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...

New Land Rover Discovery Sport & Mercedes GLC vs Audi Q5

Our verdict

Time to lay out these strands of information and knit them into a nice, cosy verdict. There’s no doubt that the GLC and especially the Discovery Sport have been greatly improved, but these efforts aren’t quite enough.

If you can live with the slightly firm edge to its ride, the Q5 is still the best large SUV on sale for around £40,000. Its plush, quiet interior is lovely, its engine performs strongly and its excellent handling means you can have good fun on a B-road. Plus, if you add the Convenience Pack to get sliding and reclining rear seats, it’s much more practical than the GLC.

Ah yes, the GLC. We were impressed by the strong performance and frugality of its new diesel engine, but its interior still feels a bit flimsy and you can’t add options to remedy the failings of Sport trim, which include poor front seats. If you’re tempted, AMG Line makes more sense.

That means it’s only good enough for third when the Discovery Sport has better standard kit, extra rear seats and more relaxed driving manners.

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1st – Audi Q5 - 5 stars

Audi Q5 driving

For Hushed cruising manners; sharp handling; excellent interior quality; biggest boot

Against Slightly firm ride; rivals have more space for rear passengers

Recommended options Metallic paint (£675), Rear Bench Seat Plus (£350)

Read our full Audi Q5 review

Find a great Audi Q5 deal


2nd – Land Rover Discovery Sport - 5 stars

Land Rover Discovery Sport driving

For Only car here with seven seats; high-rise driving position; most space for passengers; comfortable ride

Against Sluggish performance; poor reliability; the others handle better

Recommended options Metallic paint (£670)

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery Sport deal


3rd – Mercedes GLC - 3 stars

Mercedes GLC driving

For Strongest acceleration; frugal engine; cheaper on all fronts

Against Mixed ride quality; uncomfortable seats; limited range of options; no smartphone mirroring

Recommended options Metallic paint (£685)

Read our full Mercedes GLC review

Find a great Mercedes GLC deal


Specifications: Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro S line

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1968cc, diesel
  • List price £43,395
  • Target Price £39,602
  • Power 187bhp @ 3800-4200rpm
  • Torque 295lb ft @ 1750-3000rpm 
  • Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic 
  • 0-60mph 8.2sec
  • Top speed 137mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 38.2mpg
  • Test MPG 37.0mpg 
  • CO2 emissions 146g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 AWD SE

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel
  • List price £43,175
  • Target Price £41,273
  • Power 178bhp @ 4000rpm 
  • Torque 317lb ft @ 1500-3000rpm 
  • Gearbox 9-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 10.8sec
  • Top speed 125mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 39.6mpg
  • Test MPG 33.6mpg
  • CO2 emissions 155g/km

Specifications: Mercedes GLC 220d 4Matic Sport

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1950cc, diesel
  • List price £39,820
  • Target Price £36,355
  • Power 191bhp @ 3800rpm
  • Torque 295lb ft @ 1600-2800rpm
  • Gearbox 9-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 7.4sec
  • Top speed 134mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 47.9mpg
  • Test MPG 39.8mph
  • CO2 emissions 137g/km

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