Land Rover Discovery vs. Audi Q7

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - June 27, 2017

After sitting out 2016, the Audi Q7 returns with a roomier seven-passenger interior, a sleeker profile, and enhanced efficiency. The Land Rover Discovery, which technically hasn't been seen since 2005 – American consumers know it as the LR3 and LR4 – is also back in all-new form to tempt buyers who crave off-road capability.

Which of these three-row luxury rides does more to earn your dollar?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Q7 & Discovery »

What the Q7 Gets Right

The Q7's optional supercharged V6 engine takes it from zero to 60 miles per hour in a quick 5.9 seconds. According to EPA estimates, you can expect 21 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a fine showing for a seven-passenger crossover with all-wheel drive. Towing capacity maxes out at an impressive 7,700 pounds.

The cabin reminds us of Audi's full-size A8 sedan. Materials are first-rate and carefully assembled. Road and wind noise are practically non-existent. With the second and third rows folded, the Q7 offers 71.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

What the Discovery Gets Right

The reborn Discovery is a brawny SUV in the Land Rover tradition of go-anywhere luxury. Every model gets full-time four-wheel drive and Land Rover's latest terrain management system, which can either adjust vehicle systems automatically or offers drivers a range of presets to setup the Discovery based on the conditions. The standard 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 allows the Discovery to tow up to 8,201 pounds.

While still formidable, the Discovery weighs 1,000 pounds less than the LR4 it replaces, and offers more refined on-road manners. At 85 cubic feet, maximum cargo space remains exceptional for a midsize SUV. The power-folding second and third rows can be activated remotely using the key fob or your smartphone.

On Road or Off?

The smooth and swift Q7 comes across as a luxury sedan that just happens to have the capability of a midsize crossover. It's a highly civilized vehicle that can handle just about any task most buyers will ask of it.

The Discovery is just as plush inside, but takes a different approach dynamically. Its top priority is off-road performance. In that regard, it has no equal in this class.

Our Verdict: Audi Q7

While we have a lot of respect for the Discovery, the talented A7 is a better everyday choice for all but the most adventurous buyers.

Take a closer look at the Volvo Audi Q7 »

Take a closer look at the Land Rover Discovery »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.