Land Rover Discovery Sport review
The Land Rover Discovery Sport combines seven-seat practicality, go-anywhere performance and premium style
Land Rover used to be a rough and rugged brand, but cars like the Land Rover Discovery Sport that are for sale today are a far cry from their rugged ancestors. In fact, think of the Discovery Sport as a more practical alternative to the luxury Range Rover Evoque and you won't be disappointed.
The Discovery Sport replaced the Freelander in the Land Rover range in 2014. Initially it came with the Freelander's engines, but a switch to JLR's latest Ingenium petrol and diesel units soon after launch gave the Discovery Sport a boost. 2019 brought a significant update to the range.
Though classed as a facelift, the changes under the skin were exhaustive: the platform was strengthened and it was adapted to accommodate electrified drivetrains – both mild hybrid and, eventually, plug-in variants.
The exterior styling inside and out remained familiar, but subtle nips and tucks worked to create a more modern appearance overall. Inside, this took the form of a much improved suite of tech: the infotainment system was improved, the climate functions became slicker and some models ganed the option of a digital instrument cluster.
The seven-seat layout remained, giving Land Rover something unique in the Premium SUV class. It's priced at a level that puts it up against the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, while the Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC60 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio are also opponents, although none of these cars offer seven seats. If that's a requirement, then you should have a look at the Skoda Kodiaq, VW Tiguan Allspace and SEAT Tarraco, while the Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail also offer seven-seats as an option. These cars are also cheaper to buy, too.
One area where the Land Rover Discovery Sport exceeds its rivals is its off-road ability. Cars with four-wheel drive feature Terrain Response, which adjusts the gears and traction control to suit different off-road conditions.
Prices for the Land Rover Discovery Sport start from around £31,500 for the entry-level model. That’s for a model with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox; adding two more driven wheels and an automatic gearbox sees prices climb to around £36,500. Above the base model there is the Sporty R Dynamic model. Each is available with three additional Specification Packs: S, SE and HSE, with each adding extra standard kit. The priciest Discovery Sport – a R Dynamic HSE equipped with the most powerful diesel engine – comes to roughly £50,000.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Land Rover Discovery Sport combines seven-seat practicality, go-anywhere performance and premium style
- 2Engines, performance and driveNot exciting to drive, but ride and refinement are right towards the top of the class
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDespite clever mild hybrid tech, the Discovery Sport is still thirstier than many rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyRange Rover design cues are clear outside, while inside is packed with clever tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePracticality and versatility are the main draws of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, with a huge boot, seven seats and masses of space
- 6Reliability and SafetyA strong Euro NCAP result, four-wheel drive and proven underpinnings make the Discovery Sport a safe bet