- Tremendous practicality
- Genuine off-road ability
- Refined cabin
- Notchy manual gearbox
- More expensive than rivals
- Back seats only suitable for children
Flexible 7-seat luxury family SUV
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is the latest addition to the ever-expanding Land Rover range. First introduced in 2014, the Discovery Sport is one of the most practical SUVs on the market. Up against cars such as the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, and Ford’s new Edge, the Discovery Sport competes in a tough market. Despite this, the Discovery Sport is arguably the best car in its class. It offer seven seats, a flexible interior, striking looks, and the all important Land Rover badge. It may cost more to buy than its rivals, but you’ll make more money when you come to sell it, due to its impressively low depreciation.
High quality practical cabin
Like all Land Rover products, one of the main selling points of the Discovery Sport is in its interior. The cabin is contemporary, well-built, and easy to use. There’s lots of storage space as well, and even entry-level models come generously equipped.
The dashboard design of the Discovery Sport is pretty similar to the rest of the Land Rover range. That means classy British design is at the forefront, with simple to use, well-damped controls featuring. Build quality is also pretty impressive, with soft-touch materials used across the majority of the cabin, though some cheaper-feeling plastics can be found in some areas.
Storage and seating flexibility is one of the Discovery Sport’s strongest assets. There are infinite combinations to the seating, with a reclining, maneuverable middle row, and foldable rear seats. The rear seats are only really useful for children, but that’s all they’ll ever be used for for most buyers. With five seats up, the Discovery Sport boasts a boot capacity that’s similar to most of its key rivals, with enough space for a bulky pram, holiday luggage, or even a full set of golf clubs.
Equipment levels are generous in the Discovery Sport, even in the cheapest models. The entry-level SE trim has all you’re likely to need, with climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, and an 8” colour touchscreen infotainment system. SE Tech adds sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers, front parking sensors, and a powered tailgate for not a lot more money, so it’s a pretty good value upgrade.
All in all the interior of the Discovery Sport is hugely impressive. It’s practical, well-built, and has lots of flexible storage space. Add in the generous equipment, and it’s easy to see why the Discovery Sport is considered to be the class-leader.
Comfortable and refined on, and off-road
Whereas the majority of luxury SUVs don’t perform particularly well off-road, the Discovery Sport excels at it. It’s one of the few cars in its class that you can comfortably take off the straight and narrow, and you don’t need to be experienced either, due to the electronic aids that come as standard. For the majority of buyers, the Discovery Sport won’t leave the tarmac. Thankfully, the Discovery Sport is equally at home on the road. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, whilst the steering offers plenty of feedback, so you can confidently throw it into a country road bend.
Suspension and Chassis
Comfort levels are also excellent in the Discovery Sport. Get the Discovery Sport out on the open roads and its chassis and suspension easily cope with rough surfaces and potholes. Around town it’s a little more jumpy, especially over speed bumps, but it’s not especially bad, and it’s at least as good as its rivals. Wind and road noise are also impressively quiet for a car in this class, which make the Discovery Sport an impressive motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Discovery Sport come in two guises. The standard on entry-level models is a six-speed manual transmission that does its job reasonably well, though it’s a little notchy, and not a match for the manual in a BMW X3. There’s also a nine-speed automatic available as either an option, or as standard on more expensive models, and this suits the Discovery Sport infinitely more. It’s smooth, refined, and responsive to quick bursts of acceleration.
Only one diesel engine currently available
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Discovery Sport, you’ve only got one option. All models come with a 2.0 litre diesel engine that performs reasonably well, and is available with two power outputs, though it’s not as efficient as the best in its class.
Power and speed aren’t two qualities that most family buyers look for when they’re searching for an SUV, and the engines in the Discovery Sport range certainly don’t break the mould. The 2.0 litre TD4 180 diesel is the most powerful available, producing 178bhp, and accelerating from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds when paired with an automatic gearbox. It’s not the quickest car in its class, but it offers great flexibility for day-to-day family motoring.
Eco-friendly buyers may be a little bit disappointed with the engines in the Discovery Sport, though they are by no means the worst in the class. The 2.0 litre TD4 150 engine is the greenest on offer, producing 129g/km of CO2 emissions. Obviously this isn’t as good as you’d get in a family hatchback, but it’s not bad for an SUV. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it can achieve up to 57.7mpg. Again, that’s not class-leading, but it shouldn’t cost you too much to run day-to-day.
Both diesel engines in the Discovery Sport range offer a good balance of efficiency and power. They’re neither the quickest, the greenest, nor the most efficient available in the class, but they’re certainly not the worst either.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with an exhaustive list of safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Land Rover Discovery Sport easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 83% in child safety, and 69% in pedestrian safety, the Discovery Sport is safer than the BMW X3, but not quite as safe as the Mercedes GLC. The Discovery Sport does however come with lots of safety technology. Even the most basic Discovery Sports come with nine airbags, electronic stability control, and an automatic braking system, which brakes when it spots an oncoming collision.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Land Rover Discovery Sport represents decent value for money for family buyers. This obviously varies from model to model, but fuel efficiency is average for the class across the board, whilst tax bands are standard due to reasonable CO2 emissions. It’s not the cheapest car to run in the class, whilst it’s also one of the most expensive to buy, but the extra cost is worth it when you consider just how fantastic the Discovery Sport is.
Insurance groups for the Discovery Sport again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 24 for the entry-level 2.0 TD4 SE (5 seat), and climb up towards group 31 if you’re tempted by the top of the range 2.0 TD4 (180) HSE Dynamic Lux Auto. Whichever model you choose to go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a factor with the Discovery Sport, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is one of the most complete luxury family SUVs that money can buy. It offers tremendous practicality, a high-quality interior, an impeccable safety record, and genuine off-road ability. It might be more expensive to buy than some of its rivals, but as a package, it’s going to take some serious beating to knock the Discovery Sport off its perch as the king of the compact SUVs.
Buying a used Land Rover Discovery Sport online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Land Rover Discovery Sport for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Discovery Sport. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Land Rover Discovery Sport online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Land Rover? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Land Rover Discovery Sport, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Discovery Sport, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Land Rover to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.