Land Rover Discovery Sport 2
"The engine is a significant and notable improvement, proving very tractable and pulling strongly from low speeds"
Put simply, the Land Rover Discovery Sport replaces the Freelander. Put in more complex terms it fills a void the Freelander didn’t by combining rugged practicality with a more luxurious feel and better refinement.
Land Rover are the kings of off-roading, so there’s a guarantee of ‘go anywhere…pull anything’ capability in a no compromise workhorse. Yet the new Discovery Sport is so much more than this. A complete redesign of the Freelander was of course, a must. With the Evoque and the Range Rover proving showroom hits it is by no coincidence that the Discovery Sport borrows the best features of both, and whilst clearly neither a Range nor an Evoque it does at last have aesthetic appeal by design.
Thankfully, that is complemented by a massively improved interior giving a much needed premium feel to the car. It is spacious and comfortable too, and whilst legitimately claiming seven seats, the two extra ones located to the rear can be integrated flat into the luggage floor pan. When lifted into position they are suited mainly to children or for short distance adult travel. Children up to 12-14 yrs will enjoy being cocooned away from parents, whilst an adult will happily allow them the privilege for the comfort of the other five.
That leaves only one belated improvement: the engine. When the new Discovery Sport was launched in January last year, it was available with just one engine – the 188bhp 2.2 SD4. Our test car featured here, however, is fitted with the new diesel engine (the TD4) now 2.0 litre turbo charged, generating 180 bhp, yet has better all-round performance and fuel economy and emissions over the previous car, whilst, as before, it is offered with a 9 speed semi-automatic or 6 speed manual gearbox. The engine is a significant and notable improvement, proving very tractable and pulling strongly from low speeds, yet a highly refined and torquey long distance cruiser in our hands. That along with economy and emissions improvements, makes this one of the best 4x4s on the market.
Loading capacity and the design of the luggage area is excellent. Load space is flat and square with no obtrusive humps or curves meaning travelling with dogs, children’s bicycles as well as luggage space for four is feasible for a family travel holiday. With Land Rover’s proven off-roading capability, the Sport 2 is set to build on this company’s great success.
Land Rover Discovery Sport 2 tech spec
Basic price: £43,000 | Engine: 2.0L TD4 Diesel | Transmission: 9 speed semi-automatic | Power (bhp): 180 bhp | Torque: 430/1,750 | 0-60 mph: 8.4 sec | Top speed: 117 mph | Tyre size: 195/65 R15 | CO2: 97g/km | VED band: A | Average fuel consumption: 76.3 mpg
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