I've managed to test drive the Land Rover Discovery Sport on a few occasions. The first time was at its Irish launch back in 2015, when we even got to tackle some minor off-road courses. Minor they may have been, but even from that short course, you can tell that this is a capable machine.
The Discovery Sport replaced the Freelander, but it wasn't just a name replacement. This is a different machine that is comfortable off-road, on motorways, in cities, down back lanes, and much more.
In a way, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is in a class of its own. This is the only SUV in its class that offers 7-seats. It competes with the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Volvo XC60 and having the option of the extra 2-seats in the back means that it pips the competition at the post for practicality. At the same time though, these seats are what I'd call part-time seats only. Adults wouldn't comfortably sit back there.
If you put away seats 6 and 7, there is a cavernous boot on offer – it offers something ridiculous like 981 litres (trust me, that’s a lot). Fold row-two flat and you can pretty-much transform this Land Rover into a van that offer 1,698-litres (trust me, that’s a lot more!).
One thing that makes the Discovery Sport standout is the fact that it holds-firm the traditional Land Rover style. It takes much of its design from the Range Rover Evoque but it still manages to look different (especially at the rear). The interior holds an 8-inch touch screen which is very easy to use. The ride height is high, and the seats are large - which means, you feel like you're driving an SUV... but not only that - you feel like you're driving a Land Rover.
Driving the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a nice experience. The steering is sharp and the car controls itself well in terms of body roll on corners. It does bounce a bit over bumps, but show me any car that doesn't and I still won't believe you. In terms of fuel economy, our test model returned an average of 8l/100km.
Prices for the Discovery Sport start from €41,565. All models house 2-litre, 4-cylinder, diesel engines and customers can opt for a power output of 150bhp or 190bhp. There is also a choice between a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic. We'd opt for the 9-speed, because we're lazy and it's a smooth box too.