Land Rover Discovery Sport – highly effective and confidence inspiring off-road

Land Rover Discovery Sport – highly effective and confidence inspiring off-road

Since first emerging from the Rover car company in 1947, as a prototype with a central driving position, Land Rover has been synonymous with off-road prowess. In fact the last Defender still owed much to its immediate post-war cousin.

Of course today the talk is once again all about Defender, but this time in its newest form. Which brings me neatly on to talk about a completely different Land Rover!

The Discovery Sport, although having a trendy, upmarket image, is in today’s terms reasonably affordable. Prices for the 2021 model range start at just under €36,486 (£32,000), and if that seems somewhat less than cheap, well I have recently been driving a Toyota RAV4 that’s listed at €40,477 (£35,500).

The other thing that surprises with the Discovery Sport is a lead-in model with two-wheel-drive. More SUVs come in two-wheel-drive than four nowadays but a two-wheel-drive Land Rover still comes as surprise.

My particular Discovery Sport was an R-Dynamic S Plus, with four-wheel-drive, turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, mild hybrid electric assistance and automatic transmission. The easy way to tell a Sport from a standard Discovery is not only the size but the Sport doesn’t have that, to some, rather annoying offset rear number plate.

Priced from €44,416 (£38,955) the Dynamic versions represent a good step up from entry level for a relatively small price increase. Of course by the time you’ve ticked some option boxes the price can climb quicker than a Land Rover up a mountain. My test model had over €6,800 (£6,000) in options.

That said the standard, although it is rather more than that, specification is pretty decent. Privacy glass, power tailgate, powered, heated and dimming door mirrors, powered and heated front seats, leather, surround camera, 10” touch screen, navigation, smartphone connectivity and a panoply of safety kit and a myriad of other standard features.

Reliability has to be mentioned as there’s much talk about the lack of it with Land Rovers. While I know people who have had issues, equally I know many that have experienced no issues whatsoever.

The all-wheel-drive of my Discovery was tested in genuine snowy conditions in which it was, unsurprisingly, highly effective and confidence inspiring. Inside the Land Rover it’s a very nice place to be, a mix of modern tech and quality materials. Good power delivery, smooth gear changes and decent handling are the hallmarks of what is an impressive machine.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Land Rover Discovery Sport R-Dynamic S Plus P200 AWD
  • Engine: 2.0-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol with mild electric assistance
  • Gears: 9-speed automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (60 mph) Petrol 8.3 secs
  • Maximum Speed Petrol 200 kmh (1124 mph)
  • Economy: Petrol 9.3 l/100km (30.2 mpg) WLTP
  • Emissions: Petrol 179 g/km

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Reynolds