By : RACHNA TYAGI
The new Land Rover Discovery Sport D180S is just the kind of luxury SUV that we’ve been waiting for. Drive it to work, take it on a short work trip, slap bang in the middle of the week, or go camping with it over the weekend, into the woods, and you’ll soon see that it can deftly handle all responsibilities without the slightest of tantrums and that, in our books, is definitely reward-worthy behavior.
Let’s start with its exterior design. Big, bold and elegant, the Discovery Sport has none of the macho and muscular, bulky overhangs jutting out from various parts of its body. Instead, what you get is a cleanly designed SUV that quietly, yet strongly, makes its presence felt. The first thing that grabs your attention is the silver-colored honeycomb mesh design which gleams, especially in the sunlight.
Then there are the LED DRLs which look rather attractive on the Discovery Sport. Below, sit the fog lamps, which are neatly integrated into the front bumper. When it comes to the tail lamps, you’ll notice that the turn indicators flash from between the tail lamps and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. The Discovery Sport gets a black roof that contrasts well with the body color, and this job has been well-executed as compared to some of the SUVs out there which seem to have something that looks a bit like an unfinished paint job on them that doesn’t quite sit well with the overall design. There is also a silver skid plate on the front and one at the rear, both of them look cool and add to the overall SUV feel of the Discovery Sport. Not to mention the green oval which the Discovery Sport gets on its C pillar and the subtle and tastefully done badging just above the fenders which we found really appealing.
The word DISCOVERY is prominently displayed at the back and the badging declaring it to be the SPORT D180 S variant can be found, just beside the number plate. What also adds to the Discovery Sport’s appeal is the large integrated spoiler which looks really good. There is an electrical boot opening for your convenience and the rear seats can be flattened quite a bit to make additional space for your belongings.
Inside, the Discovery Sport, gets premium interiors which look and feel plush. Besides leather, the interiors have been done up with a classy blend of other tastefully chosen materials and get not just a brushed aluminum finish but also a piano black finish. Also, the usage of wood on the dash, around the gearshift, and on the door panels, gives the interiors a very upmarket and solid feel.
The Discovery Sport gets a gorgeous new 10-inch HD infotainment system which comes with an easy-to-use UI (User Interface). The touchscreen feels super responsive and selecting options on it and going back and forth is effortless. Besides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which the touchscreen now offers you, not to mention plenty of other options as well, there is also a great deal of vehicle data, such as information about the wheels, for instance, that has now been made available to the driver all of which is now at your fingertips. Always a reassuring feeling.
The seats are a very good balance of firm and comfortable. They’re adequately sized and offer good thigh support for extended periods of driving. There is also ample space provided for bits and bobs beneath the centre armrest, in the door pockets, for a one-litre sized bottle. Besides, the Discovery Sport, also gets wireless charging. In fact, the driver’s seat as well as the front passenger’s seat also have 5v charging points for the second-row passengers to make the most of.
Three passengers can sit comfortably in the second row because the transmission tunnel doesn’t really protrude much, making the middle passenger uncomfortable at any given point in time. One good thing about the second-row seats is that they can slide back and forth and also be reclined and set to your favourite position.
The third row can at best seat children who aren’t too tall because the seats can just about accommodate two children around 9-10 years old. They also get air con vents to keep them cool and a 12v charging socket as well as a USB port for ensuring their mobile devices don’t run out of juice. Making the interiors feel airy and fresh, besides the beige coloured leather seats in the Discovery Sport is a large moonroof that gives the SUV a very spacious feeling from within.
A 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter (1999cc) diesel engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission does duty on the Discovery Sport. It belts out 180hp @4000rpm and 430 Nm of torque @1750-2500 rpm.
We absolutely loved driving the Discovery Sport around. Not only were the gearshifts super quick but even overtaking was a breeze. The new steering was precise and the new instrument cluster also offered all the information at a glance in an easy-to-read manner.
There was some body roll felt during overtaking manoeuvres, at times and when we were pushing the car hard in some tight corners but frankly, that wasn’t really much at all for an SUV this size. The ride quality was fantastic and the Discovery Sport just seemed to gobble up the potholes on those broken road surfaces. This is an SUV that will perform really well when you take it off-roading and with its terrain response system, which allows you to switch seamlessly between sand, snow, mud, etc, it should feel right at home with whatever mode you decide to use it in. There is some road noise that does filter in but frankly, it isn’t that much and playing your favourite track should take care of that too. Overall, the Discovery Sport, thanks to its great all-around visibility and driving dynamics is a great all-rounder SUV to have which takes things several notches higher thanks to the comfort factor for both the driver and the passengers by making the ride a very smooth and trouble-free experience.
Also, despite the solid build quality, the Discovery Sport, doesn’t feel heavy and bogged down with all the unnecessary weight inside and in fact, always feels agile and ready for your next adventure, which is always a terrific thing. Plus, it also comes with some of the safety features that we’ve now become accustomed to, all of that is indeed well thought out.
So, if you’re in the market for something in the INR 60 lakh range, the Discovery Sport would make for a great choice, especially if you’re one of those who wants something that offers all the creature comforts for your daily drive as well as doubles up effortlessly as a great off-roading companion. Not to mention the bragging rights that come with the Discovery Sport! Few SUVs out there, you’ll agree, can compare with the overall offering that the Discovery Sport is.