Having being introduced as the Land Rover Freelander's replacement in 2014, the Discovery Sport is a more compact but no less practical version of the Discovery. With seven seats as standard throughout the range, and despite having a similar footprint as a regular five seat SUV, it is certainly a spacious and worthy competitor in the SUV market, especially as one of the more premium options in the sector. With a dizzying amount of options to choose from, it can be tricky to pin down an exact model. Luckily, we've picked the three best in the range, to match certain needs and budgets.
The Smart choice for saving money – SE TD4 E-Capability
Even as the cheapest model and part of the least expensive range in the Discovery Sport selection, the SE TD4 E-Capability still offers a lot. It comes with Bluetooth audio streaming, 8-inch touchscreen and a ten speaker audio system, partial leather interior and climate control as standard. As you would expect, the standard edition is a 4×4, meaning it can do anything that its bigger brother Discovery can do. It also has a towing weight of over two tonnes, making it ideal for camper van owners.
The two-litre diesel on offer is the most economic in the Discovery Sport range, producing 129 g/km CO2 and capable of 57.7mpg, which is respectable for a medium-size SUV. The 2.0 E-Capability, which is distinguished from the rest of the range with a blue 'Sport' badge, can take the Sport up to 112mph, and along with the six-gear manual gearbox can go from 0-60 in 11 seconds. The SE is a very good start in the Discovery Sport range, with comfort guaranteed at a starting price of £30,695. There are many options available, meaning that making your Sport stand out from the crowd shouldn’t be too difficult.
The Smart choice for value – HSE TD4
The difference between the HSE and HSE Black is minimal, with only cosmetic changes really separating the two. The HSE however is a much more understated car, with the Black's bold detailing sometimes being too 'black'. Also the extra trim on the HSE Black adds £1,850 over the HSE. The HSE however is excellent as it is, so additional trim pieces aren’t going to make a huge difference to the average buyer. The all-leather interior is a comfortable place to be, and along with the reversing camera, improved sound system and keyless entry, the HSE comes with plenty extra. As well as Xenon headlights and a panoramic sunroof, Land Rover has clearly added enough to make it noticeably different to the SE.
Available as either a manual or an automatic, the HSE TD4 is a capable SUV in either setup, producing 180bhp. Buyers should note that the automatic is slightly more expensive than the manual though. The automatic is faster to 60 by a second but in every other department the manual and automatic are even, with the economy statistics of 53.3mpg and 139 g/km CO2 the same on both. Prices for the manual start at £37,595, with the automatic starting from £39,400. We’d opt for the automatic, as it provides a more relaxing driving experience more fitting of a luxury SUV.
The Smart choice for technophiles – HSE Luxury
The HSE Luxury sits at the top of the range, offering the very best levels of equipment and technology. It has the same speed and economy statistics as the normal HSE, meaning that just because there’s more inside, it’s not going to have an effect at the pump. It's on the extra detailing where the Luxury comes into its own compared to the cheaper models in the range. Land Rover use Windsor leather on the seats and illuminated aluminium detailing on the treadplates. Also, the leather steering wheel and the front and back seats are heated, making an already comfortable journey feel even better.
Along with the comfort extras, you get more driving aids as well, with emergency braking and lane departure detect included, along with emergency warning lights that are activated under heavy braking . You can upgrade to the Dynamic Lux, which adds the same extras that you find on the HSE Black and add a sport feel to the car, with matte black metalwork and black detailing. With prices for the HSE Luxury starting from £43,000, there’s a noticeable increase over other models in the range – but for button-pressers, there’s no better choice.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.
January 22, 2016