Road Test: Land Rover Discovery Sport (15 on) 2.0 TD4 (180hp) HSE Luxury 5d Auto

  • Strong Ingenium diesel makes 180hp and 430Nm of torque
  • Land Rover promises economy of 53.3mpg and 139g/km of CO2  
  • Capable and well-equipped, but pricey and cramped in the back

The Land Rover Discovery Sport has a relatively small footprint, making it easy to drive and park, yet clever packaging and a compact rear suspension system have unlocked a lot of interior space.

So much space in fact there’s even room for an extra pair of folding seats in the boot, something not offered by size-rivals like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60.

Powered by Ingenium diesel engine

Under the bonnet of this Discovery Sport is a 2.0-litre diesel engine that Land Rover calls Ingenium. It produces 180hp and 430Nm of torque, which in the company’s smallest SUV results in swift performance, plus 139g/km of CO2 and 53.3mpg.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Helping get the best from the motor is a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic gearbox that keeps it in its power sweet spot, resulting in a 0-62 mph time of 8.4 seconds.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

This being a Land Rover of course, you also get a four-wheel drive system that can be tailored for different surfaces including, grass, gravel and snow, mud and ruts, plus sand. Hill-descent control and a system that can sense how deep the water you’re wading through completes the list.

How practical is it?

There’s a 981-litre boot that expands to 1,698 litres with the back seats down, but with all seven chairs in place you’ll have to make do with a paltry 194 litres.

Getting past the middle seats takes a bit of contortion and there’s not a lot of head or legroom for adults when you eventually get seated. If you have a hard time getting into the back row then the chances are you won’t enjoy sitting there either.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

For children or occasional use, the pop-up sixth and seventh seats are fine but if you want to use them regularly then a larger MPV is a better bet.

Equipment

Our HSE Luxury spec car is the second most expensive trim and as such it comes absolutely crammed with kit. Some highlights include:

As standard this car would cost you £43,000, although options fitted to our test model push the price up to £47,475.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

These range from the opulent Entertainment Pack (£2,500 - including a better stereo, television receiver and uprated sat-nav) to the pragmatic electrically retracting towbar (£950).

Verdict

If you need proven off-road capability and space for seven, the Discovery Sport makes a strong case for itself. MPVs like the Ford S-Max and Galaxy can be picked with all-wheel drive, but their lack of ground clearance means they’re more suited to slippery tarmac than a muddy campsite.

However, spending this much money on a Discovery Sport presents a problem. A more spacious Discovery 4 costs the same money, and a larger Audi Q7 with usable back seats is not a lot more – although neither will be as well equipped.

If you only need five seats then the Mercedes GLC is a stylish substitute, while Jaguar’s F-Pace and Porsche’s Macan provide surprising same-cost alternatives for enthusiastic drivers.

In essence, while the Discovery Sport is a great all-rounder, we think cheaper models like the SE Tech make more sense than this one.

Land Rover Discovery Sport