The Land Rover Discovery Sport replaces the Land Rover Freelander bringing with it the luxury and styling of its Range Rover sibling and combining the practicality of the Discovery.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is available with a choice of three diesel engines. It was originally launched with the familiar 2.2 TD4 and 2.2 SD4 options with 150 and 190bhp respectively with one petrol 2.0 Si4 with 240bhp to choose from. Both diesels are available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 9-speed ZF automatic transmissions. The petrol is only available with the auto gearbox. Land Rover have recently added a new more economical 2.0 ED4 engine with 150bhp. It emits just 109g/km of C02 and is the first and only two-wheel-drive option in the line-up.
The Discovery Sport is constructed from the latest technology in lightweight materials making it lighter and more efficient. This is also good news for handling too and lends to the Discovery Sport’s agile feel. Even the entry level two-wheel-drive 2.0 ED4 gets a decent 380Nm of torque making it feel urgent and nimble at all times. Its all new suspension system means it is composed when cornering at decent speeds, but the trade-off for better handling however results in a stiffer set-up where you can feel most of the road imperfections below you.
The Discovery Sport goes up against hefty rivals like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 so when it comes to refinement it needs to compete. And it does with spades. There are four trim levels to choose from, SE, HSE and Luxury HSE. All models come with leather seats as standard complete with comforts like a heated windscreen and cruise control. The 8 inch colour touch screen infotainment system sits at the top of the centre console giving the Disco Sport a modern tech feel. The 2.2 diesel engines can sound a bit raucous on cold start-up but becomes quiet and refined on motorway cruises and around town.
The overall build quality is to the level you would expect from a modern Land Rover with obvious Range Rover qualities and materials used throughout. There is as much emphasis on quality as there is versatility. All of the switchgear feels durable and expensive to the touch and if you go for the automatic option, the rotary gear selector rises up from the centre console adding a real element of cool to the SUV. The driver instruments and dials housed within the drivers binnacle are taken directly from the Jaguar XE further endorsing the cabins quality finish.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport received a full five star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing. There is a huge amount of safety technology that comes with the Discovery Sport with a big emphasis on pedestrian safety too. It gets seven airbags as standard including a bonnet mounted pedestrian airbag in case of any potential impact. Four-wheel-drive versions get hill descent control and terrain response while all models get electronic stability control, hill assist, roll stability control and dynamic stability control as standard.
There is an excellent use of the space available within the Discovery Sports cabin. Driver and passenger fare very well with plenty of space and loads of adjustment in the driver seat. Rear passengers also get good space with the option to slide the rear bench back or forward to create more legroom or boot space depending on your requirements. There is an option to add two further seats in boot which are only really suitable for small children. Without these you can make the most of the 981 litre boot space which can be further increased to 1698 litres if you drop the rear bench.