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JAGUAR

IT’S a smaller mar­gin of vic­tory, but the F-pace wins again. It looks great, while the in­te­rior is well equipped, prac­ti­cal and up­mar­ket. The chas­sis de­liv­ers the best blend of ride and han­dling, and its punchy diesel makes up for with pace what it lacks in ul­ti­mate re­fine­ment. And while other cars ap­peal more fi­nan­cially, the en­gag­ing Jag has the edge in a class where own­ers buy with their heart as much as their head.

MERCEDES

THE Mercedes misses out by a nar­row mar­gin. It looks smart, oozes up­mar­ket ap­peal, will cost busi­ness own­ers the least to run and is avail­able with some at­trac­tive fi­nance deals. It’s also fast, re­fined and com­fort­able, es­pe­cially on the op­tional air sus­pen­sion. But it’s not as prac­ti­cal or as fun to drive as the Jag, and you have to fork out a lot to get an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that’s up to scratch.

AUDI

THIRD place is no dis­grace for the Q5, but in this class the play-it-safe ap­proach and bland char­ac­ter mean it fails to stand out. The Audi is still a de­sir­able choice, with its beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted in­te­rior, de­cent in­fo­tain­ment, rea­son­able run­ning costs and – inconsistent ride ex­cepted – ex­cel­lent re­fine­ment. It’s well built and ca­pa­ble, but doesn’t feel like much of an ad­vance over the old car.

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