The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport receives new exterior treatments.
A new mild hybrid system increases acceleration and overall performance.
When it arrives later this summer, the Discovery Sport will come in 12 colors.
One particular on-board camera really takes the cake, and is useful for off-roading.
The previous model Land Rover Discovery Sport is a conundrum. It does offer a nice blend of everyday utility and off-road ruggedness, but the cabin pales in comparison to other compact luxury SUVs like the Volvo XC60, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC. However, the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is set to change that, and will draw on its legacy in doing so.
Land Rover says they will continue “embracing the adventurous spirit” that has defined their brand, and the 2020 Discovery Sport is the next step in that process.
“Discovery Sport has been a real sales success for Land Rover, leading the way for the past three years and selling almost half a million vehicles to date,” explained Felix Brautigam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover. “During that time, it has won a number of awards and introduced a large number of new, younger families into the brand who are looking for something different.”
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport: What’s New
The changes are not readily noticeable at first glance, but Land Rover claims the new Discovery Sport is more practical and convenient than before. The new Disco Sport retains the familiar design cues of the original Discovery with a clamshell hood, rising beltline, and a tapering roof. The SUV receives new front and rear bumpers, a new grille design, and more modern LED headlights.
The interior also benefits from a major overhaul. The center console now houses a 10-inch display while the steering wheel has capacitive switches for a more luxurious feel. Third-row passengers have access to cup holders while the rest get wireless charging, and USB and 12-volt ports.
A View From Down Under
The new Disco Sport comes with the ClearSight Ground View system. This technology is as useful as it is breathtaking. It gives the driver a 180-degree view of the ground beneath the vehicle, useful for tackling rough terrain. By projecting that imagery on the center display, drivers have a better idea of what exactly is under them when traveling off-road. The new Disco Sport also inherits the ClearSight Rear View system from the Evoque. This technology transforms the rearview mirror into an HD video screen via a rear-facing camera.
Without a doubt, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport is rugged to the core, but it’s now inching closer to Range Rover territory in terms of practicality, refinement, and luxury features.
We’re still talking about a compact luxury SUV and not a full-size land yacht here, so it’s best to curb your expectations. However, all things considered, the new Discovery Sport is home to a spacious and comfortable interior. The new Disco Sport has a 13 percent stiffer body and a more rigid subframe. This helps reduce vibration and harshness inside the cabin for a softer, more comfortable ride. The third-row seats are roomy enough to accommodate vertically-challenged adults on short journeys, while the second-row seats now split 40:20:40.
In fact, the flexible seating arrangement in the new Disco Sport allows you to split, fold, and slide to produce up to 24 seating combinations (let the games begin!). Even the front seats have a massaging feature.
New for the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is Luxtex. It’s not leather, but it feels luxuriously soft and is more durable and tear-resistant than the genuine item. Luxtex is made from recycled polyester microfiber and is more sustainable and Earth-friendly than cowhide.
Electrified Performance: Mild-Hybrid Powertrain
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is also sporting a new mild-hybrid powertrain. If there’s one thing we don’t like about the prior Disco sport, it’s the less-than-stellar fuel economy. This new mild-hybrid powertrain will hopefully address this concern while giving the SUV a slight boost in power and torque.
The mild-hybrid design utilizes a belt-integrated starter generator that literally harvests energy when you lift off the gas pedal. The electrons are stored in a 48V battery, tucked neatly under the floor while a DC converter provides power to the 48V and 12V systems of the vehicle.
The result of all this is 296 horsepower and greater low-end torque when combined with the Ingenium gasoline motor. This is more than what the high-output motor in the previous model can muster. Meanwhile, the non-electrified version is good for 246 horsepower; also more than the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged motor in the outgoing Disco Sport.
Towing & Terrain Response
Land Rover will most likely retain the nine-speed automatic from the previous model. Of course, no Land Rover is complete without a ruggedly-capable all-wheel drive system. The SUV’s Terrain Response feature is another bonus, which automatically detects the surface below and adjusts the vehicle’s driving character accordingly. This makes for a nice paring when considering the ClearSight Ground View system.
Overall, the new Disco Sport has elevated levels of performance when facing harsh and demanding off-road scenarios. Maximum wading depth comes in at 23.6 inches and, when properly equipped, the new Discovery Sport tows up to 4,409 lbs.
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is available in 12 colors. Buyers can choose a contrasting black roof as well, and there are 10 wheel designs across four sizes from 18 to 21 inches. The optional Black Exterior Pack adds black detailing on the grille, fender vents, hood, and tailgate letters. It’s not as bespoke as a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but this allows potential buyers to further customize their new Disco Sport.
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport: Pricing & Availability
Land Rover has yet to announce pricing on the new Discovery Sport. We’re still expecting around $40,000 for the base model, complete with a bevy of standard luxury and convenience features. Right now, the 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport starts just shy of $38,000. Deliveries to U.S. retailers of the 2020 model will commence this summer.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.