S o like castles and palaces, large SUVs also have a breath of the immortal. The sheer size of their bodies and the awe-inspiring curb weights of around 2.5 tonnes alone give rise to hope that they were milled from solid material and not saved with a sharp pencil in secret. Underneath the sheet metal, good, honest mechanical engineering that in a few years' time will still torpedo every thought of a new acquisition with natural authority. What do you want to buy Nothing better comes after.
When you look at the prices of a Land Rover Discovery, an Audi Q7, a BMW X5 or a Mercedes GL, it quickly becomes clear that this is also a figurative purchase of enormous amounts Weight goes. The editors did not order the four diesels as five-seaters, but as seven-seaters: all-terrain touring carriages for the extended family. How big can the clan be so that everyone can get to their destination comfortably when fully occupied? In any case, for good comfort, they all have air suspension on board - Land Rover Discovery TDV6 SE and Mercedes GL 320 CDI even come as standard. In the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI it costs the trifle of 2575 euros, and in the BMW X5 3.0d it is at least included in the 1980 euros for the optional third row of seats. The Bavarian only offers this luxury on the rear axle, while steel springs send the competition to the old age.
Only an SUV stays below the 50,000 euro limit
Without further extras, the four reach a price level that predestines them for a place of honor in the inheritance. Only the Discovery in the rich SE version remains below the 50,000 euro limit. The Mercedes is aiming for 70,000 euros. Audi and BMW? Romp around the 55,000 euro price range, whereby a cross in the surcharge list for leather and navigation increases the amount by the value of a decent used car. But knight castles, as you know, have never been for poor people.
In return, people can also see where all that money has gone. Land Rovers Discovery seems most normal in this quartet of opulence. Its mostly straight pressed sheet metal makes the short and narrow, but by far the tallest car look almost discreet. The flat Audi, especially with the swanky S-Line aprons mounted on the gleaming white test car, and the simple and very, very large Mercedes magically draw the eye. MoreAlso, when the BMW is given, because the fact that the second generation of the Munich success child is already on the big wheels is not immediately recognizable because of the subtle optical corrections.
There is plenty of space in whichever one also gets on offer them all. The BMW and especially the Land Rover seem a little less generous because of their more vertical cockpit architecture, but here too, tall guys are in good hands. In the second row, which in the case of the X5 can be cut out a little less easily due to the small door and the not opening gates, things look different. The BMW and Land Rover don't offer as much foot space as the competition. Still, long legs don't get into a bind here either.
Discovery and X5 have horizontally split tailgates
If you leave it at this seat configuration, you can to invite plenty. There are around 600 liters under the load compartment covers from Mercedes and BMW. Audi puts the trunk volume at 775 liters and Land Rover even at an incredible 1192 liters. Small detail on the side: Discovery and X5 have horizontally split tailgates. The lower half is good for fishing as a reasonably comfortable place in the shade; However, when it comes to fishing the last travel bag out of the shallows of the trunk, they are downright a hindrance.
But we do feel the seven-seater on the tooth. So we fold up the last row of seats. With the GL, this is particularly convenient at the touch of a button. The expense of the electronically controlled electric motors justifies the hefty surcharge of 1,607 euros, because the other candidates require a few manipulations. Only at BMW are sixth and seventh places even more expensive at 1,980 euros because they are only available in a package with air suspension. The reward for the effort varies - not only in terms of the size of the remaining storage space, which varies between 200 (X5) and 460 liters (GL). Because only the Mercedes and the Land Rover are real seven-seaters. In both of them, adults themselves sit in the back with dignity, although the seats of the Discovery can be a little longer. In the Audi and BMW, on the other hand, passengers with a drawn head and trapped legs feel like Gulli ver in Liliput. Not to mention the effort to get on these jump seats. You really shouldn't be taller than 1.60 meters with a sporty figure.
But there are also differences between the Discovery and the GL
Because While the Land Rover shows many uncovered hinges, rails and cheap felt, especially at the back, Mercedes has pulled through the excellent quality impression from front to back with iron consistency. Everything looks so polished and noble that an S-Class doesn't look any more dignified. Like the GL, the X5 and are emphatically businesslike, but high-qualityEspecially the Q7 can hardly be topped in terms of material selection, accuracy of fit and color harmony. In contrast, the Discovery has a harsher climate. Not only is the angular interior design more rustic, the plastics used also look like this. They give the impression of being able to survive cleaning with a steam jet, while with German SUVs you get big eyes filled with fear if someone just brings the words mud-smeared rubber boots over their lips.
These different traits coincide well with the characteristics of the four big ships on the road. With very precise and agile handling, the Q7 and X5 show where they actually feel at home. Their dynamics seem almost unreal, because in front of curves they seem to shrink to the format of an A4 or 3-series, so easy to whistle around the corner with them. The fast tour over winding country roads becomes a sporting pleasure. This elaborately acquired agility is alien to GL. Of course, it can also be steered with minimal effort, but the driver feels the force of the centrifugal force more clearly. And while the will to high cornering speed is in the genes of the Audi and the BMW, the GL tackles turns with significantly understeering at a slightly lower level. Just like a butler brings good port wine to the gentlemen in perfect form, even though it's only half past nine in the morning. The Discovery quickly gets smaller in the rearview mirror. The steering is too imprecise, the reactions to course changes accompanied by strong sway are too delayed. It is, of course, the wrong car for jagged driving maneuvers - and it is obviously not made for that. The Brit shows this with the inadequate lateral guidance of his dresser seats and the very upright position behind the steering wheel. If you let it run like a big tanker, you will be rewarded with the good feeling of keeping this real off-roader, which has come under the sport utility vehicles, in a species-appropriate manner.
The Land Rover is just turning the young German head dynamic from Munich and Ingolstadt A long nose off the beaten track, but then right. Although the Q7 is even more talented than the X5 because of the height-adjustable air suspension, the demolition expert in the lignite mine would not be happy with it either. His choice was more likely to fall on the Discovery, which with its five-stage all-wheel drive Terrain Response, large ground clearance, reduction gear and the enormous twist angles of its axles even puts the GL in its place. And with locks, reduction gears, hill descent assistance and variable ground clearance, it is already very well equipped in the event that dad was caught in the midlife crisis and he wants to retreat to the Sahara to meditate.
The trip With all fours you can go abroad on quiet paws. That up thereSix-cylinder diesel with displacements between 2.7 (Land Rover) and three liters work, only penetrates the ear at low speeds - the worst insulated in the Discovery, by the way. But beyond the city limits you can travel quickly across the country without any noise. With the exception of the Mercedes (seven gears), all have six forward gears, which are changed gently and usually automatically at the right time. At high freeway speeds, the Mercedes turns out to be the quietest car, as it makes the most polished impression.
If the standard adjustable dampers are programmed for comfort, the GLüble swallows slopes gently, but never too soft - even better than the equally very comfortable, but slightly wobbly Land Rover. The Q7 goes to work a little tighter in the automatic mode of its chassis, but not too uncomfortable. The BMW X5 is completely different. It is resolutely unyielding, especially on rough bumps and potholes. Apparently, not only have the Brandenburg mogul slopes been forgotten when tuning his chassis, but rather springs and dampers have been designed exclusively for drivers who have an annual ticket for the Nürburgring-Nordschleife behind their sun visor. At least the comfort seats built into the test car for 2010 euros match this impression. Manifold adjustable and blessed with high backrests as if they were designed for a racing car, they are simply one of the most sensible of the many expensive extras for this car.
The contrast program to these fast-paced armchairs can be found in the Mercedes GL . In its wide cushions you sink into a sense of well-being, you don't feel constricted and in good hands. It looks similar in the Q7, while the armchairs of the Discovery with their insufficiently shaped side bolsters subtly underline its “no wrong rush” habit.
There is also no room for haste. Because with its 190 hp and 440 newton meters, the Discovery is lost to the German bulls with at least 224 hp (Mercedes) and 500 newton meters (Audi). With 12.9 seconds, four seconds slower to 100 than Q7 and X5, with no chance in terms of elasticity, with a top speed of 180 km /h, beaten by at least 30 things at top speed. Such numbers are not only important at the regulars' table, they also have an effect in real life. Not that the Land Rover is not sufficiently motorized and that you have to be chased by small cars that are driven with great dedication. But the last bit of sovereignty when overtaking, the relaxed approaching the exit from the town or the nice kick on the autobahn when drivers of supposedly faster limousines stunned the lane - it's just not there.
And this pays off in terms of consumption Not even sacrificing performance: With twelve liters, the Land Rover approved as much on the test track as the Mercedes and hardly less than thatAudi (12.3 liters) - A consequence of the relative weakness of torque, which the automatic often compensates for by selecting lower gears. The X5 turned out to be a saver with a test consumption of eleven liters. In view of the very good driving performance, every drop of it should have felt an honor to have been compressed in these combustion chambers to the point of spontaneous combustion. The slim nature of the BMW contributes to this low consumption. The 25 centimeters longer and eight centimeters higher Mercedes is around 300 kilograms heavier, Land Rover and Audi still weigh a good 200 kilograms more.
So far, the concepts of Q7 and X5 have met with the greatest approval from buyers. They take fourth and fifth place in the current admission statistics. GL and disco cavort in ranks 28 and 38. Real seven-seaters are apparently not in great demand.