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Used test: Audi Q5 vs BMW X3 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport costs

The Audi Q5 is one of our favourite used large SUVs, but could the more practical Land Rover Discovery Sport or fine-driving BMW X3 dethrone it?...

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

In their respective test car specs, the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 will cost you the least to buy at £29,000, followed by the Land Rover Discovery Sport at £31,000. The Discovery Sport helps to justify its higher price by being the most well equipped, but the other two aren’t exactly spartan. 

There’s not much difference between the Q5 and X3 in terms of fuel economy; their average NEDC figures are 56.4mpg and 54.3mpg, respectively. However, the Discovery Sport is by far the worst, at 44.1mpg, and will have you visiting the filling station the most. 

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

If insurance costs are a concern, go for the Q5, because it sits in the lowest insurance group. The X3 will cost you slightly more, while the Discovery Sport's significantly more powerful engine attracts the highest premiums.

In terms of servicing, the Discovery Sport should cost you the least over three years – £1221, to be specific – according to our predicted three-year running costs. The Q5 then comes in at £1345, while the X3 has a figure of £1434. 

None of the examples here cost less than £40,000 when new, so each is liable for the supplementary luxury car tax – currently £335 – which runs from years two to six of the car's life and will go on top of the £155 per year you'll pay in road tax. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here.

New BMW X3 vs Audi Q5 vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

All three cars have a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, with little to split them in the test’s individual categories. Each comes with automatic emergency braking and an SOS emergency call function. Only the Discovery Sport has lane departure warning, while additional aids, such as lane-keeping assistance, blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, are options to consider on all.

According to the latest What Car? Reliability Survey data, the X3 should be the most dependable car of the trio; in diesel form, it ranked fourth out of 21 large SUVs. The Q5 was further down the rankings in 11th place, while the Discovery Sport was near the bottom in 19th position; this latter result doesn't inspire confidence.