New Land Rover Discovery Sport & Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5
The Land Rover Discovery Sport lost its seat to the Audi Q5 in the 2017 election of posh large SUVs. Can it regain its place with major changes of policy? A previous outsider with a similar plan...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
We have no complaints regarding the reach and height adjustment of any steering wheel here, and each seat has enough range to suit both the tallest and shortest of drivers. Getting into the nitty gritty, the Q5 is the only car here that – other than powered lumbar support – doesn’t get electric seat adjustment even as an option (on S line trim). You have to push the GLC’s seat – the lowest to the ground – fore and aft manually, but the height and back angle are adjusted electrically. That doesn’t make up for the seats being far less supportive than the Q5’s, though.
Meanwhile, the Discovery Sport gets full electric adjustment for its front seats and has the highest, comfiest and generally most SUV-like driving position. To further aid visibility, each car gets front and rear parking sensors.
A proper configurable digital instrument display is standard from SE trim on the Discovery Sport, letting you see a variety of information behind the steering wheel. The Q5 and GLC come with analogue dials flanking a smaller screen, but you can have the best digital dashboard in the business from Audi if you pay £1395 for the Technology Pack. No such thing is available for the GLC in Sport trim.
It may be the oldest car here, but the Q5 still rules the roost when it comes to interior quality. Apart from plasticky grab handles on the doors, all looks and feels plush, while the controls act precisely. The GLC looks flashier but feels flimsier, with the dashboard creaking when you jab a button. You’ll find some more utilitarian plastics in the Discovery Sport, but they all feel more solidly put together than the GLC’s.
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