Capitalising on the Range Rover Sport’s success Land Rover decided its trusty Discovery needed the same makeover. Enter stage left, the Discovery Sport.
Unlike the Range Sport, the Disco Sport bears no resemblance to its predecessor – the outgoing Discovery. It is a completely new design from a fresh family tree, and it could be argued is a Freelander replacement.
Coming in at £47,475 our HSE Luxury trim level had just over £4,000 in optional extras, most notably the Entertainment Pack at £2,500 and the electrically deployable tow bar at £950.
Starting price of the Sport is £30,695 for entry level SE spec.
From the outside the Disco Sport is a smart looker. It has the tell-tale rugged 4×4 looks to it, but more modern, svelte lines flow along its sides.
The jacked up ride height still gives it superb ground clearance, albeit at the cost of handling…but more on that later.
That clamshell bonnet features, along with a unique led light signature front and rear. It’s a kind of mash up of Evoque, Discovery and Range Rover Sport. It works well though.
Fitted with the 2 litre TD4 Ingenium diesel engine the Sport pulls well, with 180 BHP and 430 Nm of torque.
But weighing in at 1,884 KG the MPG is always going to be on the low side, over 250 miles we only managed to achieve 32.2 MPG. This included about 150 motorway miles and the rest were around town.
Landy claim the Urban MPG to be 44.8 – not lugging all this weight around it won’t. Realistically you would be looking at middling to high 30’s.
Handling is where the “Sport” fell down for us. You see the Range Rover Sport handles far better than the full fat Range Rover. It is less boat like in its cornering, and altogether more composed.
The Discovery Sport though seems to take its driving dynamics from the larger Range Rover. It is very wobbly at times. A swerve on the motorway instantly brings in the traction control, grabbing at the front and rear wheels to keep the car heading in a straight line. Confidence inspiring it certainly isn’t.
But…this is a fully blown 4×4. It has the same terrain guidance system as the Evoque we drove earlier on in the year, and although no Evoque has EVER gone off road, we proved it could cope if Chelsea was to ever be covered in a mudslide.
Braking produces a very nose down pitch, but there is enough bite to keep this big Landy under control.
Inside is very much upmarket. You find smartly brushed aluminium along the centre console, gloss black plastics and quality leather adorn the dash
All the dials are lifted straight out of the Evoque too, along with much of the centre console setup.
Rear seat legroom is very good, a 6 footer could sit here with ease and even outstretch their legs. Need to recline? No problem. They even slide forward and back.
And the Disco’s party trick is that if you suddenly find you need a 7 seater there are two extra seats hidden in the boot floor. Simply pull the straps and they pop up into place, getting in can be a bit tricky from the rear doors and legroom will then become a bit cramped for everyone but they are for occasional use.
Boot space is also pretty decent when those extra seats are folded flat at 830 litres. This reduces down to 195 litres in 7 seat mode.
So the not so sporty Discovery Sport.
For us it was a bit of a let down, we hoped it would be like a larger Evoque. Far more of an on road tool given its sporting badge.
However, Land Rover currently don’t have an entry level model since the demise of the bouncy Freelander. So for the time being the Discovery Sport takes its place. It has the same sort of ride and abilities, but with an upmarket interior and far more stylish looks.
Land Rover Discovery Sport – Handling could be better, worthy Freelander replacement, up market interior, can get pricey.