In America, large luxury SUVs reign king. There is not luxury segment bigger and more popular than the luxury SUV segment. In fact, premium brands could stop selling sedans and just sell SUVs and probably wouldn’t hurt for it. So it’s fortunate for these millions of customers that there are some properly great cars in this segment, such as the Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90, to name a few. But which of these three cars is best? Auto Express put them together to find out.
The Land Rover Disco is the newest car of the bunch, having just been launched in Europe and is making its way ‘Stateside soon. In this test, it packs a 2.0 liter diesel that’s the weakest engine of the bunch, making it the slowest in the test. However, it makes up for that by being the softest, most comfortable and quietest, genuinely rivaling Range Rovers for serene smoothness. It also packs a great cabin with lovely leather and materials. Having sat in one at the NY Auto Show, recently, I can say that it’s a really upscale feeling interior. It also has the most room for seven passengers, as well. But, most importantly, the Disco has genuine off-road chops, being able to hang with Jeep Wranglers in the toughest of situations.
While the Audi Q7 is the oldest car in the test, it’s still right up there with the best. Its cabin is uber-luxurious, its ride quality is superb on air suspension and its 3.0 liter TDI V6 is a gem, with smooth, ample power. The Q7 was by far the fastest in the test to 60 mph, doing the sprint in 6.5 seconds. It was also the most agile handler of the bunch, capable of sharp, dynamic movements for such a big SUV and had the fastest steering of the three. However, the Q7 was let down a bit by a tight third row and not as much utility as the other two contenders.
As for the Volvo XC90, it was a nice blend of the other two cars. It’s not as rugged or as luxurious as the Disco but more so than the Audi Q7. It also isn’t as sharp of a handler or packed with as much tech as the Q7 but more so than the Disco. So it’s a nice middle-man. It was also in the middle in terms of speed, being slower than the Audi but faster than the ‘Rover. However, the Volvo is clearly the safest choice of the bunch, with more safety kit than nearly any other car on the road.
In the end, Auto Express ranked the cars as follows: First Place — Land Rover Discover. Second Place — Volvo XC90. Third Place: Audi Q7.