Land Rover Discovery

Sport HSE TD4

e-Capability

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, front seats
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, rear seats
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, badge
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, 150ps Ingenium diesel engine
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, gear lever
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, boot, maximum
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, boot
Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability, exhaust

LAND Rover is in the midst of something of a product offensive as it seeks to establish three distinct families of vehicles.

The furthest family along that road is Range Rover which boasts the original Range Rover, the Sport, the Evoque and the soon-to-arrive Evoque Convertible.

The other two are the Discovery and Defender families.

It's a year since the Discovery Sport was launched - essentially a replacement for the long-serving Freelander2 but given an all-new family identity.

It's an apt rebirth as the Sport does signify a step up from the Freelander in many respects.

It's a more rounded SUV in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly competitive and congested - and it has just been named the best large SUV in this yer's What Car? awards.

When the original Freelander was launched back in the nineties there really were very few smaller SUVs but now they're two-a-penny.

The physical differences are that the Sport is bigger all-round, definitely more of a capable family car and it also has the ability to seat seven people.

The seven-seat configuration is available on higher powered 180ps diesel and this 150ps e-Capability model is a standard five-seater but it means the Sport can offer something extra over some of its competitors and its seven-seat layout is pretty user-friendly.

The middle bench that can slide forwards and backwards to offer flexibility for all five passengers in the rear and it also has the stadium-style from the current Discovery where each row is higher than the one in front.

Looks-wise the Discovery Sport represents a big contrast to the Freelander and also gives a pointer to what's to come with the Discovery family.

Comfort levels are high, fit and finish seems excellent and the switchgear and instrumentation are very characteristically Land Rover - simple, functional, tidy and with just a hint of ruggedness.

When the Sport was launched there as just one engine available, the SD4 2.2-litre diesel carried over from the Freelander.

The Midland-made four-cylinder Ingenium diesel is now available and represents a great addition.

Smooth and refined, it's also pleasingly potent and impressively lean and green when it comes to both emissions and fuel economy.

This version was the 150ps engine which Land Rover is calling e-Capability thanks to its low emissions and the Discovery Sport carries a blue Sport badge to denote that.

The Sport apes its larger more luxurious stablemates in that it is a very consummate road-going car. You feel suitably cosseted in a very comfortable environment and at times I forgot I was in an SUV, such were its car-like driving manners.

It probably helps in that it sits a lot lower than the Freelander but there's no disputing the Sport is a good driver's car.

If I was being picky I might say it doesn't have the sporty edge of the Evoque but it handles nicely nonetheless and is very easy to live with.

Should you want to put it through its paces off-road you won't be disappointed either. I didn't on this occasion but having experienced it previously in the suitably rugged landscape of Iceland in the winter I can testify as to its prowess.

There it coped with some pretty extreme snow-encrusted trails and tracks with relative ease.

The Discovery Sport also has Autonomous Engine Braking (AEB) and a bonnet airbag to protect pedestrians as standard.

It was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating and prices start from £30,695.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE TD4 e-Capability

Price: £35,340

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,999cc 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via six-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 11.7 seconds

Combined MPG:57.6

Insurance Group: 36

C02 emissions: 129g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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