Land Rover Discovery Sport – Test Drive Review


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The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a premium compact SUV manufactured by the British automaker Land Rover. This car replaces the second-generation Land Rover Freelander, called as the Freelander 2 and is now branded as Discovery worldwide. The Discovery Sport shares many of its design cues with its larger Discovery concept car which was showcased at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The Discovery Sport is mainly based on luxury and family orientation. The Discovery Sport is the first vehicle to be introduced in the enlarged Discovery family and is focused on the leisure vehicles and usees its mechanicals from the Range Rover Evoque.

Price of Land Rover Discovery Sport – Rs. 48.06 Lakhs (Ex-showroom, Pune)

Exterior Design: Land Rover has always been good in designing their cars. The Discovery Sport is based on the Evoque’s platform and hence it gets a somewhat similar design as that of the Evoque. But, the Discovery Sport looks great in flesh with its well-proportioned body and purposeful stance. The designers of this SUV have been very curious about its design and you can see a very detailed and neat designing overall on this car. The headlights and taillights are similar to each other and they look outstanding (notice carefully). The DRLs look very nice and are unique in design. The car gets the signature Land Rover grille and the fog lamps are rectangular in shape and are placed on the bumpers and there is one fog lamp at the rear too. The bonnet now gets the Discovery badging instead of the Land Rover. The C-pillar looks distinctive as it is racked forwards which helps in making the car look sportier. On the side, this SUV looks big than in the pictures and it looks sporty with those black body claddings over all. The alloys look decent. The front too gets the body cladding on the bumpers with the silver skid plate in it. The rear looks like a grown-up Evoque and the rear bumper is again equipped with black claddings with a silver skid plate in it. So, we can also say that what’s on the front is on the rear too. LED taillights look neat and are placed in a glass house/area like the Evoque’s taillights. The slightly sloping panoramic sunroof roof sports a sporty spoiler at the rear which adds up to the sportier look of the car. The Discovery Sport looks more like the new Range Rover models than the utilitarian Land Rover models because of its sleeker and stylish looks.

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Interior Design: The interiors of the Discovery Sport aren’t sporty but are decent, spacious and luxurious. Being based on the Evoque’s platform, the key difference in both these car is the adoption of an all-new multi-link rear suspension set-up that has only minimal entry into the passenger and luggage compartment has enabled the Land Rover for the fitment of the third row seats and so the Land Rover calls this SUV as a 5+2 seater. The dashboard looks neat and gets a soft-touch leather material wrapping. The central AC vents are placed below the 8-inch touch screen infotainment system which also features the InControl user interface system. The steering wheel is also treated with leather-wrapping, making it feel good to hold and steer. Instrument cluster is placed behind the steering wheel and resembles to that of the Evoque’s but shows a lot more information than the Evoque. The layout of the dashboard is pretty decent and the buttons are lesser on it as that of the Evoque. The combination of black and beige color leather on the dashboards looks nice and the metal inserts gives it a premium look. The quality of the materials is top-notch and the seats are comfortable too except for the third row seats. The sightlines of the car give the good feel of the car’s corners. You sit high on the driver’s seat and get a clear vision over the hood and through the side windows. The rear seats too, get a good visibility. They are spacious and get enough of headroom and legroom. The second row’s centre seat also gets a headrest for more comfort. The seats get a lot of adjustment settings and with the 4-way adjustable steering wheel the driver can drive very comfortably. The steering wheel gets the phone, audio control buttons and there is also the cruise control button on it. The rear floor-placed seats are only comfortable for kids and with a touch of a button; they get folded and provide a large amount of boot space. There are AC vents on the B-pillar and also there are AC controls for third row for better convenience of everybody. There are also 17 speakers of Meridian Surround System for your entertainment. This SUV gets a superb interior with those bold horizontal and vertical lines.

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Engine & Performance: The Discovery Sport gets a 2.2L, 4-cylinder, turbocharged SD4 diesel engine which is mated to a 9-speed ZF automatic transmission and gets a 4WD driveline. The engine produces 188 BHP (140 kW) of power at 3500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm. Start the engine and shift into D mode and as you will set-off you will realize that there is no much turbo lag and it accelerates smoothly. The power delivery is linear and the car’s throttle response is smooth and this SUV isn’t at all in any hurry. The car goes till redline smoothly and gear shifts happen seamlessly. The NVH levels are kept in control and the engine is well refined.

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This car is smooth and calm. It’s not fast but it is slightly off the rhythm. This SUV goes from 0-100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and it is okay for a 2600 kgs car (5+2 seats). The car returns an ARAI certified mileage of 12.51 km/l and we could only extract 10 km/l of mileage out of its 65 litres of fuel tank. The car does a top speed of 188 km/h and goes with an ease till that mark. The engine performs very smoothly and is meant for normal cruising and not for racing.

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Driving Dynamics: The Discovery Sport keeps on moving calmly and you can make much and much use of the 9-speed automatic gearbox. It feels like a modernized Land Rover. At higher speeds it feels composed and agile. While cornering, the maneuvering weight can be felt but the steering does its job well in keeping the car stable all the time. It also lets you drive the car with confidence. The car drives comfortably even at lower speed where the road and wind noise is kept under proper check. The suspensions of the car are firm at lower speeds but at higher speeds, the new multi-link rear axle comes in to the scene and the bumps and potholes are smoothed out effortlessly. The body movement of the car is also well controlled, and the standard tyres provide ample of grip. The electronically controlled permanent 4WD system delivers confidence-inspiring traction, even in the slipperiest conditions. The terrain response system works also in the ECO mode and the ABS with EBD work perfectly in getting this car to a stop. Off-roading is fun in this car. It can take you where ever you want to go. With a water wading capacity of 600 mm, variable hill descent control and amazing approach and departure angles it can just go anywhere. Select between Normal, Mud, Sand, Rocks and Snow modes and let the car’s traction control do its job perfectly to keep you moving. It’s a perfect handler according to the SUV standards and it will amaze you always with its on-road and off-road capabilities.

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Safety & After Sales Service: In terms of safety, the Discovery Sport gets driver and knee airbags, front passenger airbags, curtain airbags and side airbags. It also gets ABS with EBD, Terrain Response, Hill Descent control, Electronic Traction Control, Electric Parking Brake, Hill Start Assist, Roll Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, 2 ISOFIX points in the middle row, Emergency Brake Assist and Trailer Stability Assist. From the after sales service point of view, Land Rover has limited number of servicing networks but has a good quality of service.

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Verdict: The Discovery Sport being more comfort and luxury oriented, it is surely to be the choice of our Indian families. The car is spacious and does everything what you ask it to do. It excels in terms of comfort, safety, design, mileage, technology and features. It’s calm all the way and is more of a relaxed SUV which isn’t fast off the line. The rear seats are not that comfortable and they are optional as you can choose between 5 seating and 5+2 seating. It is a perfect getaway car to go in to hill stations or to some scenic places. Overall, the Discovery Sport is a dashing looking SUV with its decent overall performance and off-road capabilities.

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Land Rover Discovery Sport Technical Data:
* Engine: 2179cc, 4-cylinder, turbocharged Diesel
* Power: 188 BHP @ 3500 RPM
* Torque: 420 Nm @ 1750 RPM
* Transmission: 9-speed ZF automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 8.9 seconds
* Top Speed: 188 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: 12.51 km/l (5+2 seats)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Struts with lower control arm and anti-roll bar (Front), Strut assemblywith lateral and longitudinal links and anti-roll bars (Rear)
* Tyres: 235/60/R18
* Brakes: 325 mm Ventilated Disc (Front), 300 mm Solid Disc (Rear)
* Safety: 9 Airbags, ABS with EBD, Terrain Response, Hill Descent control, Electronic Traction Control, Electric Parking Brake, Hill Start Assist, Roll Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, 2 ISOFIX points in the middle row, Emergency Brake Assist and Trailer Stability Assist.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Dimensions:
* Overall Length: 4600 mm
* Overall Width: 2173 mm
* Overall Height: 1724 mm
* Wheelbase: 2741 mm
* Turning Circle: 11.6 m
* Ground clearance: 212 mm
* Wading Depth: 600 mm
* Front Wheel Track: 1621 mm
* Rear Wheel Track: 1630 mm
* Approach Angle: 25°
* Ramp Angle: 21°
* Departure Angle: 31°
* Boot Volume: 480 litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 litres
* Kerb Weight: 2600 kgs (5+2 seats)