely to have much bother finding a comfortable driving position in any of these SUVs, although the BMW X3’s lack of electric seat adjustment makes the process more complicated than in its rivals. The X3 is also the only one of the trio without adjustable lumbar support, although you can add it for a reasonable £265.
For sheer wow-factor the Mercedes-Benz GLC’s interior is in a class of its own, thanks to the giant gloss black centre console and eye-catching metal highlights. There are a couple of examples of questionable build quality, but the GLC still edges the X3 for outright quality. The Land Rover Discovery Sport’s interior feels the lowest-quality of the three, but its greater focus on functionality makes tasks such as adjusting the air-con easier than in either rival.
Practicality is a priority for many SUV buyers and here the Discovery Sport has a clear edge. It’s the only one of the trio that can carry seven people and the only contender with a second row of seats that slide back and forth and recline. Better still, the Discovery has the most space for two rear passengers; the GLC has the least, but still plenty for a couple of six-footers.
The Discovery Sport’s extra seats are a massive bonus. You have to clamber through a narrow gap to get to them, and they are only comfortable enough for smaller children on long journeys, but adults can certainly use them on short trips.
Fold the Discovery Sport’s rearmost seats away and you’re left with a large, square luggage area. Ignore the official boot capacity of 981 litres – Land Rover measures its cars in a different way from most other manufacturers – but it still has a longer and slightly wider boot than both German rivals. The GLC's load capacity is the same as the X3’s, but folding down its rear seats is easier than in either rival; you simply flick tiny switches on the walls of the boot and the backrests drop flat automatically.
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