Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport mud splash

Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport: used car comparison

Which is better, the Range Rover Evoque or Land Rover Discovery Sport? Our comparison guide tells you everything you need to know.

Graham King Cazoo

By Graham King

Published: 24 April 2023

If you’re looking for a compact(ish) Land Rover model, you’ve got two cars to choose from: the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. While each has a distinct look and image, they are similar in size and price and even share many of the same technical features and engines.

So how do they differ and which is the better buy?  Here we  compare the latest Evoque (sold new since 2018) with the latest Discovery Sport (sold new since 2019) in all the most important areas to help you decide which one is best for you.

Size and styling

You’d probably call both of these cars a mid-size SUV, although the Evoque is more compact. At just under 4.4 metres long the Evoque is actually shorter than a Nissan Qashqai, whereas the Discovery Sport is taller and slightly wider than the Evoque and about 8 inches  longer. 

There are similarities between the design of the two cars, as you’d expect of models from the same parent brand, especially at the front. The styling differences elsewhere reflect the subtle variations between the Land Rover and Range Rover brands: the Discovery Sport has a more boxy look whereas the Evoque is sleeker, with flush-fitting door handles, slimmer back lights and a more rounded overall appearance.

Range Rover Evoque left; Land Rover Discovery Sport right

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Interior and tech

The Evoque and the Discovery Sport both have interiors that are great places to spend a journey. Each has a quite minimalist design, with few buttons and dials on their dashboards – instead most of their features and functions are controlled via two touchscreens.

Their interiors look similar, although the Discovery Sport’s dashboard has softer curves and – unlike the Evoque – no separation between its two touchscreens. Being products of the same company, the Evoque and Discovery Sport have identical on-board tech. This includes Land Rover’s latest infotainment system which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and has built-in sat nav. The system is very easy to navigate, while the screen is responsive and looks sharp.

Range Rover Evoque left; Land Rover Discovery Sport right

Boot space and practicality

While both of these are cars fit for family life, there’s one key difference. The Evoque has five seats but  the Discovery is available with either five or seven seats. The extra pair in the Discovery Sport fold out of the boot floor and are big enough for most children, if a bit tight on legroom for adults. All Discovery Sport models also have second-row seats that slide backwards and forwards, allowing you to adjust the ratio of passenger and boot space to suit your needs.

Each car has a generous amount of room in the front seats – certainly enough for even a very tall driver or passenger to be comfortable. The Evoque’s back seats are more of a squeeze for anyone much more than average height because its sloping roof means you have less headroom. The Discovery Sport has more headroom and more legroom in the back and it’s just about wide enough for three adults to sit side-by-side comfortably. 

Unusually,  Land Rover measures boot space up to the roof rather than to the load cover (you might know it as a ‘parcel shelf’). This means that if you’re comparing Land Rovers with models from other brands, it can seem like the Land Rovers have absolutely huge boots. 

The reality is that the Evoque and Discovery Sport do still have usefully large boots. The Evoque’s is big enough for half a dozen large shopping bags or a few big suitcases, but if you want a car more suited to family life then the Discovery Sport’s larger boot would be the better choice for you. In line with Range Rover’s reputation for adventure, it’s great if you regularly need to carry things like sports kits, camping gear or anything else big and bulky. The Discovery Sport also has a higher towing capacity.

Range Rover Evoque left; Land Rover Discovery Sport right

Which is best to drive?

Just about everything that makes the Evoque and Discovery Sport move, steer and stop is shared between them. You might, therefore, expect them to feel much the same to drive – but that’s not quite the case. The Evoque’s steering is more responsive, making you feel more connected with the car, and its ride is generally very comfortable. Overall it’s a very satisfying car to drive.

In comparison, the Discovery Sport feels less agile and leans more in corners. It’s not as enjoyable to drive as the Evoque and it doesn’t give you such a smooth ride, although it’s still good to drive when compared with many family-friendly SUVs. 

The two cars are available with the same choice of petrol and diesel engines and even a plug-in hybrid option. The Evoque is slightly lighter than the Discovery Sport, which helps it accelerate a bit more quickly. 

As you’d expect of Land Rovers, both cars are capable off-road. Just use a dial by the gear lever to select the type of surface you’re on and the Terrain Response system adjusts its  settings to suit the conditions. You may never drive up a steep and rocky mountain trail, but it’s reassuring to know that a muddy car park will hold no fear.

Range Rover Evoque left; Land Rover Discovery Sport right

Which costs less to own?

The Evoque and Discovery Sport give very similar fuel economy, with only a few mpg to separate the two cars (the slightly smaller, lighter Evoque gives you a few more miles between fill-ups). According to official figures, petrol models return an average of 24mpg to 32mpg while diesels can give 32mpg to 47mpg. The plug-in hybrids give 141mpg to 198 mpg  and have a battery-only range of about 40 miles.

Safety and reliability

Both the Evoque and Discovery Sport were awarded five-star safety ratings by the safety organisation Euro NCAP. This means that they protect occupants very well in a crash and come with loads of driver safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, driver-attention monitor, cruise control with speed limiter and a rear-view camera.

What’s not such good news is that Land Rover hasn’t got the best of reputations for reliability. The brand ranked 20th out of 24 in the J.D. Power 2019  Vehicle Dependability Study – although that was still better than Audi and BMW.

Dimensions

Range Rover Evoque

Length: 4371mm

Width: 2100mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1649mm

Boot space: 591 litres

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Length: 4597mm

Width: 2173mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1727mm

Boot space: 829 litres

Verdict

As we’ve established, the Evoque and Discovery Sport are very similar cars. They have the same engines, gearboxes, suspension, brakes, electronics and on-board tech. They even look similar and cost about the same to buy and run. But there are some crucial differences that will determine which one is best for you.

The Evoque isn’t the most family-friendly of mid-size SUVs but it’s good to drive, feels luxurious and stands out from the crowd. The Discovery Sport is an excellent family car but it doesn’t have the same feelgood factor as the Evoque. So while our head says the Discovery Sport should be the winner here, our heart says go for Evoque.

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