Land Rover Discovery

Sport SD4 HSE Luxury

Land Rover Discovery Sport, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport, boot

THE Strictly glitterball may have been awarded for another year but there is one Disco that will always score top marks for style, performance, agility and strength and it comes out of the star-studded Land Rover stable.

That's because the Discovery Sport is a go-anywhere vehicle that delivers seven-seat versatility along with all the creature comforts, modern technology and connectivity systems we demand these days.

It looks imposing from any angle thanks to chunky 20-inch wheels, a clamshell bonnet, distinctive fender vents and grille with black surround, a black tailgate finisher, privacy glass and a muscular, strong profile.

Move inside and the cabin boasts a clean, clutter-free design that is packed with premium features and quality finishes such as perforated Windsor Leather seats, soft-touch surfaces, full smartphone connectivity, heated seats (front and back), a rear-view camera, ambient lighting and an Entertainment Pack costing £2,245 that added a Meridian surround sound system with 16 speakers, a 10-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi hotspots, an advanced sat nav system and plenty more besides.

Costing £47,894 (£51,595 with options), this Discovery Sport was powered by a 240ps 2.0-litre SD4 diesel engine and could reach from 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds, topping out at 127mph. It can deliver combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg with carbon emissions of 169g/km.

And although I had no plans or need to venture from the Tarmac on this occasion, it's most reassuring to know just how accomplished the vehicle is off-road with a Terrain Response system that adapts the car's mechanics to deal with grass, gravel, snow, mud and ruts.

It can wade through water up to 600mm deep and climb over obstacles 211mm high. In fact, Land Rover claims the Discovery Sport is "the most versatile and premium compact SUV ever" - and that is a title it will not give up without a fight.

With practicality and versatility in mind, the Discovery Sport can quickly and simply be converted from a five-seat family car into a seven-seat vehicle thanks to a pair of rear seats that fold flat to the boot floor when not in use.

Storage options are also impressive with a boot capacity that ranges from 194 litres to 1,698 litres with the seats dropped flat.

In addition, there is a good-sized glovebox, central bin, cup holders and practical door pockets to safely store away bits and pieces.

Comfort levels are exceptionally good on board the Discovery Sport with ample leg, head and shoulder space in the back for a trio of adults and long journeys will never be approached with a sense of dread.

In fact, I completed a 250-mile trip without any breaks and felt great when I arrived at my destination. That's because the car is an absolute delight to drive.

The driver's seat and steering wheel can be adjusted to find the perfect position and excellent all-round visibility is another bonus. In addition, all the dials, controls and read-outs are ideally positioned for ease of use.

And the car proved deceptively agile when negotiating some narrow lanes in Cornwall where it ably tackled tight twists and turns.

Out on the open road, the acceleration was smooth and responsive through the nine-speed automatic gearbox and the road-holding was very confident and assured.

The cabin is well insulated against any noise so very little wind, engine or road surface sounds filter through and the firm suspension helps to iron out any undulating road surfaces along the way.

The car is also packed with a whole raft of safety features and driver aids, although I did find the Auto High Beam Assist was a little slow to react in fog which resulted in a few oncoming vehicles flashing their headlights at me. But that aside, the Disco Sport was a pleasure to drive.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 HSE Luxury

Price: £47,895

Mechanical: 240ps, 1,999cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 7.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: 38

C02 emissions: 169g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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