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Torque (Singapore) - - LEXUS RX350L 3.5 VS LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 2.0 VS VO -

The Lexus RX350L is the most ideal seven-seater SUV for driv­ers who won’t be ven­tur­ing out of our con­crete jun­gle. The car’s smaller size makes it much eas­ier to ma­noeu­vre in built-up ar­eas, while its quiet cabin and well-tuned dampers give it the silki­est ride qual­ity in this Group Test.

We are also pleased with the RX350L’s throaty V6 and slick 8-speed au­to­matic gearbox. Less im­pres­sive, how­ever, are the clumsy in­fo­tain­ment con­trols and tiny third-row, which would make any­one taller than 1.5m quite claus­tro­pho­bic.

Space isn’t an is­sue in the Land Rover Dis­cov­ery, for this Bri­tish be­he­moth has more than enough room for seven adults and their be­long­ings. The Dis­cov­ery also has the most com­mand­ing driv­ing po­si­tion and an all-wheel-drive sys­tem with var­i­ous modes for var­i­ous sur­faces. It even has the abil­ity to wade through wa­ters up to 900mm deep, or twice the wad­ing depth of the Volvo XC90!

That said, the Dis­cov­ery’s size might be a hand­ful for some driv­ers. Nim­ble­ness isn’t this SUV’s strong suit ei­ther, be­cause it feels heav­ier and slower than what its on-pa­per fig­ures sug­gest.

Run­ning neck-and-neck with the Dis­cov­ery is the XC90. It may not have the re­fine­ment of the RX350L or the jun­gle-bash­ing po­ten­tial of the Dis­cov­ery, but the Volvo seven-seater scores points with its sur­pris­ingly zippy per­for­mance.

Also im­pres­sive are the XC90’s in­tu­itive in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and cushy sec­ond-row seats. The nu­mer­ous safety fea­tures are a def­i­nite plus, too.

The XC90, how­ever, would be even better if it had a more pli­ant ride and a qui­eter driv­e­train. But all told, its mix of space, pace and prac­ti­cal­ity makes it very appealing to sub­ur­ban­ites searching for their rugged sev­enth heaven in Singapore.

But­tons on the Lexus RX350L fob (left) have the nicest tac­til­ity, the size­able Land Rover Dis­cov­ery key (right) is the least pocket-friendly but has the most func­tions, while the Volvo XC90’s de­vice is the light­est and looks the classi­est.

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