Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport.
There’s a new entrant in the medium sized premium SUV market and there is much to like about it, especially if you go off-road, or require seven seats.
It’s the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Land Rover gave me the keys to a Discovery Sport in SD4 HSE trim, an offering that is priced from $63,600.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport range offers a choice of 2.0 turbo-petrol and 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engines, there’s a six-speed manual transmission on offer in manual variants, the automatic transmission option available in the diesel range and standard in the petrol is a nine-speed unit.
Land Rover Discovery Sport prices start from $53,300.
At first sight you might think it’s a larger version of the Range Rover Evoque, no surprise as the Discovery Sport is built on the same platform.
So it’s stylish looking, bigger and cheaper than the Evoque, and much more glamorous than the capable but dowdy Land Rover Freelander 2 it replaces.
The high riding position is comfortable, with good vision of the surroundings. Handling, road holding and cornering were extremely capable, and the Discovery Sport was very pleasant in day-to-day city driving.
The well thought out and spacious cabin provides ample storage and USB charging points. Thanks to the quality fit-out, the upholstery looks and feels upmarket, and at night, door panels are bathed in subtle lighting.
While standard features in this grade of the Land Rover Discovery Sport include;
- 19”alloy wheels
- Eleven-speaker stereo
- Tilt and reach steering adjustment
- Lane departure warning
- Push-button ignition
- Reverse camera
- Heated seats (front row)
It’s a refined package in most respects, and Land Rover’s legendary off-road experience means the Discovery Sport can tackle tough terrain, should the owners decide to go exploring the outback.
Usually a 5 seat model, it can be ordered as a 7 seater, the 5 + 2 seating option costing an extra $1990. This is another selling point of the Discovery Sport over rivals in its class, which don’t offer a 5 + 2 option.
There’s a list of options, quite a lengthy list at that, and costly too… Extras like the Entertainment Pack with Rear Seat Entertainment will set you back $7,000, and if you fancy Premium Metallic paint, it’s $2,600.
However, for me the only disappointment was the 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine under the bonnet.
The engine, which produces 140kW and 420Nm, is not as quiet as I would have expected, and performance seemed leisurely, despite the nine- speed auto transmission.
That said, I soon got used to the how the power was delivered and with excellent fuel economy of just 6.1L/100kms I don’t think this will be a deal-breaker for too many prospective buyers.
For the record, the turbo-petrol offers 177kW/340Nm and combined fuel economy of a very reasonable 8.0L/100km.
The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport boasts a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; I found the 2015 Discovery Sport an enjoyable vehicle, worthy of consideration if you are looking at premium medium-sized SUVs.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport SD4 HSE
Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 140kW and 420Nm
Transmission as tested: Nine-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: From $53,300, Discovery Sport SD4 HSE from $63,600
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