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Land Rover Discovery Sport (new engine) Test Drive Review

Date: 14 August 2015   |   Author:

Category: Premium Small 4x4
P11D £42,815
Key rival: Audi Q5
On sale: August

Despite only hitting UK roads in January, Land Rover has updated its new Discovery Sport, with the addition of much more economical diesel motors.

Business users now have plenty to get excited about, with the all-new 2.0-litre 'Ingenium' diesel engines offering emissions as low as 129g/km - down from 162g/km - which place it into the 23% BIK rate, with claimed economy of up to 57.7mpg in 150hp form.

We tested the 180hp automatic model, which offers 139g/km emissions and 53.3mpg economy.

The new motor punts the Discovery Sport to 62mph in 8.9 seconds and provides plenty of low-down muscle, making it easy to get this heavy car up to speed. Despite its punch, refinement levels are much greater than the old 2.2-litre unit, with engine noise only really audible under hard acceleration.

There's little wind or road noise either, though the oversized tyres do make a din on rough surfaces.

Though it may be an off-roader, the Discovery Sport lives up to its 'Sport' name, offering a firm ride, weighty steering and impressive handling around corners.  Despite this, the ride remains relatively comfortable.

With the previously mooted front-wheel drive model canned, the Discovery Sport falls behind rivals for performance and economy - bar the thirsty Audi Q5 2.0 TDI. 

The 180hp model's 53.3mpg and 8.9 second acceleration time both lag behind the four-wheel drive BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, while the front-wheel drive Volvo XC60 returns 60.1mpg.

With its hefty £43,000 price tag, our top-of-the-range HSE Lux test model skews the whole life costs tables weighing in at more than 10p per mile costlier than BMW, Mercedes and Audi equivalents - but even the lesser SE Tech model and much slower 150hp HSE model are closely matched with the 190hp BMW X3 20d and weigh in at around 3p per mile more than the strong value Mercedes GLC220d.

Consequently, business users after the best value upmarket off-roader should be well served by the GLC or X3.

However, the Discovery Sport ticks many boxes for those after a machine with true off-road ability, plenty of kerb appeal and seven seats - provided they're happy to pay for the privilege.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 HSE Lux auto

Model price range                                                                                              £30,695-£43,000
Residual value                                                                                                                   40.2%
Depreciation                                                                                                                     £25,590
Fuel                                                                                                                                     £5921
Service, maintenance and repair                                                                                        £2933
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                                                                               £390
National Insurance                                                                                                               £4431
Cost per mile                                                                                                                       83.69p
Fuel consumption                                                                                                             53.3mpg
CO2 (BIK band)                                                                                                      139g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                                                                                   £178/£357
Warranty                                                                                                                   3yrs/Unlimited
Boot space                                                                                                               981/1698 litres
Engine size/power                                                                                                     1999cc/180hp


Sharp handling, practical off-roader limited by high prices and steep running costs
  • Economy and refinement jump significantly over the old 2.2-litre model
  • Mooted 119g/km two-wheel drive version now seems to be off the agenda