I love Land Rovers for their country capability in a city suit of clothes, and that certainly describes the Discovery Sport. Especially so, in the livery chosen for this one. It looks dramatic in red, and sharply attired with a black roof and chic matching wheels. The latter are not to everyone’s taste, but to the eye of this particular beholder they look terrific, and already our new arrival has been collecting some very admiring comments from friends and acquaintances.
Inevitably such an eye candy look comes at a price. Firenze Red metallic paint is a rich, warm shade that gives the car a very classy appearance and justifies the £640 option price.
For its £45,665 base price tag, you already get a very lengthy list of standard kit, including the all-wheel-drive, terrain response system, hill descent control, autonomous emergency braking, a pedestrian deployable bonnet, a heated front windscreen, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a powered gesture tailgate, an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, and an enhanced Meridian sound system with 10 speakers. It doesn’t include a spare wheel though: the standard offering is a disappointing tyre repair kit. Long though the list is already, our car’s HSE specification adds a desirable quota of extra goodies, among them a fixed panoramic roof, automatic headlight dipping, a rear view camera, 10-way electric front seats, and an upgraded sound system with 380 watts and a subwoofer. Phew. By any standards it’s a very well-equipped motor.
The engine is Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium 2.0-litre, SD4 twin-turbocharged diesel unit with 237bhp and 369lb ft of torque. It is mated with a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission that helps achieve the car’s quick-off-the-mark performance of just over seven seconds on a sprint from zero to 60mph, and is endowed with a 127mph top speed.
As with any large SUV, the Discovery Sport has a commanding driving position that particularly appeals to vertically challenged drivers. Maybe that’s why so many women drive Land Rovers, lifted to a level where we can look white van man in the eye at a similar height. We love a car that supplies the elevation that family genes denied us. Forgive the jingoism, but I love the car’s utter Britishness, designed and made here in the UK. The Discovery Sport is manufactured in Liverpool, at Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood factory, alongside the Range Rover Evoque. The engine is produced in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. The nine-speed auto transmission, though, has a trans-Atlantic trip, as it is made in South Carolina, USA.
So far in its time with us, the Discovery Sport has led a mostly urban existence, in and around London. Now it feels as though it is itching to spread its wings and explore its country capability. I’m keen to get some mud on the wheels and savour the Disco Sport’s mastery of tough terrain. That’s something, with family in rural Somerset, I’m looking forward to doing in the weeks ahead over the summer. Although it’s a highly competent motorway cruiser, and the M4 is the quickest route west, I much prefer the A303 and its evocative view of Stonehenge on the way past.
Despite mostly local driving with a few shortish motorway treks further afield, fuel consumption is looking pretty close to the WLTP consumption figure. It confirms how much more realistic official economy figures now are, as compared with the old NEDC combined figure that so often proved to be wildly optimistic of what you could expect in real world driving conditions. Amen to that. So will the fuel economy figures stay around the same level on longer trips? We’ll let you know in the months ahead.
Date arrived 12th April 2019
Fuel economy 32.1-34.9mpg (combined) 33.8mpg (on test)
The big boot, that swallows a vast quantity of bags of cast-offs destined for the charity shop or tip. Or a set of golf clubs, comfortably.
The rearmost seats are dinky and can only accommodate children or very small adults.