Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a well-designed, compact SUV.
- Practical seven seater that is also now available with just five seats.
- New Ingenium diesel engines are much more fuel efficient
- Features a raft of safety technology
- Low speed ride is firm
The Land Rover Discovery Sport launched at the end of 2014 as their Freelander model had come to the end of its life but this new model was an ideal replacement in the compact SUV segment. Now, after a year of sales the British manufacturer has introduced their new Ingenium diesel engine to the model.
On the Road
Within Land Rover's new Ingenium range of diesel engines there’s a 2.0-litre diesel E-Capability which produces 150hp, mated with a six speed transmission is the most efficient option. There’s also a 180hp option with a tree stump pulling 430Nm of torque and the possibility of opting for a nine-speed automatic transmission that gets the Discovery Sport from 0-60mph in just 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 117mph.
With CO2 emissions as low as 129g/km for the 150hp engine then VED will fall into band D so will cost nothing for the first year, then just £110 annually. With a combined mpg figure in the fifties running costs should be good for the Discovery Sport.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport shouldn’t be thought of as just a car for the country folk; the SUV is not just for shooting parties and sheep herding. It handles well, steering is well weighted and precise making it quick to drive on B roads - never thought we’d say that about a compact SUV. It’s also a good motorway cruiser, ride is comfortable but less so at low speed.
For those wishing to tackle various road conditions then the Discovery Sport comes with their Terrain Response technology which will tackle the most challenging of muddy fields.
The new TD4 engine is well developed to avoid any high levels of noise intrusion, the outgoing 2.2-litre engine wasn’t as refined so this is a much better option.
Cabin noise has also been kept to a mininium. It’s well insulated although the odd bit of wind noise makes its way inside occasionally.
In the car
The cabin is well-designed, looks and feels nearly as good as the Evoque and with quite a high driving position visibility isn’t too bad but the small rear window does compromise this so drivers have to make use of the onboard camera to avoid reversing into something.
An 8” touchscreen dominates the centre console and features navigation, media. Smartphones and tablets can be charged through USB ports around the cabin, even for the third row seats while its also possible to access a 3G hotspot with inbuilt Wifi.
Mood lighting is an optional addition so you can personalise the cabin dependant on your mood.
There are six trim levels starting at SE which features plenty of standard equipment including partial leather seats, cruise control, Bluetooth, heated seats and DAB radio, and goes right up to HSE Dynamic Lux which adds privacy glass, re-styled front and rear bumpers, black grille, vents and mirrors, a Sport badge, aluminium paddle shifts and sports pedals.
When the Discovery Sport was first released it was available only as a seven-seater or 5 + 2 but this has been altered so that buyers can opt for a five-seat version with the 2.0-litre E-Capability engine. Bravo to Land Rover for listening to the consumer as not everybody wants or needs seven seats.
The third row seats are really only meant for children (or adults on a short journey) as leg room is quite restricted. When not in use they do fold flat into the floor.
The reclining second row seats slide to increase the load space giving you plenty of room for all your luggage at 981-litres, increasing to enormous 1698-litres with all the rear seats flat. An electronic tailgate with the Discovery Sport is very useful.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is priced from £30,695 which is a fraction cheaper than rivals such as the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60. For those wanting to buy into the compact SUV segment, but want more practicality than the Range Rover Evoque, then the Discovery Sport ticks all the boxes.
It comes with a three years manufacturer warranty and a roadside assistance package.
The Discovery Sport is well-built with an interior that isn’t far off the Evoque in terms of the solid, sophisticated looking materials used plus it does share the same underpinnings as that model so it should expect to perform well in the reliability ratings. That being said though there was an problem with the second row seat folding mechanism but that has now been resolved.
The Discovery Sport scored the maximum five starts in the Euro NCAP ratings as it features a host of safety equipment including the pedestrian airbag, a first for the compact SUV class, various park assist systems including help to parallel park, Perpendicular Park will assist drivers into tight spaces, operate the pedals and the system will turn the steering wheel. Operating at up to speeds of 31mph and Autonomous Braking System is also fitted should there be a risk of a collision then emergency brakes will be applied.
If you’re using the model to tow then Trailer Stability Assist is another good option as it’ll stop any trailer sway by reducing speed and applying the brakes.
With plenty of airbags and other driving assist systems including Dynamic Stability Control, anti-lock braking and a lane departure warning then Land Rover have produced a very safe model for this type of car.