Land Rover Discovery

Sport SD4 HSE

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

LAND Rover could certainly lay claim to being one of the most iconic British motoring brands, along with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and its JLR stablemate Jaguar.

That's quite some achievement given that for the majority of its lifespan it made a rugged and utilitarian off-roader that was about as agricultural as a car could possibly get.

The Land Rover, or Defender as it later became known, defined the Land Rover brand and though it's more than two years since the last one rolled off the production line to some extent it still does.

The Defender's success, without very much fundamentally changing, led the Solihull car maker to branch out, spawning the Range Rover and starting a trend for vehicles with an off-road flavour that were essentially designed to travel on-road.

Now of course SUVs proliferate but rather than struggle to assert its identity in a crowded marketplace the Land Rover brand seems to have flourished.

Its line-up is growing and diverse, with the Discovery Sport inhabiting one of three distinct families of vehicle - Defender, Discovery and Range Rover.

Okay, so the Defender family might not have much to shout about at the moment but the other two branches of the family tree seem to be flying high.

The Discovery Sport essentially replaced the Freelander, which was once nicknamed the ‘baby Land Rover'.

It's certainly no baby, being a pretty large and family-friendly SUV that boasts that distinct Discovery family look and the optional ability to transport seven people in a reasonable degree of comfort.

Its seven-seat versatility is a strong point as it has a middle bench that can slide forwards and backwards to offer flexibility for all five passengers in the rear.

The Discovery Sport is characterised by a finely crafted interior that wonderfully fuses Land Rover's rugged tradition with modernity and boasts the very latest technological features.

The instrumentation and switchgear are solid but stylish and very easy to understand and use.

Engine-wise the choice is fairly simple, with all models fitted with a version of Jaguar Land Rover's 2.0-litre Ingenium engines.

There are 240ps and 290ps petrols, which you'll not see many of on UK roads, and three diesels - 148ps, 178ps and 240ps.

This was the highest powered diesel and it felt good in the Discovery Sport with plenty of oomph. The super-smooth nine-speed automatic transmission comes as standard with this flagship diesel unit.

To drive the Discovery Sport feels remarkably light and agile, given its not inconsiderable bulk. Having the highest powered diesel unit under that distinctive clam shell bonnet no doubts boosts its agility but for a reasonably large car it's very easy to live with around town.

In terms of handling it feels nicely car-like overall and the ride quality impresses.

As with all Land Rovers it's also a consummate off-roader - should you wish to use it as such.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 HSE

Price: £44,095

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: 36

C02 emissions: 169g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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