When it comes to the new Discovery Sport revamp, most people say “finally” but I say, “good for Disco lovers.” The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is built on an entirely different platform than its predecessor. It shares a few things with the Range Rover Evoque, which include about 50 percent of its “new” parts and some other important upgrades that affect ride comfort and safety.
Still new, nevertheless.
The Discovery Sport has an entirely different look, replacing the Land Rover 2 in the Land Rover lineup and heading in a direction that’s going to be far more appealing than its predecessor.
In many areas, it borrows some of the essence of the Range Rover, yet this family-friendly companion keeps the size manageable and the cost affordable, at least by luxury-brand standards.
The Discovery Sport doesn’t fully commit to the boxy or soft school of utility-vehicle design; rather, it mixes a lot of the attributes that make crossover utility vehicles so attractive, then adds just enough Land Rover ruggedness. It’s all about the stance, really. The Discovery Sport’s oversize wheels really fill out the wheel wells and give this model a planted, secure look from all angles. It’s almost like a sized-up hot hatch in proportion, from some angles. Yet the smooth body sculpting goes well with the look, giving it a soft detail that would fit right into urban spaces. On the other hand, there’s no indication that it’s gone all soft. You can’t ignore the short overhangs, skid plates, and rugged wheel lips.
It’s clearly a vehicle that was built to get dirty as well.
The new Discovery Sport looks, performs, and handles beyond what is expected of car-based crossovers, yet those off-road chops are there when you need them. A 240 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is smooth and strong here, and the paddle-shifted nine-speed automatic is a good companion for responsiveness and gas efficiency. The electric power steering loads up reassuringly here, while the brakes have the subtlety required for off-road, plus the secure pedal feel needed for higher-speed stops.
And a new rear suspension design allows more wheel travel and a quieter, more absorbent, and less shaky ride than the Discovery 2.
Inside, the Discovery Sport is unexpectedly serious and businesslike at first glance with the horizontal dash and vertical center stack laid in with a T-square silhouette. But what might seem a little too complicated soon shows itself to be refreshingly straightforward, and an elegant contrast to the soft, contemporary exterior. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces where it matters, and the rotary shift controller, which rises from the center console on startup, is a nice centerpiece.
Other new technology includes Land Rover’s new InControl connectivity kit, which adapts some Apple and Android mobile apps to the Discovery Sport’s operating system (yay!) and an eight-inch touchscreen interface. Those apps include favorites like iHeartRadio and Parkopedia.
I love this car on paper because it’s basically the Discovery line catching up to where the Range Rover is positioned right now. A good mix of sporty and luxurious is always welcomed in my house. A side order of new and smart center console tech will be sure to get you a good remarks me.
Still, I just can’t help but miss the shape of Discovery 2 and it’s put me on the fence between “new is always better” and “old is gold.”
*Bobkevin Shoo is the Founder of Scope Inc. and Social Media Manager for Automoblog.net. Follow him on Twitter: @bobkevin
What do you think about the Land Rover New Discovery Sport?