The Land Rover Discovery Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with Intelligent Stop/Start System. Discovery Sport delivers 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a 0-60 sprint in 7.3 seconds.
Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, for a combined average of 21 mpg.
The Discovery Sport is married to a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission with standard four-wheel drive. This adventure vehicle will wade 23.6 inches of water and tow up to 4,409 pounds.
Hill Descent Control, All-Terrain Progress Control, Rear Camera, Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, plus Front and Rear Parking Aid are all standard. For more advanced assist tech, opt for the $3,600 Driver Assist Package, which adds Blind Spot Assist, Rear Traffic Monitor, 360-degree Surround Camera, Clear Exit Monitor, High-speed Emergency Braking, Park Assist, 360-degree Parking Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Wade Sensing.
The only issue I experienced was with the engine. Although the auto stop/start system is reasonably smooth, it is quite slow. There seems to be little coordination between the pedal and the engine. The take-off is relatively weak and is “soft off the line.”
The Discovery Sport is one beautiful vehicle, looking good coming and going. It rests solidly on 19-inch 5 split-spoke Gloss Sparkle Silver wheels. Premium Automatic LED Headlights with Signature LED Daytime Running Lights, and Auto High Beams provide frontal visibility. Power Tailgate makes it easy to move cargo in and out.
More comfort and automation features include auto-dim and power-fold side mirrors with memory, approach light, rain sensing front and rear wipers, rear privacy glass, and heated rear window. All this “good stuff,” is coated in a wondrous Byron Blue Paint.
The Discovery’s interior is relatively plain, but Ambient Interior Lighting casts a mood over the Ebony Grained Leather upholstery and leather-wrapped steering wheel, while power adjustable front seats with lumbar support allow you to wax comfortably. The seating arrangement in the Discovery Sport is “5+2” with a 40/20/40 split-fold, sliding second row seating, plus two more behind it. These seats can all be folded flat to accommodate more cargo.
The cabin is highly functional. Strongly horizontal, free of any kind of useless ornamentation, yet nicely trimmed with soft material and stitching. I would have preferred a softer light brown or tan leather material though.
The Touch Pro 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Connected Navigation Pro is your gateway to the sound system, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and USB ports. It works in tandem with Interactive Driver Display digital instrument panel to supply all necessary information.
The engineers at Land Rover are well aware of safety features that are most important on a fine luxury vehicle like Discovery Sport. Although there are too many to mention, features like rear view camera, front & rear parking aids, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keep Assist, and Driver Condition Monitor are great. I really appreciated Traffic Sign Recognition and Speed Limiter, but my favorite — found on few new cars — is Remote Emergency Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Remote Start.
It is not so much what the car could do for me, but rather how the vehicle makes me feel about myself. The Discovery Sport wrapped me in luxury without the taint of arrogance. I felt good about what I was doing, while inwardly I approved the luxurious feeling I was getting. No regrets, but a true sense of pride.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this media outlet or firstname.lastname@example.org.