The Germans won’t agree but the Disco Sport is just about the best car in it’s class. Tons better than the Freelander it replaced – now fitted with a 2.0 Land Rover ‘Ingenium’ engine instead of an ageing 2.2 diesel.
You just have to consider the costs of all the ‘must have’ options before running away with the idea of Land Rover ownership. It’s a mini Range Rover, less glam than the Evoque but still with a cabin that reeks of premium.
Complaints? Just that 2.0 engine which, although considerably better than the outgoing unit, just lacks a bit of punch, even in 180bhp guise.
Whether you can live with the orange paint job of our test car is another matter! Settle for a nice gun metal grey and the Sport looks superb…
So yesterday a very rare thing happened. I washed my 1972 Land Rover. It was more a case of scrubbing the moss from the wings – trees and bushes have helped give it a green tinge.
Somehow, I can’t imagine the orange Discovery Sport parked next to it is ever going to survive for 50 years. Well, perhaps not in that colour scheme anyway!
The only orange Land Rovers I remember are the G4 Challenge versions that, for some reason, seem to be worth a lot more than a standard car.
My Series III is Marine Blue. It’s actually kind of tempting to give it an orange paint job. Would that be cool? Perhaps not…
There’s more than whiff of full-fat Range Rover about the Discovery Sport. So many of the dash controls come from the same parts box – the heated steering wheel, infotainment centre and electric seat controls, to name but a few.
Our top spec Sport is pure luxury, except the 2.0 diesel obviously needs to be worked so much harder than the Rangey’s V8. After driving the Range Rover around Scotland for 600 miles last month, the effortless grunt is what you really miss about this Discovery.
Today, UK Transport Minister, Chris Grayling, said drivers should take a long hard think about buying a diesel car – which suggests measures are on the way to penalise derv owners.
Perhaps it won’t be long before we see a 2.0-litre Range Rover too, as V8 diesels before a distant memory….
The biggest challenger to the Discovery Sport is just about to arrive at a dealer near – the new Land Rover Discovery.
BMW. Mercedes and Audi all make fine SUVs but Land Rover is currently way ahead of the pack. The Discovery Sport has the quality feel of a Range Rover, without the heavyweight price tag.
The main reason why it overlaps with the new Discovery is that both offer seven seats. And given that the new Disco looks very similar to the Sport, you wonder which one will ultimately come out on top.
I’m a huge fan out the outgoing Discovery and I suspect the new model will be more agile, faster and less cumbersome. It may just come down to price but I suspect the Sport will end up the winner…
Land Rover carries out road tests for new vehicles down the Fosse Way, close to where I live. I must admit, the first time I saw the Discovery Sport in the metal it had me cussing.
Why the bland, faceless styling – and how could they possibly charge so much when the larger Discovery seemed better value?
I’ve only driven the Sport ten miles to the station and back but already I can see the appeal. This is a very good car, with an exceptional engine and a cabin of peerless quality.
So while the Hyundai Santa Se, and such like are tons better value, I think a moment inside the Sport will persuade you this is a car that’s is actually worth more of your hard-earned cash.
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The only chance I get to drive off-road these days is taking my lawn cuttings to the farm compost heap. Today I did it in luxury – gliding down the rutted track in the Range Rover.
Sometimes you forget how good this vehicle is in the dirt. The Rangey is classed as ‘luxury SUV’ and shamefully, few owners will ever engage the Terrain Response off-road software.
If they did, they would discover just how far off the tarmac you can travel in such a large and heavy machine. You will lose your bottle way before the land Rover gives up.
All this is done inside a beautifully appointed cabin, listening to The Archers on the radio and relaxing in sumptuous leather seats. Farmers never had it so good.
Nothing comes close, wherever you want to drive it…
Sixteen years ago I decided to live in a car for two days. Unfortunately, it was a Ford Focus estate and my company was a particularly smelly journalist with bad teeth.
It was as difficult as you can imagine – everything had to be ‘done’ in the car for 48 hours. I mention this because I can say that goday, there is no other vehicle I’d rather spend 48 hours in than the Range Rover.
Headroom in the cabin is so high I can almost walk about. The Autobiography has a TV system in the rear, the seats recline and are heated. I mean, what else could you want?
It’s much more comfortable that flying long distance to Australia – and with a drive-through Costa near here, the food isn’t too bad either.