Land Rover Discovery

Sport P300e

R-Dynamic SE

Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE
Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE, front
Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE, side
Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE, interior
Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE, rear
Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE, cabin

THE value of confidence is near perfectly demonstrated by Land Rover's decision to add a plug-in hybrid model to its popular Discovery Sport line-up.

A unique selling point of the Disco Sport, dating back to its launch in 2014 when it replaced the Freelander, has been the fact that it is a seven-seater luxury compact SUV.

But the latest addition to the range, the P300e, only has five seats due to its battery pack occupying space at the rear of the cabin, yet still has to go head to head with not only the big three premium German rivals but also its Jaguar E-PACE stablemate.

Here's where the confidence bit kicks in because Land Rover believes it has harnessed the best of both worlds - combining the brand's trademark go-anywhere expertise with zero emissions capability. Better still, it completes the task with comfort, precision and style.

The result is a model that's every inch as good as anything else wearing a premium badge, is a joy to drive and boasts the chassis systems and advanced tech to ensure it is reassuring and enjoyable in any environment.

The Discovery Sport range is an extensive one, comprising petrol and diesel mild hybrid models - all of which have seven seats - plus the most potent model in the line-up, the P300e plug-in electric hybrid.

Unlike the rest of the range which have 2.0-litre engines, the P300e is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rear axle for a total system output of 309bhp.

That's plenty of punch, sufficient to launch the car from zero to 60mph in 6.2 seconds, making it among the most lively vehicles of its ilk.

Not only is this latest Disco Sport both a rewarding and relaxing car to drive but it also signals some serious financial benefits too.

For instance its 34-mile pure electric range along with CO2 emissions of 44g/km qualify it for a 13 per cent benefit-in-kind tax band, making it a very attractive proposition for company car drivers.

Of course any disciplined driver making predominantly short journeys or commuter trips will save money by plugging in at home overnight and potentially be able to get somewhere near the 141mpg official fuel return figure.

Away from home a 0-80 per cent charge using a 50kW DC public charger should take as little as 30 minutes while on a 7kW AC home charger you can fire up from zero to 100 per cent in around two hours.

But whether those trips are in the city, on rural lanes or on the motorway the Discovery Sport remains a top quality and extremely capable compact crossover model.

Nor does compact mean small because interior space, front and back, is plentiful while our tested version in R-Dynamic SE trim brings a sportier style and comfort to the cabin with its 12-way electrically adjustable memory driver's seat.

And while the lion's share of the Sport's everyday work will be on properly surfaced roads its capability over the harshest terrain can't be underestimated.

This is after all a Land Rover at the core of which is something called Terrain Response, which is operated at the push of a finger and makes light of everything from sand, mud and ruts to grass, gravel and snow.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic SE

Price:£52,285

Mechanical:309bhp, 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine plus electric motor driving four wheels via eight-speed auto transmission

Max Speed:130mph

0-62mph: 6.2 seconds

Combined MPG:141 (34 miles electric range)

Insurance Group:39

C02 emissions:44g/km

Bik rating:13%

Warranty:3yrs/unlimited miles

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