Created ‘for every family, for every eventuality’ it’s little wonder Land Rover’s indomitable Discovery Sport has been hailed the world’s most versatile compact 5+2 SUV. Now, with the launch of its latest model, it’s been enhanced further to make it even more efficient, technologically-advanced and practical, yet still keeping its occupants safe and comfortable in all conditions.
Designed to give its owners the freedom to drive just about anywhere, this latest evolution retains the Discovery’s impressive all-terrain capability but with the added bonus of a greater focus on modern life. There are new electrified 48-volt MHEV or PHEV powertrains, state of the art connectivity technologies and even tougher materials used throughout the cabin.
Embracing the adventurous spirit that has defined the Discovery family for the past 30 years, the new Discovery Sport is a striking evolution of the original that does not compromise capability. Demonstrating versatility in a finer form, the spacious, more comfortable and quiet 5+2 interior has been transformed with a completely new infotainment interface and latest connectivity, plus a more flexible seating arrangement with up to 24 combinations. Under the skin, new electrified engines include a 48-volt mild hybrid from launch to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Trademark Discovery design cues, including the clamshell bonnet, rising beltline and tapered roof remain, but the new model is a bold exterior evolution. The proportions have been optimised to project a more striking visual with new signature LED headlamps at the front and rear, alongside an updated front grille and bumpers.
Inside, the standardisation of the digital Touch Pro infotainment system and the introduction of more premium materials throughout transforms the cabin to create a practical, high quality space. New seats across each of the three rows provide improved comfort and versatility, thanks to the second row 40:20:40 split fold and slide functionality, boosting the possible number of seats.
The new Discovery Sport is available in Discovery Sport, S, SE and HSE trim, in addition to the R-Dynamic variants that mark themselves out with unique bumpers, Shadow Atlas script on the bonnet and tailgate, and use of body colour on the side sills and wheel arches. Inside, branded treadplates further differentiate it from the core model.
Discovery Sport’s unique versatility has been further enhanced, with improved small item stowage across all rows and a 20 per cent increase in fuel tank capacity (up to 67-litres). With the option of Land Rover’s Activity Key, the compact SUV is more usable than ever and designed to take your family further.
Built on Land Rover’s latest Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), the Discovery Sport provides greater versatility and refinement with a new body that is 13 per cent stiffer than its predecessor and, together with rigidly-mounted subframes that reduce noise and vibration intrusion into the cabin, ensures maximum safety in the event of a collision.
Designed with electrification in mind, PTA allows for the introduction of new 48-volt mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) powertrains on Discovery Sport. First launched on the new Range Rover Evoque, the system uses an engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator to harvest energy normally lost during deceleration and stores it in an under-floor battery and is fitted as standard on vehicles with automatic transmissions.
At speeds below 17km/h (11mph), the engine will shut off when the driver applies the brakes, before redeploying the stored energy to assist the engine under acceleration to reduce fuel consumption. The new engine and transmissions are refined, quiet and efficient to drive, ensuring that whether on the school run, a drive into the country or heading to the Alps, they offer notable efficiency savings.
Available across the range of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, the mild hybrid delivers CO2 emissions from as low as 144g/km CO2 (NEDC equivalent) and fuel economy up to 40.9mpg (6.9l/100km) (based on WLTP test procedure). An even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) variant will also join the range later in 2019.
New Discovery Sport is one of the first in the Land Rover range to offer a Real Driving Emissions stage 2 (RDE2) certified engine, ahead of their mandatory introduction in 2020. By tracking emissions using a real-world on-road test in addition to traditional laboratory measurements, customers can be certain the latest Ingenium diesel engines available on the compact SUV are cleaner and more efficient than ever.
The most efficient Discovery Sport model will be the Front-Wheel Drive 150HP diesel with manual transmission, offering emissions from as low as 140g/km of CO2 and fuel economy from 47.8mpg (5.9l/100km). To maximise efficiency, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variants benefit from Driveline Disconnect – a Power Transfer Unit at the front axle that disconnects drive to the rear wheels under steady state cruising, reducing frictional losses and re-engaging AWD in less than 500 milliseconds.
Designed to meet the digital demands of a modern family, the latest Discovery Sport is available with a ‘smart rear view mirror’ that transforms into a video screen at the flick of a switch to display what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition. Offering a wider (50-degree) field of vision and superior visibility in low light conditions from a camera mounted above the rear window, the mirror ensures rear visibility is not compromised by second and third row passengers or bulky items in the boot.
Ground View technology has been introduced to help drivers navigate high city centre kerbs or tackle rough terrain by projecting camera imagery that offers a virtual 180-degree view beneath the vehicle onto the touchscreen. Effectively making the bonnet invisible, this is the realisation of Land Rover’s Transparent Bonnet technology, first previewed in 2014.
The digital transformation does not stop there. Wireless charging for compatible mobile devices is offered for the first time within the lower centre console, while a 4G WiFi hotspot, and available USB and 12-volt connectivity points on every row, ensure passengers remain charged and connected. Second and third row occupants can also benefit from individual ventilation controls to make the space more comfortable.
For regular drivers of the new Discovery Sport, Smart Settings uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn driver preferences, adjusting massage and seat positions, music and climate settings and steering column positioning to suit each driver.
The latest Discovery Sport is every inch a Land Rover, combining assured all-terrain handling with all-weather capability, including a wading depth of 600mm, All-Wheel Drive and a second-generation Active Driveline system (engine output dependent). Terrain Response 2 automatically detects the surface and adjusts the torque delivery to best suit the conditions, while Advanced Tow Assist makes reversing with a trailer (up to 2,500kg) more intuitive and safer than ever.
There is a reversing camera as standard on all models, alongside a suite of available advanced driver assistance systems. This includes optional Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, which centres the vehicle in the lane based on road markings as well as maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Standard safety features include Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Driver Condition Monitor.