Compact Premium SUV Test: Merc GLC vs Jag F-Pace vs LR Discovery Sport vs BMW X3

Since deliveries for Audi‘s all-new Q5 have yet to begin, buying into the compact premium SUV segment currently means looking at models such as the Mercedes GLC, the BMW X3, the Jaguar F-Pace and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Of course, there are a few more rivals out there, such as the Lexus NX or the more expensive Porsche Macan, but the four tested here were the ones that Carbuyer editors wanted to talk about most.

Since this is a highly competitive segment, deciding which is best overall can be difficult, which is why most comparison reviews give you a rundown of pros and cons before letting you decide for yourself which one you’d rather have.

If it’s looks you want, you can’t go wrong with either the F-PACE or the GLC, whereas for interior quality, it’s actually the older BMW X3 that made the best impression, followed by the Mercedes and the Jaguar.

On the road, you might think it’s a toss up between the Jaguar and the BMW, but they eventually admit to the F-Pace being the best to drive. As for off-road driving, Britain wins again with the LR Discovery Sport boasting the most features aimed at tackling rougher terrain.

In the end, all four of these models had plenty of things going for them, but you’ll have to watch the video to found out who actually won this test.


  • Lexus aren’t a big player in Europe, so that’s why the NX wasn’t included.

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      for example in my country i saw a lexus maybe last year:)

  • TheBelltower

    I just don’t think the F Pace is as phenomenal looking as these two suggest. I know it’s a Jaguar and that we are all supposed to swoon over them, but the appearance is very overstated.

  • Finkployd

    The discovery looks upmarket ? Now that’s a laugh

    • TheBelltower

      Seems as if they are looking right past the actual design of these vehicles, reading a lot into the brand image. To me, the Discovery looks like an Evoque in Crocs, and the F-Pace looks very ordinary.

  • Matt

    One thing is for sure, fake grilles are back in fashion.

  • Ary Wisesa

    I’d still choose Lexus NX over these.

    • Huge Dom

      The NX is a fancy RAV4 with mostly a better engine and more toys but it very much looks, drives and rides like a RAV4. IMHO, not even in the same class since where as the GLC is based on a C-Class, the X-Pace is on the XF, X3 is the 3 series and Discovery is the Evoque.

      • Ary Wisesa

        But still I would pick Lexus NX for its traditional Lexus quality (= never break down), comfort, and legendary customer service experience. I dont buy brand snob and so-called “German engineering” which is nowadays a fake myth.

        As for Jaguar and Land Rover, I know it very well that their products are highly overrated for its “British luxury and heritage” which is another big fake myth for me. They dont even British anymore since they’re acquired by Tata Group. Many friends of mine are very disappointed with their JLR products that constantly brings more sorrows & disappointments than happiness & peace of mind due to their poor quality and reliability.

        Btw, you have your own right to choose German and British “luxury” brands. I have my own right to choose what’s best for me. 🙂

        • Huge Dom

          The issue is that the NX200 isn’t as problem free as other Lexus, however. Believe me , I’m a fan of the brand too and is disappointing that the NX is sort of breaking the record and history of Lexus Quality. Do a search on it, you will see. It just proves that you just can’t but a Lexus logo on an econ box and it magically becomes a better product which is what Lexus did and was hoping.

          • Ary Wisesa

            I never have any problem whatsoever with my GS350 (except it consumes gasoline much more than my Corolla. LOL. But I can live with it because the other convenience provided by GS far outweight its fuel consumption). Well, I’ll do research on NX as you said. If it indeed is not as reliable as other Lexus model, than perhaps I will consider RX instead. 🙂

  • WG

    The new X3 needs to come out faster.

  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio missing… 😉

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    jag f pace would be nice for me.

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