Tue | May 23, 2017

From sea to sky – The Land Rover Discovery Sport

Published:Sunday | February 26, 2017 | 2:00 AMRyan Blake
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The Discovery Sport joins the Land Rover line-up not only as a replacement for the Freelander, but as a model to develop the Discovery name plate as a sub-brand within the group, focused on leisure vehicles. It was showcased on the Discovery Vision concept shown at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, after which production began in 2015.

 

The interior

Drawing on traditional Land Rover DNA, the Discovery Sport presents a modern interpretation of classic Land Rover design cues such as the large exterior grille, circular headlights, and a steeply raked windshield. The interior of the Discovery Sport is functional, with large chunky dials and an easy-to-operate infotainment and terrain response system. The expansive fixed panoramic sunroof floods the interior with natural light while keeping the heat out.

Our test vehicle's Tan Windsor leather interior provided an interesting contrast between the dashboard and Loire Blue exterior. The driver and passenger seats include memory recall for up to three persons. Head and legroom for front and rear passengers are generous, and the backseats are on rails, allowing one to slide forward or backward for more legroom and additional cargo space in the trunk as needed.

 

The drive

 

Land Rovers are known for their off-road capabilities, and this premium compact SUV does not disappoint. With a wading depth of two feet, this vehicle is able to not only cross rivers, but the flooded roadways of our island after a heavy downpour. The approach, departure, and break over angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees, respectively, places the Discovery Sport ahead of its competitors.

The sharp styling of the Discovery Sport trends might hide its serious off-roading capability. But don't be fooled! Outfitted with Land Rover's Terrain Response System, the Discovery Sport has pre-programmed off-road modes that can be activated at the push of a button. Our tester in HSE Luxury trim traversed the sand-covered pathways of Fort Charles with ease, thanks to the 'Sand Terrain Response' setting. On leaving the sand behind, 'Dynamic' mode was selected on hitting the main road. An aggressive throttle response and pronounced exhaust notes indicated that the Discovery Sport made its transition from capable off-roader to athletic sprinter.

The 2,000cc turbo-charged Jaguar Land Rover Ingenium petrol engine came to life, accented by the red glow of the instrument cluster, indicating that the vehicle was in 'Dynamic' mode. The nine-speed automatic ZF transmission quickly propelled the car to 100 km/h with ease. The handling was precise and the suspension provided a firm ride quality. This certainly puts the Sport in its name.

Climbing the winding roads of Irish Town, the Discovery Sport hugged the corners while making its ascent quickly with minimal body roll, thanks to steel monocoque unibody architecture and aluminum bonnet, tailgate, and roof. With its sport-like handling and performance, practical interior, and class-leading off-road capability, the Discovery Sport lives up to the reputation of its larger sibling, the Discovery.

 

Technical data

 

Model tested:

2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport - HSE Luxury

2000cc Ingenium I-4 Turbocharged Petrol Engine

Output: 240 BPH

Fuel Consumption: 5.3L/100KM

Key features:

Terrain Response System

Meridian Sound System - 380 Watts - 11 Speakers

Panoramic Sunroof

Interior Ambient Mood Lighting

InControl Touch Infotainment System

Keyless Entry/Start and Vehicle Locking with Powered Tailgate

Price as Tested:

$9.9m

Competitors:

Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC

Vehicle Provided By:

Stewart Auto Gallery - 968-0930.

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