Land Rover Discovery Sport Sw

Review of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport SW is a seven-seater, go-anywhere, load-lugger, people carrier and tower that looks cool, sports a smart interior, and which also drives superbly.

There isn’t much to dislike about this premium family car, although a high price tag might be the biggest thing that causes consternation. Moreover, the petrol engines – as awesome as they are – aren’t cheap to run.

Land Rover is as British as they come. An iconic manufacturer who have now even turned their hand to making pushchairs. How did they get to where they are today? Read our history of Land Rover to find out more.

OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport SW review.

Overview of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW

On the Road

Perhaps the thing that impressed us most about the new Discovery Sport was its insulation. Road noise is almost virtually non-existent, and that really is saying something when you consider the sheer size of the tyres here.

The excellent insulation levels are complemented by a relaxed, easygoing driving experience, which is itself made possible by such a composed ride. At low speeds, the suspension becomes a bit firmer, but Land Rover have fitted the car with a brand new multi-link rear axle that does a great job of smoothing out road surfaces as you move along at speed.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

However, the brand’s MagneRide adaptive dampers are out of bounds with the new Sport, and can’t even be specified as an optional extra.

In corners, the car is surprisingly agile for such a bulky SUV, and the steering is both direct and sharp. It’s one of the most engaging cars of its type, although we would have liked a bit more feel from the steering.

Visibility is good, and all in all the Discovery Sport is a car you can drive with confidence.

In terms of its engines, there’s just the one petrol available, but it’s available in two separate guises. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-litre unit that develops either 237 or 286bhp. Both are pretty formidable engines, and we reckon most buyers will be satisfied with the smaller of the two. It comes with four-wheel-drive as standard, has a 0-62 time of 7.1 seconds, and gets paired up with a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

However, it needs to be worked pretty hard to get the most out of it and doesn’t actually feel as fast as you’d like.

The 286bhp variant, on the other hand, is especially quick. It completes the 0-62 dash in 6.5 seconds, and also comes paired up with the 9-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Like the smaller variant, it will need to be worked hard.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SW Interior, Design and Build

Land Rover Discovery Sport view of the interior

The new Discovery Sport’s interior is classic Land Rover stuff. The switchgear, climate controls and dashboard are all identical with the ones found in the Evoque, and wherever you look this feels like an upmarket product.

Fit and finish is excellent, the quality of the materials is high, and there’s not much to fault about build quality (just one or two squeaks from the sliding middle row of seats now and then).

The 9-speed automatic gearbox comes with a neat rotary gear selector which emerges from the centre console, while standard kit is – as ever – very good, with all models getting heated part-leather seats.

Is the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW practical? A third row of seats has been added to what Land Rover now call a 5+2 seating layout. This third row is largely aimed at children, but adults will be able to sit back there on shorter trips without much fuss.

The middle seat, meanwhile, slides for easy access. The rear doors also make access easy, as they open to 90 degrees. However, it really is worth mentioning that this is a large car and that climbing aboard a Land Rover won’t always be so simple for some people.

There are lots of storage spaces throughout the cabin, including deep door pockets and a decent-sized glovebox. The boot, meanwhile, measures 981-litres when five seats are up. When all seven seats are up, it doesn’t offer much space at all, but when you fold the third and second row, it offers a total capacity of 1,698-litres.

Equipment and Safety of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW

Standard kit is generous across the range, with the entry-level model coming with cloth seats, cruise control, an 8” infotainment system, 19” alloys and a powered boot lid.

The SE model nets you an enhanced stereo, LED headlights, sat-nav, a darker radiator grille and all-round parking sensors.

The HSE model is next, and it comes with a Meridian stereo, leather seats, 20” alloys, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and a reversing camera.

At the top of the range is an HSE Luxury model that rounds things off with an even better Meridian stereo, two rear-seat entertainment screens, a 360-degree bird’s eye camera, 21” alloys and two sunroofs.

Safety-wise, the Discovery Sport was awarded 5/5 for its crash test performance. Standard safety kit includes airbag’s, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning, but adaptive cruise control is an optional extra.

How reliable is the Land Rover? Read our unbiased assessment of Land Rover reliability.

Costs of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW

Prices for the new car start at £29,575. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.

In terms of its running costs, the sole petrol engine is nowhere near as cheap to run as the diesels. The smaller 237bhp variant manages returns of 35.2mpg at best, while emissions stand at 182g/km of CO2.

The bigger 286bhp variant, meanwhile, is good for 33.6mpg economy and emits 190g/km. However, these numbers are a bit deceptive as you’ll struggle to achieve them on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the car occupies insurance groups 28 to 38.

Pros and Cons of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SW

Pros:

Seven seats are standard

A lot of its rivals either offer seven seats as optional extras or don’t offer them at all.

Excellent off-road ability

Take it out into the rain, mud or snow – it won’t mind. Take it up hills, too.

Looks good

It might have go-anywhere ability, but it also looks sharp.

Cons:

Expensive to run

In all honesty, you’ll struggle to return over 30mpg from either engine.

Firm ride

It’s not the comfiest at low speeds.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SW vs Audi Q5 vs BMW X3

Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport SW review.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SW vs Audi Q5

The new Audi Q5 is one of the top dogs in this sector, but will its lack of size cause it to fall short of the Land Rover?

It’s still a taller-than-average car, of course, and while this often leads to a cumbersome driving experience, that really isn’t the case here. On the road, the Q5 drives a lot like a regular hatchback. Body lean is kept to a minimum, the suspension setup does a good job of ironing out road imperfections, and on the whole, this is an easy and enjoyable car to drive.

Audi Q5

In terms of its engines, a 2.0-litre petrol unit powers the standard model. It’s an excellent engine that develops 249bhp, which is enough to whizz you from a standstill to 62mph in a mere 6.3 seconds. It’s smooth, fast and keen to rev.

Should you prefer the high-performance SQ5 model, your power will come from a V6 3.0-litre petrol engine that develops 349bhp, and which has a 0-62 time of 5.4 seconds. It also comes paired up with an 8-speed automatic ‘box as standard.

Running costs? If you stick to the 18” alloys, the 2.0-litre petrol engine can manage returns of 46.5mpg on a good day, while emissions stand at 156g/km of CO2. This qualifies it for a BiK rating of 30%.

Insurance isn’t too bad either, with the 2.0-litre model sitting in group 29. However, the SQ5 model occupies group 42 out of 50.

Inside, the Q5 is a very smart car. Its design is minimal and clean, there’s lots of luxury to see, touch and use, and build quality is solid.

Audi have hardly put a foot wrong, although the 7” infotainment display looks badly fitted to the dashboard. That’s really the only criticism though. Insulation is excellent, as is comfort, and we love the thick gear selector for the auto ‘box.

Is the Audi Q5 practical? It’s an extremely usable car that’s designed to make life as easy as possible for families on the road. It has just the five seats, but all are reasonably spacious, while little things such as the controls on the multifunction steering wheel are what make the car so appealing.

The boot, meanwhile, measures as much as 610-litres if you slide the rear seats forward, and 1,550 if you fold them down altogether.

Price:

Land Rover – £29,575
Audi – £39,860 – £42,875

Land Rover Discovery Sport SW vs BMW X3

The new BMW X3 is a big, bold and brilliant car that handles like a dream.

It doesn’t seem to matter how big a BMW is, they all handle well. This time around, the German brand took the Jaguar F-Pace as their inspiration, and as such the X3 never feels as heavy as it is.

True, the steering is a bit too loose in the town and cities, but it’s direct and accurate enough once you pick up the pace.

BMW X3

In terms of its engines, the standard 20i model is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol unit that develops 181bhp, and which has a 0-62 time of 8.3 seconds.

However, if you want as much crushing power as possible, you’ll need to splash out on the M40i model. This high-performance BMW is backed by a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine that has six cylinders, develops 355bhp, and which covers the 0-62 sprint in 4.8 seconds.

It also comes with twin exhausts and makes a ferocious racket.

Running costs? The 2.0-litre petrol engine is a modern power plant, but the best it can return is 38.7mpg economy. Emissions stand at 163g/km of CO2, which qualifies it for a 33% BiK rating if you stick to a less expensive trim.

The M40i model is hardly any less economical, managing returns of 34.4mpg on a good day.

Inside, the X3 is exquisitely finished and smartly designed. It’s a real thing of beauty that’s well equipped and comfortable.

However, if you opt for the M model, you’ll probably need to add the M Sport suspension system, as the standard setup finds it hard to soak up road imperfections once the car is paired up with 20” alloys.

The dashboard is solidly built, all models are adorned with leather, as well as lashings of aluminium and gloss-black trim.

Is the BMW X3 practical? This is a sizeable interior, and while it’s strictly a five-seater, five people will be comfortable even on longer trips. It’s longer than last time, which means legroom has improved, while driver’s benefit from a height– and reach‐adjustable steering wheel. Headroom is good for all.

The boot, meanwhile, measures 550-litres. It’s got a good shape and it extends to 1,550-litres when you fold the rear seats.

Price:

BMW – £39,105 – £51,675

Verdict of our 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport SW Review

It’s not as slick as an Audi or a BMW, and it does lack those car’s pure sex appeal. But the Land Rover is a beast of the new-school variety in that it combines a warrior-like appetite for roughing it in literally any condition with well-groomed looks and plenty of on-the-road manners.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport SW roars, pleases, accommodates seven people – and we love it.

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Related LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SPORT SW Articles

Review of the Model

Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

10th June 2016

Some people might see the Land Rover Discovery Sport as the immediate replacement for the outgoing Freelander, but we think that would be rather lazy, because this is a very different car that deserves to carve its own name. Sure, it’s another off-roader, and sure it will compete with the Volvo XC60 and the BMW…

Presented by Will Titterington


 

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