The new Land Rover Discovery Sport has been officially revealed ahead of a debut at the Paris Motor Show. On sale January 2015 from £32,395.
Here it is: the new Land Rover Discovery Sport, a replacement for the Land Rover Freelander and the first in a family of new Discovery models. And it looks to hit the mark.
The new Discovery Sport cleverly moves Land Rover’s design forward, but the Sport is clearly a Land Rover / Range Rover.
With a footprint no bigger than competing models, the new Discovery Sport manages to offer seating for 7 (5+2) and also manages to be ‘Premium’ without stepping all over the toes of the Range Rover Evoque.
Under the skin, the new Sport is effectively a stretched Evoque with a new multi-link rear axle that manages to deliver engaged driving and versatile space with a comfortable and refined drive and maintains Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability with Terrain Response, 600mm wade depth and approach and depart angles of 25 and 31 respectively. Not that most buyers will care.
Kicking off sales in January, the new Discovery Sport will come with Hobson’s choice of the familiar 2.2 litre SD4 diesel with 190PS, stop-start, smart regenerative charging and high pressure direct injection that promises decent economy and performance despite permanent four-wheel-drive.
That will be joined later in 2015 by a Discovery Sport ED4 with front-wheel-drive and emissions promised to be just 119g/km. The new Ingenium range of engines will join the party at a later date and there will be a choice of 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic gearboxes.
Inside, the Discovery Sport offers a cabin with familiar Land Rover /Range Rover attributes, but it makes clever use of space, looks premium, comes laden with technology – including pedestrian airbag and autonomous emergency braking – and manages to look both appealing and practical.
Four trim levels will be available – SE, SE Tech, HSE and HSE Luxury, with the higher spec models running in to Range Rover levels of luxury and equipment and, although prices will start at £32395 for the Discovery Sport SE (and a shade under £30k for the FWD ED4 version when that arrives) you will no doubt be able to push the price up towards £50 for a big spec HSE Luxury.
Phil Popham, JLR MD, said:
Not only does Discovery Sport mark the introduction of the first new member of our expanding Discovery family, it also brings the versatility of 5+2 seating to the compact premium SUV market.
Discovery Sport’s versatility is a key differentiator. It is quite simply the most accomplished vehicle in its segment.
With 5+2 seating, clever technology, good looks, a depth of abilities no other car in the sector offers and prices from under £30k, Land Rover looks to be on to a winner with the new Discovery Sport.