THE Land Rover Discovery Sport has marked itself out as a great car since its launch in 2015 – and now it has just got better.
Whilst the latest model might not look very different to its predecessor from the outside, under the skin it’s a vastly different machine.
Taking many of its features from the latest Range Rover Evoque, the new Discovery Sport – built at Land Rover’s Halewood plant on Merseyside – sits on the same all-new platform which enables electrification as well as boosting ride and handling.
All engines have been upgraded making them more efficient, with the line-up now starting from £31,575 – an increase of around £1,000 on the previous model.
Mild-hybrid technology has been introduced across the range and that uses a 48-volt system to further improve efficiency.
Like the Evoque, the new Disco Sport looks very familiar on the outside, but there’s an updated grille and bumpers, as well as new signature LED headlamps at the front and rear.
Of course, the trademark clamshell bonnet, tapered roof and rising belt-line remain untouched, but it’s on the inside where the greatest changes have taken place.
There’s a completely new interior with more comfortable seats designed in the finest leather, plus a wealth of technology to explore.
The car I had on test was a 2.0-litre 180hp turbocharged diesel, with 430Nm of torque and a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
This model can complete the 0-60mph sprint in 9.4 seconds, tops out at 125mph, and delivers a combined fuel economy of 37.2mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 150g/km (NEDC).
The car, in R-Dynamic S trim level, was priced at £41,825, although a number of optional extras saw the final asking price creep up to £49,920.
All Discovery Sports are available with seven seats but, although the normal rear seats are adjustable for legroom, there’s only enough space in the very back for small children.
On the road the latest Disco Sport has a real sporting edge, with ride and handling noticeably better compared to the previous model.
The car cruises effortlessly at motorway speeds and grip – no doubt helped by the permanent four wheel drive – is amazing.
As well as having Sport and Normal modes, the gearbox also has a manual mode to make the changes when you choose.
I didn’t have the chance to take it to my local off-road driving centre, but you can be sure it can cope with anything any owner is likely to throw at it.
All in all the new Discovery Sport is a great all-rounder; it’s dynamic, drives beautifully, boasts punchy yet economical engines, it’s packed with the latest technology, and it’ll go anywhere you take it.
Land Rover Discovery Sport R-Dynamic S
Mechanical: 180bhp, 1,999cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 125mph
0-60mph: 9.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 37.2
CO2 emissions: 155g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles