By Mike Torpey on 2019-06-23 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Land Rover Discovery
Sport Si4 SE Tech
SPORTING that familiar Land Rover badge has long been a sign of distinction, adventure and country show style.
Rock up to the school, supermarket or golf club in Land Rover Discovery - especially if it's covered in mud - for instance and the impression given off is one of toughness and class.
Problem is it will cost you more than Â£46,000 to get into the cheapest version - and there are 17 of them.
Fear not, because it is easy to understand why the smaller Discovery Sport model has become Land Rover's biggest selling vehicle.
It's a stylish, extremely capable SUV boasting the dynamic advantages of its off-road stablemates but in a more compact package that also offers seven seats.
And as part of the continued enhancement of Land Rover models, all Discovery Sport powertrains - including petrols - are now equipped with particulate filters to make them even cleaner.
These close-coupled filters are integrated into the after-treatment system and trap soot as the exhaust gas passes through them.
Under normal driving conditions, the trapped soot will be oxidised into CO2 and the filter regenerated whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator.
There's just a single petrol variant in the Disco Sport line-up compared to a pair of diesels and this 2.0-litre powerplant from the efficient Ingenium family was beneath the bonnet of our tested Si4 model in sporty SE Tech trim.
Matched perfectly to Land Rover's nine-speed automatic gearbox, the engine provided swift and smooth acceleration and returned an average 32 miles per gallon over 250 miles of mixed urban and dual carriageway driving.
While these are the everyday conditions certain to make up the majority of a Discovery Sport's usage, it is also a serious performer when the going gets tough.
The car's Terrain Response set-up is operated at the push of a finger, making light of sand; mud and ruts; grass, gravel and snow, and general conditions.
Dial in the Hill Descent Control system, take your feet off the pedals and the Sport will pick its own way down the steepest of descents.
As for space, this may be Land Rover's smallest model but there's plenty of room inside - especially when the pair of individual back seats are stowed away.
You can slide the middle row over a range of 160mm, allowing excellent space for five people and more measured legroom for when there are seven aboard.
And the back pair couldn't be simpler to raise or lower, with a light tug on a tab, though they are only really suitable for kids.
It's that five plus two stadium-style seating that is the principal feature of a finely appointed cabin with its vertical centre console, eight-inch colour touch screen, multiple storage areas, a dozen 12V power points plus USB charging sockets for all three rows of seats.
Land Rover Discovery Sport Si4 SE Tech
Mechanical: 240ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via nine-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 33.2
Insurance Group: 33
C02 emissions: 193g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
Choose from one or more of the options to find the car for you.
Based on your search find the dealership
nearest to you.