The Discovery Sport HSE is basking in the limelight at the moment. There have been many positive reviews from critics extolling its virtues, and some have even said its a great choice for those wanting to upsize from a Range Rover Evoque. So what’s made this new car, the first time a Sport badge has ever been added to a Discovery model, so special?
For Evoque customers there is one obvious advantage – the space. The Discovery Sport is 10 inches longer than the Evoque, and even has two extra seats in the boot that can be folded down as occasion requires. Furthermore, the middle row of seats can slide backwards and forwards to give either more legroom or more luggage space, creating a surprisingly luxurious experience for a car that was seen as a middle-of-the-road.
Those seats, incidentally, are covered in the high quality leather we’ve come to expect from Land Rover, and can be heated when required. The front seats can also be heated or cooled, and are adjustable ten ways. While the driver enjoys the heated steering wheel, the rear seat passengers can bask in the abundant light streaming in through the panoramic sunroof.
On the outside, although the Discovery is tall and undoubtedly powerful, it also has a sleekness to its bulk that highlights the Sport designation. 19 inch alloys, great all-round visibility and a healthy respect for ground clearance ensure off-roading is a breeze, as do Land Rover’s famous terrain response system and hill descent control.
Performance is solid, although perhaps not quite as good as we’d expect from a car with Sport badging. The car’s 2 litre engine will allow it to do 0-62 in 8.9 seconds, before it reaches a maximum speed of 117MPH. Drivers benefit from an automatic nine speed gearbox, but have the option to engage with the gears manually thanks to paddles behind the steering wheel. Acceleration is measured and the ride quality, as you’d expect, is reported to be dreamily smooth.