It’s one of the most iconic off-roaders ever made. Iconic mainly because of its legendary capabilities of traversing the most grueling and most punishing terrain on the planet.  

It’s the Land Rover—and man has been using Land Rovers (and Range Rovers) to venture onto unexplored locales where the roads are rough or where there are not even any roads at all. One of these Land Rovers is the relatively new Discovery Sport.  

Designed and engineered at Land Rover’s center of excellence in Gaydon, UK and produced at the company’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Halewood, Liverpool, the latest Discovery Sport is clearly identifiable as a Land Rover and brings a sense of dynamism and projects an image of confidence.

ICONIC YES CUTTING-EDGE DESIGN

The Discovery Sport projects a dynamic attitude, exuding a striking visual impact without compromising the functionality and engineering excellence for which the iconic Discovery nameplate is world-renowned.

At 4,599 mm long, the Discovery Sport’s compact footprint is 381mm shorter than the new Discovery and its generous wheelbase of 2,741mm creates exceptional legroom. Signature design elements include the aluminum clamshell hood and distinctive (and much-copied) two-bar grille with hexagonal mesh, and the likewise oft-imitated forward-slanted C-pillar. Smoothly contoured body surfaces, strong and dynamic lines, and robust detailing – including rugged skid plates – signal Discovery Sport’s incredible breadth of capability. 

The headlamp design makes a strong visual impact with a slim, wraparound design and circular daytime-running lights (DRLs). The headlamps’ striking graphics are echoed in the tail lamps. The front bumper houses large outboard air intakes with LED fog lamps, while a bold trapezoidal lower intake conveys a sense of strength and houses the central bumper beam and skid plate. 

PREMIUM INTERIOR WITH 5+2 SEATING VERSATILITY

The Discovery Sport’s interior has been designed to provide a versatile and calming space, one in which every occupant feels equally comfortable and the driver is able to pay maximum attention to the road. 

Its highly configurable 5+2 seating is unique in its segment. Rear seats are not only easily accessible and comfortable for third row passengers, but can also be folded away to provide luggage space equal to that of a five-seat vehicle. In fact, both second and third rows can be folded down using one hand to create an even greater load area. The load-space floor has been located as low down as possible, increasing space and ensuring that even large items are easy to load and unload.

CLEAN AND STRIKING INTERIOR DESIGN, WITHOUT COMPROMISE

The centerpiece of the cabin is the striking intersection between the bold vertical lines of the center console and the slimmer horizontal elements of the instrument panel. Soft-touch rotary controls and buttons create a tactile user-interface, easy for the driver to find under the glare of direct sunlight.

A clean and elegant three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel frames a modern, easy-to-read instrument cluster, which contains twin analog dials set deep in circular housings. A central five-inch color TFT display is positioned between the twin dials, presenting key data such as fuel levels, gear position, temperature and driving modes.  Interior ambience can be further enhanced by configurable mood lighting, controlled by the central eight-inch touchscreen.

Overall, it’s a functional cabin with distinctive British overtones—there is a premium feel (from the use of high-end soft-touch materials and extremely high build quality) with typical English understatement. Those used to Japanese cars might take some getting used to with the placement of window and mirror adjustment buttons on top of the door panels. The retracting big round gear selector is a veritable conversation piece—and one that might leave a few valets scratching their heads.   

INGENIOUS INGENIUM DIESEL ENGINE

The Discovery Sport delivers outstanding performance and efficiency courtesy of the four-cylinder 2.0-liter Ingenium Td4 150 engine mated to a superb nine-speed automatic. Putting out 150ps and 380Nm of torque, the incredibly smooth and quiet (I had fun making passengers guess if the engine was gas or diesel) Ingenium turbodiesel engine is the most fuel-efficient Land Rover diesel engine. 

Those output numbers are good for a 10.9-second 0-100-km/h sprint and a 180-km/h top speed. We averaged an indicated 7.2 kilometers per liter in city driving—impressive for a vehicle of this size, weight, and power.      

Advanced technologies include smart regenerative charging, which prioritizes charging the battery while the car is decelerating, greatly reducing the electrical system’s demands on the engine. 

OUTSTANDING CAPABILITY ON AND OFF THE ROAD

The Discovery Sport was designed using lightweight and compact all-aluminum suspension architecture (struts in front and multi-links at the rear) and advanced chassis technologies for dynamic handling and exceptional composure on-road. It rides on generously sized and smooth- and silent-riding 235/60R-18 all-terrain rubber. In Manila traffic, it was both fun to drive and incredibly comfortable for all occupants—the latter a longstanding trait of Land Rovers and Range Rovers. 

Its body has been specially refined to cope with challenging off-road terrain, with 211mm of ground clearance and class-leading approach, departure and breakover angles. This means the front, middle or rear of the vehicle can climb up, over and down extreme obstacles at low speed.  

SAFE AND SMART DRIVING TECHNOLOGIES

Discovery Sport features a host of safe and smart driving technologies such as Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, Roll Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, and Engine Drag torque Control to name a few.

Verdict? The Land Rover Discovery Sport can do anything other SUV’s can do—only better, more comfortably, and more effortlessly. With a retail price of P4,390,000, it’s more than double the price of the bestselling midsize 7-seat SUV—but it’s more than triple the car. 

In the Philippines, All British Cars on 1008 EDSA, Greenhills is the sole authorized dealer of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, parts and accessories.