Latest Discovery

Sport simply

brilliant

Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, side, North Yorkshire Experience Centre
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, front, static
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, rear, static
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, side, static
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2019, boot

THE heavily revised Land Rover Discovery Sport might not look very different from the outside.

But under the skin it is a vastly different machine, with a range of new smoother engines and a lovely interior that's been brought right up to date.

I've been driving the all wheel drive 200bhp petrol 2.0-litre with a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox and I can honestly say it blew me away.

The performance might not seem to be very special from the figures but, in everyday use, it is plenty enough for 99 per cent of owners and drivers.

The whole car is really accomplished. The new petrol engine is very smooth and impressive, revving sweetly and pulling beautifully from low revs.

It has a small electric motor and battery that helps acceleration at low revs but is also used to restart the engine quickly from the automatic start stop.

It has power to spare in most situations and is also subdued and refined throughout its rev range.

The gearbox sometimes fails to change down as you might expect when slowing down, but this is only a mild niggle.

Kickdown is smooth and swift for overtaking and it gets even better in Sport mode, when change up points rise to give maximum acceleration - but at the same time will cost in lower economy.

The way it handles is a revelation for a largeish 4x4, with wonderfully informative steering and great poise and safety through the corners.

Grip, no doubt helped by the permanent four wheel drive, is amazing and unlike some other all wheel drive cars its agility is excellent through quick changes of direction.

Such top quality body control used to be reserved for the best of cars, not tall 4x4s.

But that's not the end of its driving attributes, because it also rides superbly even over rough country roads at speed and takes potholed town roads even more easily.

The gearbox, as well as having Sport and Normal modes, also has a manual mode to make the changes when you choose.

However, I would venture to suggest this is a waste of time in the main, the automatic doing the job so well.

The only exception is when trying to drive as economically as possible, because you can then change up and down at lower revs.

This is a great feeling car at all times, very accomplished in every way on the road and this is a Land Rover after all, it is said to be as capable as ever off-road.

I didn't have chance to take it to my local off-road driving centre but it comes with the company's Terrain Response system, which is an easy and simple way to sort out off-road settings.

You can be sure it can cope with anything any owner is likely to throw at it.

The model I tried was the entry level P200 and I was agreeably surprised by the amount of standard kit.

It comes with four 12-volt sockets and three USBs, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and even a bonnet airbag to help protect pedestrians in an impact.

It also has sat nav, audio remote and phone controls on the steering wheel, heated electric front seats, parking sensors, traction control, cruise and cloth upholstery.

FAST FACTS

Price: £36,180

Mechanical: 197bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 128mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 30

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 179g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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