Land Rover has been putting in efforts to improve their product line up and lately have become more aggressive in the compact crossover segment. The result of this aggression is the new Discovery Sport. We checked out this new SUV from Land Rover, to get a feel of what it is all about. Land Rover has introduced the Discovery Sport with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. This engine produces 237bhp of power and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This costs INR 61.2 lakhs (on-road, New Delhi)
The Discovery Sport comes as a replacement for the Freelander2. At first glance, you will be excused for thinking it to be the Range Rover Evoque, as it looks identical from far, especially the front portion. Though the two share most of the underpinnings, there are many differences between the two. The major difference here is that the the Discovery Sport is a more rugged machine with better off-roading capabilities.
DESIGN AND STYLE
The Land Rover Discovery Sport, unlike the Freelander 2 isn’t boxy, and that’s a welcome change. In fact, a quick glance at it is enough to figure that it draws some inspiration from the Range Rover Evoque. But amazingly, the Disco still manages make its own identity with its subtle design cues.
Look at the Discovery Sport from the front and it screams Land Rover. That smoothly carved out bonnet, and the honeycomb grille grill with the Discovery badge above it give it a clean look up front. And then adding a bit of spunk, there are those sweet looking circular daytime running lamps around the projector headlamps. We particularly liked the way the rear end coexists with the front thanks to certain elements in its design. The smoked tail lamp cluster too has circular LEDs and there’s the all important Discovery badge above the registration plate. Although the oddball rear design doesn’t look as evolved and butch as the front, the overall styling will surely grow on you over time.
CABIN AND SPACE
The interior styling of the Discovery Sport matches that of the other new Land Rovers. The new Discovery Sport is the perfect replacement for those who need fresh and modern styling and were hesitating too buy the Freelander2. The Discovery Sport retains high quality interiors but do not expect it to be premium. The Discovery family is about good quality but not premium and there is a difference between the two.
There is the two-dial instrument cluster with white backlight, easy to read and operate. For those not used to Land Rovers the power windows switches are mounted next to the window than the armrest. Another JLR touch is the rising gear knob when you push the ignition switch. The Discovery Sport even has a new centre console, which is simple to operate and functional. The Discovery series is more about being functional than luxurious.
What it misses is the character of the Freelander2, like bigger windows that made the cabin feel airy, the thick and chunky gear stick, the twin vertical chrome strips on the steering wheel that functioned as the horn. These aren’t important but they add some more character the SUV. This is what Freelander did and but the new Discovery series has its own design characteristics.
The things that we liked about the Land Rover Discovery Sport is the rear seat space and no more stadium like seating that the Freelander2 offered. Then there is also an option of 5+2 seating as well so two children can be seated at the rear making it a complete family SUV. It is available as a fine and seven-seater.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is offered with a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. The oil-burner is offered in two states of tune. The variants with the TD4 trim, including our test vehicle, have the lower state of tune in which the engine churns out 147 HP of power at 3500 RPM and 400 Nm of torque from 1750 RPM. The higher SD4 trim pumps out an extra 40 HP of power and 20 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to the same 9-speed ZF automatic transmission that is also available with the Range Rover Evoque. The Discovery Sport takes 10.5 seconds to complete the 0-100 km/hr sprint which isn’t impressive.
When you flick the gearknob to D and set off, you realise that the engine has almost negligible turbo lag and the SUV responds nicely to throttle inputs but acceleration isn’t aggressive or something that would make you go WOW. Power delivery from the engine is very smooth and linear all the way to the redline. The oil-burner is lacking on power and its top-end performance is really less than satisfactory. The Discovery Sport maxes out at 180 km/hr. The 2.2-litre unit, however, really excels when we talk about refinement or NVH levels which are just brilliant. This is one engine that isn’t meant for quick bursts of acceleration but rather smooth cruising on the highways.
There is a Sport mode on offer too which ups the performance by a very marginal amount. Again, you do not get pushed back into your seat when you give the car the beans and it accelerates linearly. The Discovery Sport cruises at 100 km/hr at 1400 RPM and 1500 RPM in D and S modes respectively and the engine never feels strained while munching miles. The only thing going against the TD4 tune is the lack of top-end and outright performance. The SUV churns out good mileage too and we managed to extract 13-14 km/l on our highway tests which is really good for a vehicle of this class. The transmission is also butter smooth and gear shifts go unnoticed to the driver. Land Rover has always been known for its off-road capabilities and the Discovery Sport is no different. It has a 4WD Terrain Response System that has different modes and settings for gravel, mud, snow, etc. types of road surfaces and we must say that this works terrifically well.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Again, this is the manufacturer’s unparalleled understanding of how a contemporary Land Rover must be made to handle: not, crucially, as a sports saloon might, but rather how something tall, forceful and hefty ought to.
The contrivance at work among its rivals is absent, replaced by the apparently organic fluency of an SUV not disguising its amplified body movements but instead tuning them to an inner-ear-pleasing model of consistency and linear balance.
Apart from an occasionally awkward weight at manoeuvring speeds, the same finesse has been applied to the steering, which allows this mass to be threaded along with the kind of linear delicacy that is rarely accorded to hatchbacks, let alone SUVs.
Consequently, on the open road, the car can be driven swiftly and very pleasingly. Its occasional harshness and questionable refinement notwithstanding, it is the charm of this two-way relationship that defines the Sport as ‘good to drive’ beyond all else, and wonderfully typical of Land Rover’s current output.
SAFETY AND FEATURES
As of this writing, the Land Rover Discovery Sport has not been put through crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you’re looking for some SUVs that do well in crash tests, the BMW X3 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee each earn a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, and both earn a rating of Good (the highest possible) in four out of five categories from the IIHS. The X3 was not put through the Small Overlap Front test, and the Grand Cherokee earns a rating of Marginal (the second-lowest rating) in that test.
Though the Discovery Sport hasn’t been crash tested, it is available with a wide range of advanced safety features to prevent an accident from happening. Standard rear parking sensors and a rearview camera will help you when backing into parking spaces, while the optional 360-degree camera system will let you see all-around the vehicle for even better care when parking. Forward collision warning with automatic braking is available to prevent you from running into something while driving. New for 2017 is a driver drowsiness monitoring system that will detect signs of sleepiness and suggest you take a break from driving.
Should you buy one then? The biggest draw is clearly the prestigious Land Rover badge. And then, there are a lot of options available in the market at that price point including its cousin – the Range Rover Evoque. Moreover when you consider the fact that its arch rivals offer a more powerful motor, then things get slightly more difficult. But then if you want a car that looks good, handles well, is practical and most importantly can take the road unexplored without breaking a sweat then the Land Rover Discovery Sport surely should be on your list.
Land Rover Discovery Sport Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 40,03,554/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel Pure 5 Seats) to 52,88,000/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel HSE Luxury 5 Seats) .Land Rover Discovery Sport has 3 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Land Rover Discovery Sport comes in 6 colours, namely Santorini Black,Firenze Red,Scotia Grey,grey,Loire Blue,Indus Silver.