Land Rover’s new Discovery is versatile, capable and stylish.
Story By Mark Muller
The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is an excellent addition to the fabled marque’s line-up. It effectively takes the place of the Freelander in terms of size. The Discovery family is now the more rugged branch of the brand, while the Range Rover suite will continue to represent the luxurious, high-end section. Enthusiasts await the evolution of the stalwart Defender with interest.
The Disco Sport is based on the Range Rover Evoque underpinnings – it has the same engines and gearbox, but it is an altogether more practical vehicle – suited to the needs and abuses of an active family. With this in mind, it offers seven seats across the range. Unfortunately, opting for seven seats mandates a space-saver spare, which pretty much rules out taking it more than 100 kilometres from a dealership. Far better, if you intend to use this bus in the bush, to go for five seats and have the security of a full-size spare tyre. Make no mistake, this is a vehicle that can be taken off-road without fear. In keeping with its heritage, it is as agile as a goat and is able to tackle terrain that would make its competitors (think Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the like) curl up in a ball and cry. Class-leading approach angles – 25° at the front and 21° at the rear – and Land Rover’s tried and true Terrain Response system, 212mm ground clearance, smooth nine-speed transmission and, in the model tested, 2.0litre TD4 engine and direct steering, all lend a sense of security and confidence in the rough stuff.
This accomplished feeling transfers well to sealed roads, where the Disco Sport flows along in comfort, whether on bumpy country blacktop or smooth freeways. Across these mixed environments, fuel use came in at 8.7 litres per 100km.
Inside the Sport there is a sense of refinement and simplicity augmented by plenty of leather and soft plastics. Controls, displays and switchgear are all easily used and there is a feel of quality and strength throughout.
While there is very little to grizzle about, some things are apparent. There is a small lag between pressing down the accelerator and the engine pouring on the power; the cruise control is fine on the flat, but will not hold the vehicle’s 1863 kilograms to speed downhill and the rear vents don’t push out much air, compared to the front vents. All in all, however, this is a beautifully designed and executed vehicle that is bound to become a sales leader for Land Rover.
The Discovery Sport comes in eight main variations of engine and gearbox and four specification levels – Pure, SE, HSE and HSE luxury. Prices Range from $55,800 to $69,000. Optional extras can push the price higher.
See www.landrover.com for more information.
This Story is from Issue #103
Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2015