The new crossover from Land Rover is based on the same platform as its more expensive sibling, the Range Rover Evoque, but in our eyes felt more complete!be our VW hatch of choice?
The Land Rover Discovery Sport was launched last year, replacing the outgoing and poorly selling (in the Middle East, anyway) LR2, or Freelander. The Discovery Sport heralds a bold new direction for Land Rover, which emphasises style and luxury as much as capability and practicality. It was a direction sorely needed, especially in the Middle East where the model just didn’t have enough bling for the price.
It’s also rather surprising, as the Discovery Sport looks extremely similar to the Evoque, based as it is on the same chassis. In our eyes, it looks easily as good. And whereas the Evoque is for the ladies (Land Rover will hate me for saying it, but it was designed by Victoria Beckham, after all!), the Discovery Sport can be driven by anyone, as it just feels that much more androgynous.
As a family crossover utility vehicle, the Discovery Sport is still on the pricey end of the scale, but the difference now is that the desirability matches the price tag. With a range of stylish colour options, and a very nice selection of alloy wheels, the Discovery Sport really lives up to Land Rover’s premium aspirations. This is true for inside as well. For starters, the driving experience is excellent. With a supremely smooth and comfortable ride, the Discovery Sport practically glides on the road, and it has excellent handling and agility thanks to the lightweight aluminium chassis. The dashboard is simple and functional, and yet still stylish, with an excellent, intuitive and well laid-out driver interface. And the car manages to be both extremely comfortable and practical at the same time.
Incredibly for a CUV, they’ve manage to shoehorn seven – yes, SEVEN – seats into it. Admittedly, they refer to it as five plus two, as the rear seat is really unsuitable for anything over two feet tall, but the seats are there nevertheless, and disappear completely flat into the boot floor when not needed. When they are needed, the seats on the middle row slide forwards a bit to give more room in the rear, and when none are needed, both rows fold completely flat for huge cargo space. Details like a USB charging port next to every seat in the first two rows, to stop the kids fighting with each other over charging their iPads, are what really make the interior stand out though.
And then there is the very user-friendly Terrain Response off-road system, and being a Land Rover, it does actually work, with an impressive 600mm wading depth, and decent approach and departure angles. It’s actually more capable off road than the Range Rover Evoque.
Range Rover Evoque. Some, in this region especially, might be put off by the inline-four engine, dismissing it as too small even for a CUV. But, they’d be mistaken. The Discovery Sport is no slouch, boasting as it does the same engine as the Evoque – Ford’s EcoBoost turbocharged four-pot, which puts out 240hp and 340Nm of torque through a very smooth and intuitive nine-speed automatic transmission. And the best part is that it’s incredibly light on the fuel. Overall, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is one of the best all-round CUVs on the market today, covering style, comfort, practicality, safety and technology, thereby ticking all the boxes you can think of! Now, what more could you ask for from a car?