Land Rover Discovery Sport: Land Rover’s New Baby
Land Rover’s success storey has been authored by expanding global demand for SUVs and exceptional products. Land Rover has been successful and profitable since it was purchased by Tata Motors. However, the company’s approach has altered, as it now produces UVs that are lighter, faster, more efficient, and greener. The Discovery Sport is the most recent addition, and it will be the first off-roader to receive the Land Rover badge.
Is it up to par? Is it a viable alternative to the Freelander2? We take the infant Land Rover for a test drive.
The Discovery Sport shares a lot of stylistic cues with the Evoque. Many people wondered whether this was the new Evoque, and we realised that in white and silver, the Discovery Sport could be mistaken for a Range Rover Evoque. When the new model year Evoque arrives in India, we’ll notice a significant difference between the two. It boasts a streamlined front grille with pulled back headlamps and the word DISCOVERY embossed above the grille, indicating that it is a member of the Discovery family. The Freelander2 has been discontinued, and this is its replacement. The Land Rover brand will be divided into three families: Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender.
The Discovery Sport is the newest addition to the Discovery family, and it is built on a new platform that will be utilised in the near future by other Discovery products. The Discovery Sport’s side appearance features a sloping roof, similar to that of new-generation Land Rovers. The clamshell bonnet and floating roof have been kept as part of the Land Rover design DNA. The Discovery Sport has a lot of style.
The Discovery Sport’s interior appearance is similar to that of the other new Land Rovers. The new Discovery Sport is the ideal option for individuals who want fresh, modern styling but don’t want to spend the money on a Freelander2. The Discovery Sport’s interiors are of good quality, but don’t expect them to be luxurious. The Discovery family is high-quality, but not premium, and there is a distinction to be made.
There’s a two-dial instrument cluster with a bright backlight that’s simple to use and read. For those who are unfamiliar with Land Rovers, the power window switches are located adjacent to the window rather than on the armrest. The rising gear knob when the ignition switch is pressed is another JLR touch. The Discovery Sport also features a new centre console that is both easy to use and useful. The Discovery series focuses on functionality rather than luxury.
What it lacks is the Freelander2’s personality, such as larger windows that made the cabin feel more airy, a thick and heavy gear stick, and twin vertical chrome bars on the steering wheel that served as the horn. These aren’t crucial, but they give the SUV more personality. This is exactly what the Freelander series did, but the new Discovery series has its own design elements.
We loved the Discovery Sport’s rear seat room and the fact that it didn’t have the stadium seats that the Freelander2 did. There is also a 5+2 seating option, which allows two children to be accommodated in the back, making it a complete family SUV. It comes in two sizes: fine and seven-seater.
Driven by Results
The Discovery Sport shares the Freelander2’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines. The Discovery Sport is lighter than the Freelander2, and as a result, it performs much better. The Freelander2 was built on a Ford-designed EUCD basis that was also shared by other Volvos. The new-generation Land Rovers make use of in-house technology, which helps them become more self-sufficient while also separating them from their previous owner Ford Motor Company’s synergies.
The Discovery Sport’s diesel engine is available in two tuning levels: 148 horsepower and 188 bhp. A nine-speed transmission is attached to these engines. We tested the 188bhp five-seater variant. The engine noise is moderate, and the NVH levels are comparable to those of the competition. The engine’s power is sufficient, and we enjoy the engine’s quick response. There is enough power on tap to overtake, but there is no V6 Diesel option like some of the rivals. When comparing apples to apples, the Discovery Sport comes out on top.
You will not run out of steam when driving in the city or on the highway. The engine has enough grunt to make it enjoyable to drive. Drive it in D mode if you want to go slow, S mode if you want to go fast, but the difference isn’t significant. The engine is comfortable in D because it is typically operating within its power band, which is plenty for driving.
The Discovery Sport has a composed and supple riding characteristics. With a trace of stiffness that can be left, this SUV glides over potholes. The engineering team deserves all of the credit. You won’t grumble much if you drive on terrible roads. The suspension is well-balanced and does not feel harsh or unsteady. The chassis is also firmer, with significantly improved alacrity. When compared to the Freelander2, there is almost no body roll, and this is comparable to German competitors. The steering wheel is light and easy to manoeuvre around the city, but it begins to weigh up as speed increases. In this department, there is nothing to complain about. There are a variety of off-roading settings available as well. These are almost ready to be placed on the centre console, making room for more storage.
The Freelander2 was a fantastic off-road vehicle. But, thanks to what the brand has done, it’s now much better. When it comes to sitting in its shoes, the Freelander2 was the most daring in its group, but the Discovery Sport now has superb on-road manners as well.
Land Rover has improved its product in comparison to its German competitors, and there is no doubt that the Discovery Sport is a significantly superior vehicle. The Discovery Sport is a better buy for people looking for proficient off-roaders because the manufacturer has put more money into the underpinnings. Choose the Range Rover Evoque if you simply want luxury. This vehicle is more luxurious and competitively priced, although it is not as capable off-road as the Discovery Sport. The Discovery Sport is our personal favourite because we frequently drive off the beaten path.