New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

Land Rover’s new Discovery promises to be the definitive do-anything seven-seater. But first it has to beat the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. We find out which is best...

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What Car? team
06 April 2016

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

Our verdict

The new Land Rover Discovery is a hugely impressive thing, and not just because it’s equipped with the most off-road features – including a high and low-ratio gearbox – and has easily the best ground clearance. It’s better than ever on the road, too, nipping at the Audi Q7’s heels for comfort and peaceful cruising manners.

True, second-row leg room could be better, but otherwise the Discovery is the most accommodating seven-seater here, and its interior is awash with smart design touches to make life easier, including storage options such as a cubby in the front that’ll swallow up to four iPads.

All of this makes it easier to forgive the new Discovery's high list price, as does the fact it's the most generously equipped and is predicted to hold on to more of its value over three years. Only the frustrating infotainment system, slightly sloppy handling and high running costs really let it down.

As good as the Discovery is, though, it's the Q7 that's the winner. It is, quite simply, one of the most complete cars on the planet. It’s the classiest of our trio inside and has the most user-friendly infotainment system, the most comfortable ride and easily the strongest engine. And weaknesses? Well, that’s just it: there aren’t any, really. And for that reason, it’s the best luxury SUV in the world.

In such company, third place is no disgrace for the Volvo XC90. It’s a relative bargain to buy and the cheapest to run, not to mention classy inside and the most agile through corners. You will need to live with a ride that’s quite abrasive at times, as well as a lot of road noise, but otherwise the XC90 is a very appealing option.

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1st – Audi Q7

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

For Strong and silky engine; supple ride; quietest at speed; quality interior; slick infotainment system

Against The need to add pricey air suspension; tight in the third row

Verdict Not just a superb SUV, but one of the best cars on sale today

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi Q7 review

Find a great Audi Q7 deal

2nd – Land Rover Discovery

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

For Roomiest third row; comfortable ride; a lot of kit

Against So-so infotainment; expensive to buy and run

Verdict Still the off-road king; excellent on road, too

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Land Rover Discovery review

Find a great Land Rover Discovery deal

3rd – Volvo XC90

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

For Cheapest to buy; lowest emissions; tidy handling

Against Too much road and engine noise; lumpy ride

Verdict Very good but falls short in a few key areas

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Volvo XC90 review

Find a great Volvo XC90 deal

Also consider:

Specifications: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 S line

Engine size 3.0-litre diesel

List price £55,905

Target Price £51,010

Power 268bhp

Torque 443lb ft

0-60mph 6.1sec

Top speed 145mph

Official fuel economy 47.9mpg

CO2 emissions 153g/km

Specifications: Land Rover Discovery 3.0L Td6 HSE

Engine size 3.0-litre diesel

List price £58,795

Target Price £58,495

Power 255bhp

Torque 443lb ft

0-60mph 8.4sec

Top speed 130mph

Official fuel economy 39.2mpg

CO2 emissions 189g/km

Specifications: Volvo XC90 2.0 D5 PowerPulse R-Design

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price £51,005

Target Price £48,440

Power 232bhp

Torque 354lb ft

0-60mph 8.1sec

Top speed 137mph

Official fuel economy 49.6mpg

CO2 emissions 149g/km


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