What are they like inside?
Practicality is key for most large SUV buyers, and the Land Rover is the clear winner on that front. It’s the only one of our trio that can seat seven, and while adults won’t relish a long trip in the third row, the kids will have no reason to grumble.
Even when you don’t need its extra two seats, the Land Rover is still the roomiest of our contenders. Its wider interior means sitting three adults side by side in the second row is less of a squeeze than it is in the Mercedes and Audi, and both German cars have bigger humps in their floors that the person in the middle is forced to straddle. What’s more, the Land Rover is the only car with sliding and reclining second-row seats as standard, although you can add these to the Audi for £350.
When the second-row seats are slid all the way back, the Land Rover has the most rear leg room and the Audi the least. Mind you, two six-footers won’t feel at all cramped in the back of any of these SUVs.
Fold away the Land Rover’s third row of seats and you’re left with a large, square boot that’s almost identical in height and length to the Audi’s, while also being wider across the main proportion of the load bay. The Mercedes’ boot is shortest and shallowest, although folding down its rear seats is easier than in the others; you simply flick tiny switches on the walls of the boot and the backrests flop down.
If there’s one thing you can count on from Audi, it’s a classy interior, and the new Q5 doesn’t disappoint. It’s almost as plush inside as its bigger brother, the Q7, with dense, soft-touch plastics and buttons and knobs that ooze quality.
That isn’t to say you’ll feel short-changed by the interiors in the others; the Mercedes’ dashboard looks the part, even if the materials don’t feel as solid as those in the Audi. And HSE Black trim decorates the Land Rover’s interior with plenty of black leather and red highlights, despite it ultimately feeling the least upmarket.
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