Autotrader ad desktop

In partnership with Auto Trader

Used test: BMW X5 vs Land Rover Discovery vs Volvo XC90 verdict

These practical and luxurious SUVs can now be bought used for around £20k, but which should you choose?...

Volvo XC90 vs BMW X5 vs Land Rover Discovery

Our verdict

Our verdict

Considering the design age of the Land Rover Discovery on test here, it puts up a surprisingly good fight. It’s easily the most spacious of our trio and is relaxing and pleasant enough to drive if you do most of your miles on big A-roads and motorways. It’s also by far the most capable off road. Unfortunately, it’s hugely expensive to run, it lacks some important modern safety features, it has the least intuitive infotainment system and it isn’t as well equipped as its rivals.

The BMW X5 is comfortable and enjoyable to drive, plus it’s a quiet cruiser, with little in the way of road and suspension noise. However, the X5 is also the least accommodating seven-seater here. This leaves the Volvo XC90. It's the most successful blend of luxurious SUV and practical family car here, with a high-quality, spacious and cleverly thought out interior to name one of its many positive aspects. 

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

1st – Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 front three quarters

For Classy interior with user-friendly seats; refined and punchy diesel engine; lots of standard kit
Against Unsettled ride, road and suspension noise

What Car? rating Five stars out of five

Read our full used Volvo XC90 review >>

Find a used Volvo XC90 for sale >>

2nd – BMW X5

Used BMW X5 front corner

For Great to drive, brilliant infotainment system, plenty of kit; most reliable
Against Cramped third row

What Car? rating Four stars out of five

Read the full used BMW X5 review >>

Find a used BMW X5 for sale >>

3rd – Land Rover Discovery

Used Land Rover Discovery front corner

For Massively spacious interior, incredible off-road ability
Against Thirsty, short on safety kit, most unwieldy to drive; least reliable

What Car? rating Three stars out of five

Read our full used Land Rover Discovery review >>

Find a used Land Rover Discovery for sale >>

BMW X5 xDrive25d SE 7 seater

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Power 215bhp @ 4400rpm
Torque 332lb ft @ 1500-2500rpm
0-60mph 8.3sec
Top speed 137mph
Fuel economy 48.7mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2 emissions 154g/km

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 SE Tech

Engine size 3.0-litre diesel
Power 252bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 443lb ft @ 2000rpm
0-60mph 8.8sec
Top speed 112mph
Fuel economy 36.7mpg (NEDC Combined)
CO2 emissions 203g/km

Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Power 222bhp @ 4250rpm
Torque 347lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm
0-60mph 8.2sec
Top speed 137mph
Fuel economy 49.6mpg (NEDC Combined)
CO2 emissions 149g/km