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Test driving the new Land Rover Discovery Sport

Interested in leasing the newest generation of the Land Rover Discovery Sport? We recently took one out for a test drive to see how it faired up against the old model. Here's how we got on...

Colour: Eiger Grey
Interior: Light Oyster/Ebony grained leather/Light Oyster stitch seats with Ebony/Light Oyster interior
Transmission:
Automatic – All Wheel Drive
Model Line: R-DYNAMIC SE D240 Ingenium
Wheels: 19" 10 spoke, Satin Dark Grey
Engine: 2.0 litre Diesel
0-60: 7.2 (5 seats) / 7.4 (5+2 seats)
Power: 240PS
Price: OTR from £31,575.00 Price of Model Driven: £48,220.00
CO2 g/km: 175 (from 140)

Engines

There are 5 powertrains available with the newest Discovery Sport; 2 petrol engines and 3 diesels. All of the diesels are 2.0 litre engines that produce 150bhp, 180bhp or 240bhp. The petrol’s, again, are both 2.0 litre engines, and you can choose between 200bhp and 250bhp. The entry level D150 can be a front-wheel-drive manual, but all of the other variants are purely available as all-wheel-drive automatics. The new Discovery Sport is now also available with Land Rovers MHEV system – mild hybrid to you and me – which cuts fuel consumption and reduces emissions. We’re driving a highly spec’d model at the top of the diesel lineup, which is a turbo-charged R-Dynamic SE D240.

Design

The 2020 Discovery Sport might not at first glance look all too different from its predecessor, but it’s gone through a total revamp – starting with its platform, which it now shares with the much loved Range Rover Evoque. There’s also a new grille, bumpers, headlights and LED taillights.

Inside, the dash has had a complete re-design, again with design elements taken from the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Velar. It’s got the large 10 inch touchscreen; new gear selector and a plethora of high quality materials that make the car feel really premium. This car had the two-tone upholstery in leather – but there are fabric and vegan options also available.

Ours was also an R-Dynamic, so it got sportier styling inside and out, with finishes such as metal treadplates, sporty front and rear bumpers and titanium mesh finishes.

The Experience

So, first and foremost, I found this car lovely to drive. My issue with the Evoque was that it felt quite small and restricting for the driver – the windows are high up and you feel encompassed in the car – something I know many like - but in my case it left me feeling slightly frustrated. The extra room awarded in the Discovery Sport is all I needed to erase that irritation. The driver’s seat is a very nice place to be and I'd happily get behind the wheel of this car again. 

This car didn’t have the optional panoramic roof, but what it did have was two-tone contrast upholstery that made the entire car feel extremely bright and stylish. The handling was satisfying, and you weren’t burdened by the thought that you were driving a big car.

We did our standard test down the narrow Devon lanes, inevitably meeting several cars, but I wasn’t panicked when I had to reverse (or certainly no more panicked then anyone is when up against a Farmer with places to be). The D240 is undoubtedly the cream of the crop and pulled brilliantly, but many would be more than happy with the smaller D180 for the perfect mix of a more economical drive with a satisfying amount of power.

If you want to use the car to go off-roading or to tow, it’ll pull a maximum of 2,500kg and will wade anything up to 600mm. Depending on the spec you go for, you can also get really useful tech for difficult terrain with gadgets such as the clear sight mirror (transforms into a screen to show images from a camera on the rear of the car) and also ground view technology which shows you what is underneath the vehicle.

My only thought is that part of me would want to invest in some rubber floor mats if I was taking this car through the mud and water – it seems a shame to grub up the carpets!

Technology and Connectivity

Every single model in the line-up gets a 10” touchscreen display, and SE models and higher all get a digital drivers display. Whilst lovely to look at, the centre display can be a bit difficult to use whilst driving. The icons are small, and positioned right at the bottom of the screen so you can sometimes struggle to hit them first time. Not an issue whilst stationary, but something to consider when on the move. The heating controls are dual-function, and allow you to switch between options such as fan speed and the all-terrain system - a nice touch that stops the whole thing from looking over crowded. 

There’s USB charging points for passengers in the back and our car had luxuries such as a heated steering wheel and wireless charging for compatible phones. As standard this model had rain sensing wipers, and all models in the line-up get a reversing camera.

This one had the standard sound system, but those who go for a HSE model will get the upgraded Meridian sound system. We’ve mentioned new LED head and tail lights, which all models get as standard, but SE models go one up with premium LED headlights that have the scrolling indications (think Audi) as well as an electric tailgate.

Space

The new Discovery Sport has been optimised for more room and increased storage space. And most importantly, this car is a 7-seater – or a 5+2 as Land Rover describe it. And… as I can vouch for, it is suitable for 5 adults and 2 others... although those extra two need to be about half the size and height of yours truly… a *coughs* fairly average sized woman of 5 foot 4. See the video of me attempting to navigate into the extra seats here.

With the two extra boot seats folded away, the boot space is a really brilliant 1179 litres, but with the extra seats up, boot capacity is limited to 157 litres – so I guess the question is going to be whether you bring the kids or the luggage!

Forgetting about the extra seats for a moment, space for the rear passengers is very good with lots of head and leg room – and comfort. There’s also a centre armrest with storage and somewhere to put your drinks… or alternatively to put a bit of room between you and the other passenger!

Safety

The Discovery Sport received a 5* Euro NCAP rating and depending which model line you go for, it’s driving features include all-terrain progress control, hill descent control, auto high beam assist, roll stability control, and hill launch assist. There are Isofix points in the 2 rear outer seats and in the front passenger seat – so great for families with a few young children.

Model Lines - What you'll get

It's worth noting that the most basic of Discovery Sports are only available with the 150 diesel. Here's what you get standard in terms of kit:

  • Fabric upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • LED headlights
  • 10” touchscreen
  • Reversing camera

'S' models get:

  • Electric front seats
  • Sat Nav
  • 18" Alloy Wheels

'SE' models get:

  • 19" Alloy Wheels
  • Digital dials
  • Electronic tailgate
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Blind spot Assist
  • Interactive drivers display

'HSE' models get:

  • Clearsight rear-view mirror which transforms the mirror into a screen that displays a camera fitted to the rear of the car
  • Meridian sound system
  • 20" Alloy Wheels
  • Memory seats
  • Drive Pack - Adaptive cruise control, high speed emergency braking and blind spot assist.

Interested in our other reviews? Read our review on the Range Rover Evoque here.

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Posted on 15th January 2020 at 2:40 PM

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