I really love the look of the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport (all-new in 2015) – not to be confused with the LR4 or Evoque! When I saw it at the auto show last February I expected it to be expensive, but not so… I asked my wife what she thought the price was – she’s really good at getting the price within $1,000 in 99% of vehicles.
“Considering it’s a Land Rover: $80-100k” OK, but what do you think it should cost? “I think $60-80,000 would be acceptable with the options and trim level”
How ‘bout $50k the way it’s kitted out? Eyes bug out – I think she’s rather impressed!! But what about after a week – will we still be enamoured with it?
- Premium medium-size SUV
- Available in 3 models: SE, HSE & HSE Luxury – the test vehicle being the latter
- 0L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
- 9-speed automatic transmission
- All-Wheel Drive
- Unlike most SUV’s this can actually climb mountains and cross rivers – but most owners won’t leave the pavement, let alone climbing any curbs
- Optional 5+2 seating configuration allows for five adults and two little ones in the back… and no luggage room what-so-ever
- I really like the new Discovery look. It doesn’t stand out the way a Range Rover or Evoque does, but it looks great from any angle.
- Dollar for dollar I’d take the Discovery over the Range Rover any day, and the only thing you really give up is the bulk… and you cut the payments by about 70%
- The panorama moon roof was a big hit, letting plenty of light into the cabin – but it doesn’t open.
What’s It Like Inside?
- Driver’s position is almost perfect. If you crank up the seat you get a nice Range Rover feel to the driving position
- The seats are quite firm and take a bit of getting used to, but are comfortable, especially as they are heated and cooled.
- I really like that you can use the touch screen to adjust the audio and climate controls, but there are also buttons for quick access – two thumbs up for that double feature!
- Exceptional stereo system – the sound is crisp and clear. You can even change the location of where you want the music louder by just dragging your finger around the scream – very cool!
- According to Land Rover they have an: “uncluttered dashboard that features an eight-inch Touch-screen with the latest technology for intuitive interaction”…. So intuitive they removed the CD player!! I’m pretty progressive with music and technology, but even I need a CD player now and again. Whatever happened to vehicles with a hard drive that you could load thousands of songs onto? We need more of those too.
- Rear seat passengers were very happy and comfortable back there – especially with the heated seats for them.
- On a cold morning we had to put the heat on and wait and wait for it to heat the cabin, but to no avail. After 45 minutes just gave up all hope of heat (thankfully the bum-warmers worked) and switched it off. Wouldn’t ya know it – the cabin started to heat up! So, off is on and on is off when it comes to heat. The cooling/Air worked just perfect though.
- The auto Start/Stop feature is great – we stopped at the bank to deposit a cheque and I didn’t have to switch the Discovery off, the engine just switched off – same thing at traffic lights.
- One comment from the back seat was that the cup holders weren’t deep/big enough for a travel mug.
- Very quick if you put he go pedal to the floor – especially when the turbo kicks in!!
- However, very hard – no – impossible to modulate a nice smooth drive through the city – especially if you take on curves and bends or turn corners.
- Gas pedal has two options – on and off. You’re either blazing a trail from every green light or somewhat sluggish…and then the turbo spools up and you’re off like a scolded cat.
- Using the paddle shifters to force it to stay in the lower gears helps a bit, but you don’t always want to be playing around with them just to keep a consistent speed.
- Steering input is very good and the weight is just right.
- ‘S’ Sport mode made no discernible difference other than crisper upshift
- 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift
- All-Wheel Drive is standard
- Intelligent Stop/Start technology
- Terrain Response®
- Hill Start Assist; HomeLink®
- Rain sensing windshield wipers
- Powered Tailgate
- Windsor leather seats
- Illuminated aluminum treadplates
- Navigation System
- Passive keyless entry
- Fixed panoramic roof with powerblinds
- Xenon headlights with LED signature
- Driver and passenger memory
- Customer configurable mood lighting
- 250W Land Rover Audio System w/11-speakers
Optional Equipment on the test vehicle:
HSE Lux Package – Includes among other things: Autonomous Emergency Braking; Lane Departure Warning with Traffic Sign Recognition; Blind Spot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection; Adaptive Xenon Headlamps with LED Signature; Surround Camera System; Automatic High Beam Assist.
Climate Front & Heated Rear Seats – nothing beats cooled seats on a summer day or heat when it’s cold
Satellite Radio – have never seen any value in this option other than no commercials
20” Style 511 Wheels – very attractive wheels
Park Assist – For those that shouldn’t have a drivers’ license. This one even does stall parking for really stupid people
Navigation *Note: Navigation is listed as both an option and as a standard item
- Fuel economy (L/100 km) is rated at: City -11.9 // Highway – 9.0 // combined -10.6
- U.S. – Fuel economy (MPG) is rated at: City – 20 // Highway – 26 / combined – 22 mph
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Looks great, drives great – it’s a Land Rover so it can climb over small vehicles
- Price is VERY affordable for what you actually get
- Will be available with a diesel option soon
- When you use the paddle shifter the engine stays in that gear until YOU change the gear – too many manufacturers don’t do this
- The audio system sound is very good – not exceptional, but why is there no CD player or hard drive?!!!
- The on/off gas pedal is extremely frustrating and I couldn’t live with this vehicle on a day-to-day basis just because of that
- The lack of heat seems to be an issue with Land Trover in general, I had the same issues with the Range rover earlier this year
What’s The Verdict?
Other than those two issues (gas pedal & heat) I really loved the Land Rover Discovery – good price, great quality and a good looking SUV at just the right size! What more could you ask for?
Copyright © 2016 by Iain Shankland
Text & Images: Iain Shankland
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