The Land Rover Discovery has been synonymous to adventure and resilience since the very beginning back in 1989, when the first one rolled off the production line, as a more affordable option to the Range Rover. In 2015, the Discovery family became two with the introduction of its smaller sibling, the Discovery Sport. Land Rover Chief Designer Officer, Prof. Gerry McGovern said: “Building on the success of the original, this beautifully proportioned vehicle has been refined, enhancing its characterful exterior which compliments the engaging nature of the interior space.”
I must say I agree with Prof McGovern. The design trademarks of the Discovery, such as the clamshell bonnet, rising beltline and tapered roof remain, but he has optimised the proportions of the car, added new LED headlamps and redesigned the front grille and the bumpers, giving the new Discovery Sport a much more striking look.
The interior is as sleek as the exterior. Pure, minimalistic lines give the cabin an elegance you would expect to see in a grand tourer rather than in a family work-horse such as this one. The attention given to materials and finishes show the skills and craftsmanship of the design team, while the engineering advances have helped reduced the cabin noise to a minimum and increased the levels of comfort for all passengers. For regular drivers of the new Discovery Sport, Smart Settings learn driver preferences, adjusting massage and seat positions, music, climate settings and steering column positioning to suit each driver. Basically, you can take this car to the Brecon Beacons or to the Opera and not look or feel out of place in either.
Technology is at the forefront of the changes brought to the new Discovery Sport. This versatile compact 5+2 SUV has been updated with the latest tech and more efficient, electrified engines.
A lot of thought has been put into upgrading the beloved Discovery. Up to 24 seat configurations are possible to offer more flexibility in town or when travelling long distances. Improved stowage across all rows and a 20% increase in fuel tank capacity (up to 67-litres) mean that you and your family can travel with all you could possibly need and not have to stop to refuel for a very long time (combined fuel consumption ranges between 35.3 – 53.3mpg). The car is available with different engines: an electrified 48-volt MHEV, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and soon to be introduced diesel or three-cylinder PHEV. At speeds below 17km/h (11mph), the engine will shut off when the driver applies the brakes, before redeploying the stored energy to assist the engine under acceleration to reduce fuel consumption.
With long family journeys in mind, the Discovery Sport team have standardised its digital Touch Pro infotainment system and given it a new interface coupled with the latest connectivity (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless charging and 4G WiFi hotspot). For the driver, the new ClearSight Ground View allows to see “through” the front of the car – ideal for parking in tight spaces, or navigating tricky off-road scenarios, while a smart high-definition rear-view mirror transforms rear visibility, by transforming into a video screen at the flick of a switch, displaying what is behind the vehicle in high definition.
Safety measures don’t stop there. Standard safety features include Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Driver Condition Monitor.
If you are of an adventurous nature, you are going to love this car. This baby goes everywhere, literally; we even put it through nearly two feet of water and it waded the ford as if it was a puddle in west London. We took it up and down the steepest hills we could find and thanks to the Terrain Response 2 facility, the car computer automatically detected the surface and adjusted the torque, making it look like child’s play. We had an incredible amount of fun, the kind you think you can’t have anymore once you grow up. The car ended up caked in mud and dust but it was all worth it!
The new Discovery Sport looks and drives like a lion and has a bull at its core.
Available in Discovery Sport, S, SE and HSE trim and in the R-Dynamic range.
Prices start at £31,575 OTR