Land Rover Discovery Sport review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Star rating
Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD infotainment
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  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front cornering
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front tracking
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  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 right off road
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 grille detail
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 boot open
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 rear cornering
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front cornering
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front tracking
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front head-on tracking
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 right off road
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 grille detail
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 boot open
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 rear cornering
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD infotainment
RRP £31,895What Car? Target Price from£30,095
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Discovery Sport is priced very competitively against five-seat, premium rivals such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, both of which are less versatile. However, it looks rather expensive when you compare it with mainstream rivals, such as the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq

Still, if you’re willing to pay the premium for the Discovery Sport’s upmarket image, you can be reassured that it should depreciate quite slowly, thanks in part to its premium badge. This also means it’s relatively cheap on a PCP finance deal.

All versions with an automatic gearbox use mild hybrid technology. In essence, this uses a battery that can power the car’s ancillaries (the air conditioning, power steering and so on), allowing the engine to be switched off when decelerating, to save fuel. Even still, economy is disappointing on paper – the official fuel consumption of the mid-level D180 diesel is 40.4mpg, compared with 45.6mpg for the 189bhp xDrive20d engine that’s available in its BMW X3 rival. In our tests, it managed 33.6mpg in mixed conditions on our private track, which was some way behind the Q5 40 TDI and GLC 220d.

Likewise, the P200 petrol manages 30.8mpg against the equivalent X3’s 35.8mpg, and the Discovery Sport’s CO2 emissions figures are higher than for the equivalent X3, whether with a petrol or diesel engine.

Use our True MPG calculator and see what your car really does to the gallon

Equipment, options and extras

Before you get as far as choosing a trim level, You have to choose whether to go for the  regular Discovery Sport or the R-Dynamic version; the latter simply adds sportier styling touches, including different front and rear bumper designs, but is exactly the same car underneath. Both versions come with a hefty equipment list that includes dual-zone climate control, the 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system we mentioned earlier, and a full roster of off-road systems including the Terrain Response 2, hill descent control and low traction launch. 

You then have the choice of moving up to S, SE or HSE specifications. We reckon S makes the most sense, because it keeps the alloy wheel size a more sensible 18in for a comfortable ride, yet still gives you electrically adjusted, heated front seats and leather upholstery (although you can choose a synthetic alternative for no extra charge).

SE and HSE trims bring increasingly bigger wheels and more standard luxuries, such as the interactive driver display behind the steering wheel, a powered tailgate, improved sound system and the digital rear-view mirror, but also push up the price considerably.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

Reliability really isn’t a strength of Land Rover. The British brand came bottom (out of 31 manufacturers) in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, with the Discovery Sport shown to be one of the least dependable cars in its class.

A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which also includes UK and European roadside assistance, should help provide some peace of mind. This is about par for the class, although if you’re prepared to forgo a premium badge, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento come with five and a class-leading seven-year warranty respectively.

Safety and security

The Discovery Sport once set the standard for safety in this class and received the full five stars from Euro NCAP back in 2015. However, it should be noted that the tests are far more stringent today than they were back then.

Automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance are standard across the range. Traffic sign recognition, which displays the speed limit on the dashboard, is also standard on all but the entry-level trim, while blindspot monitoring is fitted from SE trim and up. The two outer second-row seats and the front passenger seat all have Isofix mounting points for child seats and booster cushions.

All models come with an alarm as standard and you can even add a GPS tracker, to help recover your Discovery Sport if it does get stolen.

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Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 front cornering
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Overview

The Discovery Sport, especially in seven-seat form, is far more practical and family friendly than rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Those German alternatives are ultimately more comfortable, classier and fuel-efficient, though.

  • Refined engines
  • Loads of seat flexibility
  • Lengthy equipment list
  • Terrible reliability
  • Compromised ride comfort on larger wheels
  • So-so performance
  • Poor fuel economy and CO2 emissions