3.7 out of 5 3.7
Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7

Premium off-roader facelifted for 2020 with plug-in hybrid

Land Rover Discovery Sport (15 on) - rated 3.7 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £32,235 - £51,070
Lease from new From £356 p/m View lease deals
Used price £13,460 - £42,875
Used monthly cost £336 - £1,070
Fuel Economy 24.8 - 175.5 mpg
Road tax cost £125 - £475
Insurance group 24 - 42 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Stylish, premium appeal
  • Brilliant off-road, good on-road
  • PHEV version now available

CONS

  • Tight third row seat space
  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • Massively uprated, same-again styling

Land Rover Discovery Sport rivals

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

Having updated or revitalised most of its range in the last few years, Land Rover has finally applied the same procedure to its entry-level model. The Discovery Sport is now in its fifth year of production, but the update for 2020 is much more than just a nip-and-tuck – gaining plenty of new tech under the skin, an improved interior and a new range of engines with an advanced plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version.

In fact, the thing that changed least is the car’s exterior, which simply has some of its features made sleeker to better fit Land Rover’s latest design language.

But the Discovery Sport has more competition than ever – with premium SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC appealing to the heart, while practical but cheaper rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq offer the same blend of seven-seat practicality in a good-to-drive and modern package. Can the upgraded Discovery Sport really compete?

New engines and under-the-skin tech

Despite the exterior of the car barely changing, underneath the bodywork Land Rover’s been hard at work. The entire front end of the Discovery Sport has been changed, in fact, and it’s now much more similar to the smaller Range Rover Evoque. That means that it’s capable of sharing the Evoque’s engines, replacing the previous model’s rather more traditional units with far more up-to-date offerings.

A choice of three diesel, two petrol engines and one hybrid make up the range. All versions that don't plug-in are four-cylinder units from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium family, and all bar the entry-level 150hp diesel feature all-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and mild-hybrid technology. This uses a small battery and motor not to power the car directly, but to improve fuel economy by aiding the engine and allowing its stop-start system to cut in earlier.

The plug-in hybrid, known as the P300e, uses a 200hp three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine, and combines that with a 109hp electric motor to create a 309hp range-topping hybrid. It's a four-wheel drive system, although unlike the non-PHEV versions, it has an electrically-powered rear axle. This is said to maintain off-road capability but massively improve efficiency.

Updated dashboard with new infotainment

Land Rover’s upgraded the Discovery Sport’s dashboard, addressing what was one of the pre-facelift car’s weakest points. In place of the ugly button-fest and small, tricky-to-use touchscreen you’ll now find the very latest Land Rover infotainment system and a large multi-function panel that houses both climate controls and driving functions.

It’s here where you’ll find the dial for Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system, as well – a brilliantly intuitive way of dealing with the car’s various off-road settings. The Discovery Sport remains amazingly capable off the beaten track, as you’d expect for a Land Rover – it will certainly cope with just about anything that most owners can throw at it.

So, it's updated and looks more cohensive inside than before, with decent tech and a better range of engines, but is it enough to tempt you away from the upstart premium SUVs from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz? Read on...

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Land Rover Discovery Sport including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Land Rover Discovery Sport rivals