The rear exterior of a red Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Pros

  • A smart looking SUV
  • Flexible, comfortable and spacious interior
  • World-class off-road ability

Cons

  • Has suffered from reliability issues
  • Servicing costs may be higher than rivals
  • Diesel engines can feel sluggish

Summary

“Luxury and off-road ability in a package that’s all about family.”

The Discovery Sport is all about family, with up to seven seats and room for the dog. It has 4x4 ability, except for the entry-level front-wheel drive version, which tackles tricky off-road terrain while keeping your passengers comfortable.  

It has a high, commanding driving position that offers a great view of the road and provides a sense of luxury. It’s also equipped with the latest technology which will satisfy any tech lover.

There’s an excellent choice of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a good selection of trim packages and options, from basic to full leather. 

There was an update in 2019 which saw more upmarket styling and a much improved interior, including technology from the latest generation Range Rover Evoque. The changes created an even more premium feel, while R-Dynamic models saw a sportier design.

Boot space shot of the Land Rover Discovery Sport

What's the interior like?

“The interior offers space and comfort with a high driving position.”

Inside the Discovery Sport, you’ll find a two-tone dashboard, high mounted infotainment screen in the centre console and hard-wearing materials. The materials aren’t the most upmarket, particularly the plastics in the centre console. But if you’re after practicality over luxury, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

There’s plenty of space, mainly in the first and second rows. Although, models that have the third row seats still offer a decent amount of space in the back. Like most seven-seaters, these seats are more suitable for children and young teenagers, with adults likely to feel cramped on longer journeys. Boot space is also compromised when the seats are in use, but this is the same with any seven-seater car.

The interior of a Land Rover Discovery Sport with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“It’s great for driving the family around in complete comfort.”

The Discovery Sport offers a decent level of comfort and handling. If you want the best ride comfort, find a model with the adaptive damping fitted. This offers better control for various driving conditions.  

There are three diesel and two petrol engines. The lower-spec diesels can feel lacklustre, particularly when pulling away. The nine-speed automatic transmission is the best all-round choice. 

Despite its big interior space, the Discovery Sport is actually quite compact which makes it easier to drive around town than some larger SUV rivals. It’ll squeeze through narrow country lanes relatively easily too.

It’s very capable off-road where the Terrain Response system does all the hard work for you on gravel, snow and mud. This is a Land Rover system that automatically allows your car to monitor road and weather conditions. Then with input from the driver, the system adjusts the way the car handles the road.

The front exterior of a red Land Rover Discovery Sport

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It’s not the cheapest option to buy or run, but it’s worth it if you make use of its many features.”

Even early models are holding their values well. The 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers up to 53 mpg and is the best option for economy. The petrol engines will suit you more if you drive in a city or don’t do regular long journeys.

Insurance groups can be higher than rivals while road tax is similar. Land Rover has introduced fixed price servicing on its models over three years old but prices are generally higher than for competitors.

Control shot of the Land Rover Discovery Sport

How reliable and safe is it?

“Reliability isn’t its strongest point but it scores very well on safety.”

Land Rover has a poor reputation for reliability, which continues with the Discovery Sport. This model falls below average in many reliability surveys, although this doesn’t seem to have put off owners. 

Safety is good, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and lots of equipment built-in as standard, including autonomous emergency braking and blind spot assistance.

Engine shot of the Land Rover Discovery Sport

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - D150 FWD (150 hp)

Best for family - 2.0 TD4 (150 hp) SE

Best for fun - HSE Luxury 2.0 Si4 (285 hp)

The entry-level engines are more than capable of handling most journeys, but the diesels work out better if you’re going to do regular long trips. 

There are lots of model options, but the SE or above gives you more equipment and a higher resale value. 

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