2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review
The Land Rover Discovery Sport replaces the beloved Freelander as the second smallest in the range, bringing up the luxury level of the family-sized SUV. This has proved incredibly successful as it is just as popular as its predecessor showcasing its sporty design and smooth driving experience. This model is priced at £43,400 which competes well with its competitors, only being beaten by the Lexus NX.
The Discovery Sport HSE Luxury has a clean, modern design and the test model’s stunning Loire Blue colour is impressive. The striking 20inch alloys have a truly distinctive design and enhance the overall presence of the SUV while the body strikes the perfect mix between the sporty look of the Evoque and the rugged look of the Discovery.
Its headlights demonstrate a sense of purpose and double up as a safety feature with the lighting position being movable to see around corners. The sleek front grille has more in common with the Range Rover and while its design isn’t as pretty as the rest of the range, it looks much more classy and refined than its predecessor.
For the large part, the Discovery Sport HSE Luxury is a perfectly balanced family-sized SUV with a precise mix of practicality, performance and elegance. Whether you’re taking your family on holiday, going solo on a business trip or simply nipping to the shops, it will be the perfect runner for all occasions.
The cabin is luxurious and slots perfectly between the lower spec of the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the higher spec of the larger Discovery. The dashboard is clear and precise and its leather steering wheel is perfectly sized for an SUV this big and in this model. Buttons are laid out simply and are very easy to use with most of the vehicle’s controls being taken care of by either the buttons or the central touchscreen. Additionally, the Windsor leather seats are also heated and cooled to keep you comfortable no matter what the weather may bring.
There is enough space for five adults to sit comfortably within the spacious cabin and the panoramic roof increases the open feeling of the SUV. In the back, you would struggle to fit two children as there isn’t a lot of room. Boot space is smaller than you would expect from a vehicle of this size with just 981L available with the back seats down. Its competitors certainly give more consideration to boot space with a lower lip allowing you to fill them more effectively. The Satin Black rotary dial is present as with all automatic Land Rover and Jaguar models and looks as at home as it does across the range.
Day to day driving is where this SUV shines with the nine speed 2.0L diesel engine fairing very well. There are no serious delays in gear changes and realistically, they go unnoticed. From a standing start, the Discovery Sport HSE Luxury pulls away fairly quickly but won’t be winning any races. More pace could be expected considering this is labelled as a ‘sport’ model but for the average family user, it’s respectable.
The heads up display fed back an average of 35mpg during testing which is surprisingly good considering its size. The SUV is very simple to drive and you really appreciate this on normal roads and especially on motorways. There is notable bumpiness when driving on big roads, however, it handles roads with potholes ironically well and seems much firmer on those.
The Discovery Sport HSE Luxury is, as expected, very well equipped in-line with the rest of the Jaguar Land Rover range. The 8inch InControl satnav system with phone connectivity is easy to navigate and allows you to stream audio and even use the calling features of your phone. It’s also equipped with DAB radio, USB and 12v connectivity to make sure every convenience is available to you.
The screen also includes dual display capabilities allowing the driver to see driving data while the passengers see a film. This was tested with a DVD to mixed results. The front passenger gets a perfect view while the passenger sat directly behind them sees driving data leaking through. If you want rear entertainment, you’d be better off opting for the fitted rear screens. The Discovery Sport is also equipped with park assist ensuring you park safely.