Where did more than half a year go? The months seem to have flown past since the handsome hunk of Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived on the Our Cars fleet, and was happily entrusted to my care. It has been a memorable motoring partnership during which there has been so much to like about the capable Landie, and very little to gripe about.
One small niggle this month has been the mild annoyance of having to sort something that is a contemporary curse of running a diesel car. Soon after the odometer clicked past 8,000 miles, a warning message appeared between the dials on the instruments display, alerting me to the low level of the car’s anti-pollution AdBlue supply. It cautioned that within about 700 miles, engine restarts would become impossible if the AdBlue tank wasn’t replenished.
With life generally galloping along at a rapid rate, I didn’t immediately respond. Pressing the ‘OK’ button on the steering wheel temporarily extinguished it while the engine was running. But then at another switch-on a revised message appeared, warning that non-restart was now only 307 miles away, an odd figure that remained unaltered through further local trips. Even so, it prompted more urgent attention. With no AdBlue top-up point inside the fuel filler flap (where it is now located on the just-released new model Discovery Sport) it obviously had to be under the bonnet. There it lurked, to the rear left of the engine, back towards the windscreen on the driver’s side.
The car’s AdBlue capacity is 11 litres, so a 10-litre container of the innocuous-looking clear liquid was duly added to the week’s shopping list. Should be an easy enough task, I thought. Well, it would have been, but for the absence of the nozzle that should have been supplied along with the big plastic container. It was missing, and so the job was a bit more cumbersome than it should have been, using a one-litre jug grabbed from the kitchen to transfer the vital liquid between container and tank. Job done, and warning light extinguished, we were in good condition again.
With the Discovery Sport’s departure looming, it’s time to take stock of our time with it. With its bright paintwork and bold two-tone colour scheme, it has been a cheering sight on the driveway, and energising company on a trip. Its wealth of technology has been the central nerve system of a reassuringly all-conditions-capable car, alongside its beating heart of an Ingenium engine.
It has been a very solid performer, lighter on its feet than its SUV bulk would suggest. Even so, it is not unduly large for its passenger capacity, although the restricted room in the rearmost pair of seats mean that we haven’t used them often. Nice to have them for occasional use though, especially as they stow so conveniently under the long flat boot floor, leaving a big roomy boot at the back with the car in five-seater mode.
What else have we particularly liked about the car, all the ‘Hot’ points? Its looks, practicality and competence. I’m particularly sorry to part with it going into winter, when its all-weather, all-terrain brilliance would be such a boon. The safety factor of the command-like driving position, that gives you enough elevation to see further ahead than in lower-slung models, is another worthwhile asset. The ‘Not’ niggles have been pretty minor. The downside of a tall SUV is the haul up into it, especially for a shorty like me – it’s worth the effort though. The cupholders are a bit on the tight side, the boot sill edge is rather lofty for lifting things into the boot, but that’s the way it is with an SUV.
Overall it has been a stonkingly enjoyable car to run, hasn’t missed a beat, and we’re sorry to see it go. Adios, Landie, we’ve loved the time spent with you.
Date arrived 12th April 2019
Fuel economy 32.1-34.9mpg (combined) 32.7mpg (on test)
Land Rover is famed for its four-wheel-drive prowess, and the Discovery Sport’s all-terrain control is excellent for all-season confidence.
Saying goodbye to such a capable and highly regarded car just as winter is starting to bite, when the Land Rover’s all-wheel-drive excellence will be in its element.