Land Rover is widely known for its selection of luxury SUV's and crossovers throughout the years. There is the Defender, Evoque, Velar, and Freelander to name a few. But the Discovery was given a sub-model known as the Discovery Sport, back in 2014. The Sport replaced the Freelander 4 years ago and it shares the same platform as today's Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque. Only 1 engine is available though for the 2017 Sport as shown above; a 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder pushing out 240 horsepower and 251 foot pounds of torque. But for me, there is an underlying question; just how good can a sport model Discovery be? Well, let's go over it, shall we?
Aesthetically, the Discovery Sport is pleasing. The curves and edges reflect the surrounding scenery like a mirror in the wild. The front end looks like an angry cat while the rest of the SUV seems to sit in a laid-back position. I can tell that there is Evoque and E-Pace DNA in the Discovery Sport by the way the body is shaped and how long it is. Comparatively speaking, the Sport is only 15 inches shorter in length, 4 inches slimmer, and 5 inches lower to the Discovery. The only other physical difference is that the Discovery sits more aggressively.
The interior inside is quite spacious for something that is supposedly a compact SUV. I can sit a party of myself in every seat available and have plenty of room to move my feet around. The trunk can hold everything needed for a long vacation. Then there are the seats. They're comfortable and offer the support needed for said vacation, especially if it is a long drive. Looking at the cluster and the interior design, it falls short of magnificent. The cluster is glamorous, the air-conditioning controls are pleasant, the buttons all serve their purpose, the infotainment screen has multiple purposes, and the shift knob dial is like every other model that is known to the Land Rover/Jaguar brand. But what caught my eye that Land Rover did was completely different compared to some vehicles I have driven was the USB charger port that sits in front of the front passenger. The best part of that, to me, means that for those who hate fighting over the charger that is placed in the center console do not have to worry because everyone gets a port to use to keep everything charged. This would make Apple users very happy considering their products are on life support 24/7. What doesn't make it magnificent is that the paddle shifters are cheap and feel as brittle as the top part of a crème brûlée and I feel Land Rover could have done more with the way the interior is designed as well. Maybe Land Rover should incorporate more metal and leather trim or take out some plastic. In my opinion, there should be more "ooo's and aaa's" when sitting inside a car that is worth $42,000.
Performance for the Discovery Sport comes at a surprise. The 240 horsepower feels like proper enough for over taking on the highway and not enough to make it feel like it is going to go awry in the corners. This is all great considering the Sport weighs almost 3,900 pounds. It also helps that the all-wheel drive system moves the tires with the proper grip to get the Discovery Sport from 0-60 in a what does not feel like 7.2 seconds. Acceleration is linear, and the throttle response is almost instant. The suspension makes the horribly paved roads feel like fresh paved asphalt. The weight though is definitely felt in the corners. The steering is quick and snap responsive. Not only that but is impressively light with plenty of feedback from the tires. And the exhaust and turbo noises brought joy to my ears like birds chirping in the woods. Except for the fact that these birds burbled and hissed.
So, do I think the Sport is good? I think so. Considering what it can do with a moderately powered 4 cylinder, exhaust and engine noise, proper suspension, I would say yes in all marks. Interior space is remarkable. Aesthetically on the exterior, yes, I think it is excellent. But as stated earlier, I think Land Rover should learn from this and make it more appealing. I mean more appealing in a way that it feels like it should be worth more than what the price tag is. But this is honestly my opinion.
Author: North's Auto Reviews