Land Rover built its reputation on superior off-road capabilities and over the decades has added incredible refinement and luxury to its vehicles. In 2015, Land Rover introduced the Discovery Sport, a premium compact SUV that builds on these traditions.
The Discovery Sport is powered by a turbocharged 240-horsepower 2.0L engine, with 250 pound-feet of torque. The all-alloy engine features direct injection and variable valve timing and is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, borrowed from the Range Rover Evoque. The second-gear ratio is equivalent to first in other transmissions and is used to start the Discovery Sport from a stop. The ultra-low first gear can be selected manually during maximum acceleration or during difficult off-road instances. The circular gear selector rises from the center console on startup, while steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters provide the ultimate in driver control. Land Rover claims the Discovery Sport will hit 60 mph from a standstill in 7.8 seconds, with a top speed of 124 mph.
Full-time all-wheel drive is standard on the Discovery Sport and long-travel suspension lends itself to increased articulation (13.4 inches) in challenging situations. The all-wheel drive system continuously varies torque between the front and rear wheels for great handling in all conditions, and the electronic Haldex center coupling is far more responsive than a traditional mechanical coupling. Land Rover Terrain Response includes settings for General driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts and Sand. Each mode precisely adjusts the Discovery Sport's 4-wheel drive and suspension settings capabilities, with near-instant terrain-directed updates to throttle response, gearbox, center coupling, braking and stability systems. Hill-wise, the Discovery Sport can handle gradients of up to 45 degrees.
The Discovery Sport is a capable on-road performer as well, thanks to an excellent suspension system that utilizes aluminum components for reduced weight. Aluminum is also used in the hood, front fenders, roof, and tailgate -- away from the center of gravity, which helps in the realm of agility.
Three trims are offered: SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. Base models include 18-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, power adjustable heated exterior mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, partial leather seating, cruise control, 2-zone climate control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming, an 8-inch color infotainment touchscreen, first- and second-row USB charging ports, a 60/40 folding second-row seat and a rear camera. HSE adds Xenon headlights, front and rear fog lamps, a fixed panoramic roof, grained leather seating, power 10-way front seats, Homelink universal garage door opener and a powered tailgate. Finally, the HSE Luxury includes features like 19-inch alloy wheels, Windsor leather seats, configurable mood lighting, an 11-speaker premium audio system, SiriusXM satellite and HD radio and navigation.
Options on the SE include 19-inch wheels, with a gloss-black choice that must be paired with the Black Design Package, which adds a black roof and grille to the Discovery Sport. A Vision Assist Package on the HSE adds adaptive Xenon headlights, blind spot monitoring with perimeter sensor, and a surround camera system. A 20-inch Black Design wheel package is also available. Optional on all Discovery Sports is a 2-passenger third-row seat.
Safety systems on the Discovery Sport include hill descent control to keep a constant speed on steep inclines, roll stability control, dynamic stability control and traction control. Also standard are driver and passenger front airbags, knee airbags, side curtain airbags and thorax airbags.