The Land Rover Discovery Sport has been completely revamped with a new platform, much-improved interior and 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrains.
Those powertrains feature an engine-mounted, belt-integrated starter/generator connected to an underfloor battery that harvests energy during deceleration. When the brakes are applied at speeds under 11mph, the engine cuts out while electrical power keeps everything under control. Jump on the gas and the batteries deploy their stored energy to assist the engine, improving fuel economy and emissions.
The MHEV system is applied to all Discovery Sport models with four-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox – in other words, all but the base model. That makes do with a 148bhp diesel with a manual ‘box and FWD.
Other available engines – all 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium units – are 178bhp and 237bhp diesels, and 197bhp and 246bhp petrols.
At its most efficient, the Disco Sport returns 40.9mpg and emits 144g/km of Co2.
A plug-in hybrid powertrain with a three-cylinder petrol engine will be launched later in 2019.
Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture – first seen on the new Range Rover Evoque – underpins the Disco Sport. The running gear has been worked-over, too. The latest Terrain Response System features four modes for off-road driving and an automatic mode that detects what kind of surface you’re driving on.
There’s other tricks in its off-road armoury, as well, including ClearSight Ground View, which feeds an image of what’s out of view under the front of the car onto the dashboard screen. The rear view mirror can also display an HD feed from the rear view camera.
The new Disco Sport’s dimensions are more-or-less identical to those of the outgoing model, but the new platform frees up a lot more space for second- and third-row passengers. The boot is considerably bigger, with almost 200 litres more space – 1,179 litres – with the second row seats in place. Cabin storage is much-improved. And towing capacity is up to 2,500kg.
The interior and exterior maintain the look of the old car, but both are filled with details taken from the Range Rover Velar and Evoque. The most obvious changes outside are the front and rear bumpers and LED headlights.
Inside, there’s much more technology than before, including Land Rover’s latest Touch Pro infotainment system complete with 10.25in central dashboard screen. A 12.3in TFT driver display is available as an option, as well.
‘Standard’, S, SE and HSE specs are available, along with bodykitted R-Dynamic versions of the latter three. Prices start at £31,575, an increase of about £1,500 over the previous model.
By Graham King