Land Rover Discovery Sport Leasing

Discovery Sport Beginnings

The Discovery Sport was introduced in 2014, marking the next step in the evolution of Land Rover’s compact SUVs. Beginning with the Freelander in 1997, and moving on to the Freelander 2 in 2006, the aim of Land Rover’s smaller models was to meet market demand for an SUV smaller than both the Discovery and Range Rover. Available in five- and seven-seat variants, the Discovery Sport has proven popular with family buyers, and shares a number of design cues with the larger Discovery Vision concept previewed at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Driving the Sport

What you’ll first notice when driving the Discovery Sport is the distinct lack of noise. Land Rover put the Sport through rigorous testing to make sure road noise including tyre roar and bumps have as little impact as possible on the driving experience. With only the biggest of bumps delivering muted thuds from the suspension, the senses are left free to experience the Sport’s drive without distraction. The Sport’s noiselessness is in part helped by the new 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, fading noise into the background at cruising, as well as the optional automatic gearbox that keeps revs mid-range whilst improving acceleration and keeping engine noise to a minimum.

The Discovery Sport’s suspension doesn’t just deliver a smooth sounding ride. A firmer feeling suspension at low speed gives way to an impressive performance capable of smoothing out most bumps and potholes the faster you go, thanks to the new multi-link rear axle.

When it really wants to show off, the Discovery Sport heads off-road. Its excellent ground clearance and high front and rear overhangs make taking steep slopes a doddle, and the intelligent Terrain Response system adapts traction control to different conditions, helping the vehicle to really push its limits. Hand over to one of five terrain modes – Normal, Mud, Sand, Rocks, and Snow – and let the Sport do the rest.

The Sport’s body movement is very well controlled, with plenty of grip even on standard all-weather tyres. Even in the slipperiest conditions, the electronically controlled permanent four-wheel drive system delivers excellent traction. Agile and alert around corners, the electric steering is sharp, direct, and precise, taking bends with ease. This combined with a high-set driving position and good visibility, the Sport can be manoeuvred with confidence.

With variable hill descent control, a wading depth of 600mm, lots of ground clearance, and excellent approach and departure angles in its armoury, the Discovery Sport is an off-road champion fit for a family.

Fuel Economy

The Discovery Sport is a reliably chunky SUV but, despite its size, delivers pretty good running costs. The 2.0-litre Ingenium engine helping to keep emissions as low as 129g/km for the manual 148bhp version, fuel consumption is also remarkably good. Daily usage should sit comfortably at around 50mpg, whilst the even more powerful 178bhp version with automatic gearbox delivers 53.3mpg and 139g/km, setting it in VED band E.

Equipment/Tech

The Discovery Sport is Land Rover through and through, with climate controls, the dash and switchgear all taken from the Evoque. Although the Discovery is a sturdy machine, what’s inside makes it feel truly premium.

Fitted out with top of the range materials and built for strength and quality, the automatic version of the Sport gets a rotary gear selector that comes up from the centre console and brings with it the gem-like dial markers previously seen on the Evoque. Even standard SE models come with a high spec of equipment, with alloy wheels, heated seats, part-leather upholstery, climate control, Bluetooth connection and DAB radio included. This is perfectly good, but stump up that little extra and the SE Tech adds automatic lights and wipers and an electronic tailgate perfectly suited to the Discovery Sport’s largely family-oriented market.

Taking things a step further in the luxury stakes, the HSE adds in full leather interior, electrically adjustable seating, a reversing camera, panoramic sunroof, and keyless entry to enhance the vehicle’s practical capabilities. The highest trim spec is the HSE Luxury, which adds in heated and cooled front seats, rear heated seats and a rather clever self-parking system. If it’s a really premium SUV you’re after, then the upper two trim levels make the Discovery Sport just the car for you.

The Discovery Sport’s infotainment system is almost in itself reason enough to choose to drive it. The eight-inch, high-res screen is refreshingly user-friendly, with clear labels and a properly responsive touchscreen. Whilst there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto function, an optional InControl Touch Pro upgrade available from 2016 delivers a larger 10.2 inch screen with a clearer display and updated gesture controls similar to those found on most smartphones.

As standard, the updated Sport features Tile, a system that uses small Bluetooth tags on everyday items such as keys, wallets, and phones to remind drivers not to leave any important items behind. New safety features include a drowsiness detection system, an intelligent speed limiter that reads road signs and prompts drivers to accept a change in speed, and camera-operated lane departure technology that carefully steers the car back into its lane.

Still on board is full 3D mapping with easy-to-use address entry system, and dual view technology to allow the passenger to watch a film whilst the driver uses the on-screen navigation system. Audio options include the standard 10-speaker sound system with Bluetooth audio streaming and very good sound quality, or an 11-speaker unit with subwoofer for an additional £200. The optional 17-speaker Meridian system really delivers, however, with fantastic volume and sound clarity.

Reliability

On the outside, the Discovery Sport really does have a look all of its own. Under the skin, however, the car is put together from much of Land Rover’s best-performing kit from previous vehicles. It’s no wonder then that reliability isn’t an issue. The platform and switchgear both come from the Evoque, although the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine is new.

The one potential issue lies in the stability of the infotainment system, but from our experience we find that Land Rover keeps its dealers informed of all of its latest software updates to ensure that its vehicles continue to work to their full and almighty potential.

Contract Length (months)

Initial Rental (months)

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