New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

BMW’s new X3 SUV will have to be outstanding to beat the class-leading Audi Q5 and Land Rover’s Discovery Sport. Let’s see if it is...

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What Car? team
19 January 2017

Our verdict

At the start, we said the Q5 is this class’s current hero, and that remains the case. Its individual star ratings tell the story: it’s either good or outstanding in every area, with no real weaknesses. Looking at the highlights, it’s roomy, beautifully made, refined and, if you tick the air suspension option, super-comfortable. On top of that, it’s the most affordable to buy and run.

Despite playing a good hand, the new X3 doesn’t quite bring home the spoils, then. It’s very good in many areas, has a top-notch infotainment system and is the most enjoyable to drive. If only it were a little cheaper, particularly on PCP finance, it would be painfully close.

And far from a distant third, this punchy twin-turbo version of the Discovery Sport is the best yet; it’s just a shame its extra poke comes at such a high price. It’s a great SUV, too, with seven-seat practicality and genuine off-road ability, but it isn’t quite as tidy on the road as these rivals.

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1st – Audi Q5

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Smoothest engine; classiest interior; tidy handling; comfiest ride; biggest boot

Against Gearbox jerky in traffic; many options part of pricey packs

Recommended options Air suspension (£2000), Technology Pack (£1395)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi Q5 review

Find a great Audi Q5 deal

2nd – BMW X3

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Smart interior; rewarding handling; superb infotainment; cheapest to lease; smooth gearbox

Against Pricey PCP finance; slightly grumbly engine

Recommended options Adaptive dampers (£460), Technology Pack (£1295)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full BMW X3 review

Find a great BMW X3 deal

3rd – Land Rover Discovery Sport

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

For Seven seats; most rear leg room; well equipped; strong performance; sweet steering

Against Least composed ride; gruff engine; hesitant gearbox; high running costs

Recommended options Adaptive cruise control (£1245)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal

Specifications: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI S line S tronic

Engine size 4cyl, 1968cc, diesel

List price £41,085

Target Price £38,673

Power 187bhp @ 3800-4200rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-3000rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 8.0sec

Top speed 135mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.4mpg

True MPG 41.0mpg

CO2 emissions 133g/km

Specifications: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport

Engine size 4cyl, 1995cc, diesel

List price £41,380

Target Price £40,673

Power 187bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm

Gearbox 8-spd automatic

0-60mph 8.1sec

Top speed 132mph

Gov't fuel economy 54.3mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 138g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 SD4 HSE

Engine size 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel

List price £44,095

Target Price £41,591

Power 237bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 369Ib ft @ 1500rpm

Gearbox 9-spd automatic

0-60mph 7.9sec

Top speed 127mph

Gov't fuel economy 44.1mpg

True MPG n/a

CO2 emissions 169g/km

Read more: The best family cars >


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