Upmarket SUVs and crossovers are the current kings of the urban jungle.

With their desirable premium image, high-riding visibility, family friendly practicality and fuel-saving front-wheel-drive layouts, theseversatile machines blend fashionable off-roader styling cues with low running costs.

The latest model to join the fray is the Mercedes GLA. Based on the sleek A-Class hatchback, it promises rugged good looks and agile car-like driving dynamics. There’s a choice of four or two-wheel drive, and we try the latter with a frugal 200 CDI turbodiesel.

Ready to give the GLA a thorough workout is the Audi Q3. It’s beautifully built and good to drive, plus the front-wheel drive and 2.0-litre TDI combination promises low fuel bills.

The final member of our trio is the Range Rover Evoque. In entry-level, front-wheel-drive eD4 Pure form, it gives you the stylish upper-crust look for less.

So which of our tall-riding contenders will emerge victorious?


1st place: Range Rover Evoque

It’s expensive, but the stunningly styled and well finished Range Rover Evoque feels a cut above its rivals here and is worth the extra. Decent driving dynamics, a practical cabin, lots of kit and strong residuals add to the desirable model’s appeal.

2nd place: Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 boasts surprisingly sharp handling, a smooth and efficient engine, plus a classy interior. It’s not quite as roomy as its opponents in this test, but there’s enough space for most families, and in S line trim it’s pretty well equipped.

3rd place: Mercedes GLA

Look past its attractive price and decent running costs, and the case for the Mercedes GLA falls apart. Not only is it hobbled by an unrefined engine, but it’s also missing rivals’ tough SUV styling cues. It feels like a normal A-Class behind the wheel.

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Mercedes-Benz GLA vs. Audi Q3 vs Range Rover Evoque in Auto Express Comparison Test!

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