Think of the Land Rover Discovery Sport as a scaled down version of the full-fat Land Rover Discovery. It has many of the same highlights and off-road prowess of its big brother but it costs a lot less to buy. In fact, itís currently the cheapest way to get one of the latest Land Rovers on your driveway - but is it any good?
Although the Discovery Sport is based on then Range Rover Evoque it has more of a family friendly interior and the option of seven seats. These are two of the reasons why this car is one of our favourite SUVs. Even in the face of stiff competition from the likes of the Audi Q5 or BMW X3. The question that needs to be answered is whether the Discovery Sport is just a scaled down version of the Discovery or is it a worthy alternative?
Your engine choices in this car are limited to a 2.0 litre diesel with either 148 break horse power (bhp) or 178 bhp. The less powerful unit does feel a little bit sluggish so you might be better of opting for the beefier one coupled with the nine-speed automatic gearbox. This just about gives you the right blend between performance and economy. Youíll find the ride in the Discovery Sport is smooth at high speeds and only jostles you about a bit over broken road surfaces around town. However, this only applies when youíre driving with the standard 18inch wheels. This is because if you go for the more expensive 20 inch alloys then the ride deteriorates considerably. Thereís a fair amount of roll in the corners making the Discovery Sport a less sporty choice than an Audi Q5 or Jaguar F-Pace. This said, the Discovery Sport holds the road well and has reassuringly precise steering so you always feel confident and in control. This car is refined too and emits far less clatter than a BMW X3. You will notice a little bit of road noise on the Motorway but itís only really the Audi A5 that has a more hushed interior. If you plan on venturing away from the tarmac then you can be rest assured that the Discovery Sport is better off-road than just about any other car in its price bracket.
People of all shapes and sizes should be able to get comfortable in the Discovery Sportís wide seats. You can also use the lid of the central cubby as an armrest. However, if youíre a little on the smaller side putting the seat forwards unfortunately means that the armrest is a little too far away. Also, if youíre going for a lower spec model then make sure you go for the optional adjustable lumbar support because without it thereís not really enough lower back support. The dashboard has logically placed and well-marked switches and the rotary dials are simple and easy to use. Front visibility is excellent but this canít really be said of the rear. Due to the rather large rear pillars it does create quite a large blind-spot. This is certainly something to watch out for if you donít go for the optional extra blind-spot monitoring system. With regards to the infotainment system, itís easy to use and simply to switch between the home menu and various functions. Unfortunately, the 8 inch touchscreen is a little slow to respond an some functions such as programming the sat-nav or changing radio stations are a little convoluted. If you opt for the In-Control Touch Pro trim then this gets you a 10 inch screen, some extra apps and improved functionality.
Up front thereís plenty of head and leg room while practicality-wise thereís also deep central cubby box with USB ports making it an ideal place to store your mobile and healthy snacks. Providing you slide the second row of seats as far back as they go then thereís plenty of room for adults at the back. The rear most pair of seats are slightly tricky to get to and when sat down thereís not an awful lot of room. In reality these seats are for small children because an adult travelling right at the back will be quite uncomfortable. When the rear seats are not in use then you can simply fold them into the floor. What this does is give you a plethora of boot space. In fact, the Discovery Sport in 5-seater guise has one of the biggest boots in its class. The boot also comes with a powered tailgate as standard on all but the standard SE trims.
Compared to its German rivals the Discovery Sport is competitively priced, especially when you consider that youíre getting a car this size with seven seats. If youíre less badge conscious then you can go for a larger seven-seater such as the Kia Sorento or the Hyundai Santa Fe and against these mainstream rivals this car does look quite pricey. In the Land Roverís defence however it will actually hold on to its residual value a lot better than many of these rivals. You donít have to splash out to get a decent level of equipment either. This is because standard kit across all Discovery Sports include part-leather upholstery, heated seats and reversing camera. That said, we reckon HSE trim is by far the best value for your money. This is because the HSE trim gives you electric leather seats, a reversing camera and Zenon headlights.
You shouldnít think of the Discovery Sport as an entry level Land Rover. Instead, think of it as a cleverly packaged SUV thatís both practical and comfortable for the whole family. So, if youíre looking to buy a new or used Land Rover Discovery Sport cars for sale then you canít really go wrong.