The junior Discovery has been given a new lease of life and Land Rover have already opened the order books, giving potential medium-sized SUV another solid option to consider amongst an incredibly intense marketplace.
Firstly, the new Discovery Sport has been given a considerably more aggressive and stylish aesthetic which is in tune with the rest of the Land Rover range. You’ll recognise the vertical slits in the front bumper from other Land Rover products, as well as the flush grille which has been rolled out throughout the lineup.
The interior technology has been improved massively and it is in line with the changes made to the Range Rover models of the last year. This means the centre console is now, basically, one large touch screen which can be operated while the driver sits their arm on the central armrest. This technology is more than just nice to look at though, it is also incredibly dynamic and intuitive to use, which reduces driver distraction notably.
The whole interior has been upgraded to: ‘deliver great levels of craftsmanship and comfort, while updated exterior enhances distinctive Discovery design’ according to Land Rover. This means we can expect wide set seats, chunky armrests, stupid amounts of cabin storage and congenial materials. This is still a 5+2, so Land Rover has gone to great lengths to make sure that even with all 7 seats in place, the Discovery Sport will still be suitably roomy.
In terms of engines and performance, there is a significant introduction of an electrified unit. That’s right, you can now order a brand new Discovery Sport as a hybrid. This is a ‘mild hybrid’ system, although a more efficient plug-in hybrid will be released later this year. The ‘mild hybrid’ is available across the range of petrol and diesel Ingenium engines and its already on sale in the Range Rover Evoque.
How does this ‘mild hybrid’ work?
In very simple terms, the engine has a belt attached to it which harnesses energy which is typically lost during deceleration - when the pistons are still moving even though the car is slowing down. This energy is then stored in a battery mounted beneath the floor. When the car drops below 11 mph (and the driver applies the brakes) the engine shuts itself off completely, and the stored energy is then used to accelerate the car back up to speed. This whole system works to reduce the loss of efficiency when accelerating from low speeds or a standstill, which is when cars tend to be at their thirstiest.
The new Discovery Sport is on sale as of the 21st of May priced from £31,575 for a 2.0 litre Diesel model in Standard spec with a manual gearbox and front wheel drive. Land Rover also offers an ‘R-Dynamic’ version of each spec except the Standard - this typically costs about an extra £1,000 but it includes a stunning body kit which looks the business - a very worthwhile option if your budget extends that far.