Land Rover Discovery

Sport e-Capability -

First Drive

Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, nose
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, rear seats
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, badge
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, kickplate
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, instruments
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, display screen, trip computer
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, display screen
Land Rover Discovery Sport e-Capability, boot
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, 150ps Ingenium diesel engine

WITH Land Rover's new Ingenium engine under the bonnet the latest Discovery Sport is out to rid 4x4s of their gas-guzzling image.

Classified as one of Land Rover's new e-Capability models - the name denoting it is the most economical car in the range and signified by a blue Sport tailgate badge - the 150ps version of the Discovery Sport has a claimed fuel return of 57.7mpg with emission down to 129g/km.

For a full-blown all-wheel-drive vehicle that is a new benchmark and those figures are no pie in the sky.

On a drive through the countryside at an average speed of 38mph the latest Disco Sport notched up an impressive average of 52.4mpg - according to the trip computer.

Even on a long motorway run it returned 45.4 to the gallon overall and that was with an average speed of 60mph.

The eco version of the Discovery Sport uses the new four-cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel in its lowest state of boost so far and is available only with a six-speed manual gearbox.

It is impressively quiet and sounds very refined and even though it is tuned for economy there is nothing lacking when it comes to all round performance. In no way is it underpowered and there is plenty of pull from a low as 1,750 revs.

Top speed is a claimed 112mph with a 0 to 60 acceleration time of 11 seconds and this Discovery Sport will cruise just as well as versions fitted with the higher powered 180ps Ingenium TD4 engine.

A display on the instrument panel prompts accurate gear change points and with stop/start in traffic allied to an eco drive mode, it is easy to get top class economy.

The previous SD4 diesel used in the earlier versions of the Discovery Sport was good for just 46.3mpg and the new engine - built at Jaguar Land Rover's new multi-million pound engine plant in Wolverhampton - is a breakthrough on all fronts.

This particular Discovery Sport was in high grade HSE Luxury trim priced from £35,395 and with options including a surround-sound hi-fi, a full suite of apps hooked up to the Land Rover InControl vehicle technology system and automatic parking it tipped the scales at £43,551.

Unlike the 180ps models which have seven seats the e-Capability version is only a five seater but comes with an excellent amount of boot space ranging from 689 to 1,698 litres. With all seats in use that's three times more room than in the seven seater.

With leather upholstery, illuminated kick-plates and a variety of colour schemes available for the night-time ambient lighting it is a car with a luxury feel and comes fully equipped with the likes of dual zone climate control, sat nav and lane departure warning.

For a full-blown off-roader - and there is no compromise with its 4x4 abilities which include Land Rover's electronic Terrain Response set up - the Discovery Sport handles exceptionally well.

Body roll has been all but eliminated and it is nicely agile despite weighing the best part of two tonnes.

Standard features include a power operated tailgate, keyless operation and a heated windscreen which overall adds up to make it a very complete package.

The same engine is also fitted in the new front-wheel-drive Range Rover Evoque where the fuel return is even greater with an official figure close to 70mpg.

For an SUV that is astonishing and shows that a modern Land Rover can now be as clean as a supermini.

The Ingenium engine is a top class piece of engineering and has been developed entirely in-house by Jaguar Land Rover. Already it has appeared in Jaguar models and soon petrol versions are in the pipeline which, like the diesel will be used by both brands.

Compared to alternatives such as Audi's Q3 and the BMW X3 the Discovery Sport is not only a fresh face on the block but now in its e-Capability guise is one that's poised to clean up on all fronts.

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