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Used test: Audi SQ5 vs Range Rover Evoque vs Porsche Macan

The Porsche Macan is a great sports SUV, but is a used diesel S a better buy than the popular Range Rover Evoque or more powerful Audi SQ5?...

Used test: Audi SQ5 vs Range Rover Evoque vs Porsche Macan

The Contenders

Audi SQ5 3.0 BiTDI quattro auto

List price when new £44,715
Price today £19,000*
Available from 2008-2017

The SQ5 looks excellent on paper, with rapid pace backed up by impressive fuel economy

Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 Dynamic auto

List price when new £41,105
Price today £16,000*
Available from 2011-2019

A compellingly affordable buy and a stylish one too, but does the Evoque come with a catch?

Porsche Macan S 3.0 V6 

List price when new £43,300
Price today £25,000*
Available from 2014-present

The Macan's prestigious badge and highly regarded handling yields the highest used prices of our trio

*Price today is based on a 2014 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

If you desire a sporty driving experience, the last car you should turn to is a diesel SUV, right? Well, perhaps that shouldn't be the case, because the excellent Porsche Macan exists – even the modest diesel version is often hailed as a stellar sports SUV

The only caveat is the price. As a nine-year-old used buy, you'll end up paying more for one than you would with an Audi SQ5 of the same vintage, not to mention the SQ5 gets a more powerful engine. 

2016 Audi SQ5 front

Cheaper still is the established favourite of fashion-conscious SUV buyers, the Range Rover Evoque. When buying used, this luxury vehicle sets you back less cash than a new Vauxhall Corsa will. You'll have to make do with less grunt than our other two contenders offer, mind you. 


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

The Evoque's power output of 188bhp is significantly outmatched by the Macan's 255bhp and the SQ5's 309bhp. The Evoque feels sluggish in this company. You need to work its engine harder to keep pace with fast-moving traffic. More irritating, though, is its nine-speed auto ’box, which pauses momentarily just when you want a burst of speed.

Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) front three quarters

If the Macan's straight-line speed is on par with hot hatches, the Audi SQ5 is akin to a sports car, rocketing from 0-60mph in 5.1sec. Such eye-widening acceleration feels incongruous in an SUV, but a smooth power delivery means the SQ5 is as easy to drive in traffic as on fast B-roads. Its auto gearbox isn’t as smooth as the Macan's, though.

The noisiest car here is the Evoque, because of its gruff engine. The Macan and SQ5 are quieter, but road noise is present in all of these SUVs – particularly the SQ5.

The Evoque also falls down in other areas. Body control is slack and there’s a tendency to wash wide through fast corners – not to mention a lumpy low-speed ride – and this means it simply can’t live with these sportier SUVs.

Porsche Macan front

The Macan impresses most, although it’s important to note that our test car was equipped with optional-from-new air suspension. Steer into a corner with gusto and its nose turns in keenly and body lean is kept tightly in check. It feels remarkably light-footed and composed, even when asked to change direction quickly, while the precise steering and smooth ride make it just as suited to pottering around town.

It’s as easy to carry impressive speeds through corners in the SQ5, but it doesn’t respond as quickly when asked to change direction suddenly, plus its steering isn’t as accurate. Even so, it’s still remarkably agile by SUV standards, and although it’s a tad fidgety around town, it still rides comfortably enough.