THE original Discovery Sport was a big success for Land Rover with almost 100,000 sold in the UK alone. But the car market doesn’t sit still for long, and as such, the competition in the SUV D Segment for 7-seat family crossovers had gradually caught up to the Disco Sport, and in some cases even surpassed it. 

To counter this, the updated model now offers a full range of mild hybrid (MHEV) diesel engines and upgraded infotainment. Of course, the Disco has always been the cream of the crop when it comes to off-roading, and the new model is no different. 

Background 

The Discovery Sport has been a key model for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and has arguably kept the brand afloat over the last few years. If that success is to continue then it needs to stand out from the showroom crowd – now more than ever. And that’s not easy. Since it’s launch in 2014 rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, Peugeot 5008, SEAT Terraco and the Hundai Santa Fe all offer a credible alternative to the Discovery Sport – albeit without the brand equity. 

To counter the competition, Land Rover has introduced a fresh range of electrified engines, a nicer cabin, more technology, and stronger standards of safety. 

Driving Experience 

At first glance, the new Discovery Sport doesn’t look that much different. But peek beyond the bodywork and you’ll see some major changes. Land Rover’s ‘Premium Transverse Architecture’ improves structural rigidity and thereby safety, whilst supporting the new range of sophisticated mild hybrid engines which now includes a new plug-in hybrid option. It’s basically the same engine line-up as its sibling, the Range Rover Evoque. 

The 48-volt units use energy stored as a result of braking to reduce load on the engine when accelerating, while letting the engine cut out when decelerating below 11mph with instantaneous restarting when needed. 

All models feature the mild hybrid technology, which requires AWD and automatic transmission. Diesel comes in the form of D165 and D200 options with the number representing horsepower. Conventional petrol is represented with P200, P250 and P290 options. Last, but not least there’s the P300e plug-in hybrid version which marries a 1.5 litre petrol engine with an electric motor to offer a WLTP-rated 38 miles electric-only range. 

Irrespective of the option chosen, the second-generation Discovery remains towing powerhouse capable of pulling up to 2.5 tonnes. Off road capability has been improved yet further with the introduction of ‘Terrain Response 2’ that intelligently adjusts torque delivery to match the road surface (or lack thereof). 

Design and Build 

While the improved Discovery Sport isn’t a radical departure from the previous model there are subtle improvements to the body styling such as the restyled signature LED headlamps and updated grille and bumpers. 

 Moving on to the cabin, Land Rover has standardised their ‘Pivi’ and ‘Pivi Pro’ infotainment system across the model range. Usability has been improved, with more intuitive menus whilst streaming music services, including Spotify, are now fully integrated. Connectivity has also been bolstered in the form of dual Bluetooth allowing two phones to be connected simultaneously. There’s also wireless charging and signal boost options and dual-modem, dual e-SIM connectivity that allows the Discovery Sport to perform over-the-air software updates without interrupting streaming music apps. 

Materials have been upgraded for an even more premium feel whilst a new air filtration system blocks harmful emissions, pollen, and strong smells from entering the cabin. Seats have also been improved with better comfort whilst the second row now gets a 40:20:40 split fold and slide functionality for improved seating customisation. 

Luggage space has also been increased. With all seats folded there’s now a maximum of 1,794 litres of capacity – a 6% increase over the previous model. Whilst the third row is still reserved for small children only, the second row has been elevated slightly to afford occupants a better view. 

Market and Model 

The line-up offers various trim levels from base model through ‘S’, ‘SE’, ‘HSE’ plus ‘R-Dynamic’ options if you fancy a sportier look. If you fancy the P300e plug-in hybrid, then R-Dynamic spec is a mandatory requirement. 

There are plenty of new features worth considering such as the impressive ‘Ground View’ technology which offers a virtual 180-degree view beneath the vehicle. You can also add spec a wireless phone charger which allows you to create a 4G WiFi hotspot. 

Economy

The most popular D165 mild hybrid variant delivers a WLTP-rated combined fuel economy of just under 50 mpg while emitting 180 g/km of CO2, whilst the D200 version drops to 40 mpg and emits a slightly higher 181 g/km CO2. 

The petrol versions also offer lower running costs thanks to mild electrification. The P200 will deliver 30.3 mpg whilst outputting 213 g/km of CO2. The P250 offers and mpg of 29.9 and 215 g/km whilst the P290 manages the same in terms of fuel economy with CO2 coming in a smidge higher at 217 g/km. The P300e plug-in hybrid delivers up to 175.5 mpg with an all-electric range of 38 miles and presents a pleasingly low Benefit in Kind tax proposition due to its low 36-44 g/km CO2 output. 

Land Rover’s ‘Active Driveline’ system plays a part in overall economy with the Discovery Sport utilising two-wheel drive mode whenever extra traction offered by all-wheel mode is not required. 

Given the Land Rover brand, residual value should be strong and certainly higher than most of its volume-brand competition. 

Summary

HeraldScotland:

There are many competitors in the Discovery Sport’s segment, however equivalent models don’t have Land Rover’s brand equity, it’s pulling power or off-road prowess. 

This model betters the first generation with improved economy and emissions - an area where the original Discovery Sport suffered in comparison to its rivals. The introduction of mild electrification is big improvement and while its rivals are still more frugal, the gap has certainly narrowed. Improvements to cabin comfort and technology will also help win over those mulling the Disco Sport.  

In short, for fans of the model there’s even more to like, and for those who haven’t considered it before, then it should definitely be on your radar.  

Considering the Discovery Sport as your next car? View our Land Rover Discovery Sport offers 

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