Landrover Discovery Sport Review
Landrover (and Range Rover) have had something of a changing of the guard of late. Whilst they still make the best 4×4’s around and continue to go from strength to strength, they have received criticism (including us) from making everything, well, look the same. Some say they have lost view of their history in their rear view mirror, some say it is the fault of the urban growth of SUVs and 4×4’s that no longer need to be rugged and ready.
Whilst we used to have the likes of the Range Rover, Discovery, Freelander and the Defender (all very different), we now have the likes of Range Rover, Discovery Sport and Evoque. All, well, a little bit similar. However, not to be deterred, we jumped in the new Discovery Sport to see exactly where it sits in the spectrum and see if we can find out why they started with the Sport instead of the normal Discovery.
To look at the all new Discovery Sport is much better looking in person than it is in 2D. To be honest by the end of the week this probably gave me the feeling of one of the best looking 4×4’s I have ever driven. Yes a Defender or Wrangler may tug on my heart streets with their history and pure brutality, but for every day and appealing to the masses, the Discovery Sport is well up there. Part of this has to be in the size – when you think of the previous Discovery you think large, all consuming and able to tackle anything. It was built as a Luxury farm hand. Space for everything but still with a touch of ‘range’. Whilst the Discovery Sport has some space (a few bails of hay), it doesn’t have the storage space of the outgoing model which will prove a problem for some. Hopefully the non-Sport will fix that, but I wouldn’t hold me breath.
Stepping inside, and it is something of a shock. Whilst the Discovery Sport has all the buttons and technology of the latest Range Rover or Evoque, the finish is very much plastic and lacks anything special. Whilst at first I sat-up in shock and dismay, it actually may not be a bad thing. If the new Discovery and Discovery Sport is going to take over from the outgoing Discovery (or even Defender)), it is going to be full with muddy hands, muddy wellies and get knocked around every day. As such, do you want flash buttons and trims everywhere?
Whilst plastic, I came to enjoy the matt black and simple finish. Everything worked as should and you get the feeling that this plastic is at least solid and should last the test of time and pretty much anything you can throw at it. Tick and Pass after all then..
Getting in sitting within the Discovery is just like any other Land / Range Rover – perfect. The seating position is upright and more like sitting at the kitchen table than it is lazing on the sofa. Perfect for long, comfortable journeys with your body positioned at all the right angles. This helps eat the miles and make the car a joy to drive. You don’t get masses of bodyroll which is often an issue when you step inside a taller vehicle – it feels more like car than truck in this respect. Even off-road the Discovery coped admirably well, without any worry of getting stuck even in Auto mode and the summer tyres.
A wonderful looking and performing 4×4? Without doubt. One with space and suited to a true farm workhorse, perhaps not quite. But with pricing just touching over the £30K mark, I really don’t think you will find a better all round SUV / 4×4 for the money. And I know exactly where mine would go.