Despite having driven the juggernaut that is the Land Rover Discovery a few years ago, the Discovery Sport is a completely different proposition. The only thing that it shares with its less sporty sibling, aside from the badge, is a character that blends off-road capabilities with a sense of real quality. Oh, and through some level of sorcery considering it’s dimensions, the ability to accommodate seven people with fold-out seats.
There are two identities to the Discovery Sport; one is as a mid-sized family SUV, and the other is as a city-dweller that is compact enough to navigate even the tightest of streets. It feels incredibly spacious inside; plenty of glass accentuated by a vast panoramic sunroof, and a decent amount of width between the driver and passenger seat. In the back, you can comfortably sit three adults, although seats six and seven (which fold down into the boot floor) may need to be reserved for those well under six foot.
The driving experience, as the name might suggest, definitely leans towards sport. The D200 provides plenty of grunt, and the car has plenty of torque that is equally suited to both country roads and the motorway. Handling is effortless, and the car feels responsive, even on the tightest of roads. There is a marked difference when compared to some of the larger vehicles in the Land Rover lineup. That Discovery-lite experience also extends to the fuel economy; with the mild-hybrid technology on the D200 I was easily able to attain upwards of 35 combined mpg, which is not to be sniffed at.
Price-wise, the Discovery Sport is an ideal entry into the Land Rover family. For a few thousand short of the £50k-mark, you can get most of the bells and whistles you could ever want on a family SUV, and there are no shortcuts when it comes to the plush interior and brushed-metal trim.
You can check out the lineup here at Land Rover here.