Land Rover Discovery Sport is the first all-new model in over 10 years and takes a different direction in styling, but certainly not in substance.

Many things have changed in the past decade, with sales of SUVs increasing at a huge rate worldwide. However, many buyers of SUVs are looking for a stylish station wagon and have little or no interest in using them as 4WDs. Land Rover is well aware of this and has intelligently come up with a vehicle that will appeal to those who want a good looking wagon but – and this is the really smart part – still want a genuine 4WD.

By genuine 4WD we mean new Discovery Sport, is an all-terrain vehicle from the old school. This is no on-road hatchback with a different body and light-duty all-wheel-drive components. This is the real deal.

Discovery Sport can traverse tough off-road places where even olde-fashioned rather-crude Land Rover Series 1 would struggle. Yet it will meet all the requirements of on-road comfort and handling the modern SUV buyer demands.


This seeming impossible melding of on-road and off-road tasks shows the depth of expertise in the Land Rover team. Expertise built up designing subsequent Land Rover Defenders and Discoverys, as well as the King of hill Range Rover.

A Range Rover can set you back as much as $248,000 – new Discovery Sport has a price list that begins at just $53,300, plus on-road costs.

All-new Land Rover Discovery Sport is based on the ultra-stylish Evoque and shares some visible and many out of sight components with it – one reason for the low price.

The Sport is taller than the Evoque, particularly at the rear and has a squarer rump. There’s not a sign of sleekness or excitement in the shape of the Sport, the best way of describing its lines is ‘timeless’. As Land Rover Australia points out, those who want style can opt for the Evoque.

Normally a five-seater Discovery Sport can also be ordered with seven seats. The rear pair of seats is best suited to children, but adults are likely to find it more comfortable than anticipated.


Naturally, there’s not a lot of boot space when all seven seats are in use, but there’s big volume when only five are being carried. Discovery Sport is very versatile, as the second row seat can slide back and forward by up to 160 mm to give you plenty of passenger / luggage options.

Given the tough image of Disco the guys at Land Rover Australia expects the great majority of buyers to opt for turbo-diesel power, so offers 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesels with 110 or 140 kilowatts of power. Both can be specified with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.

There’s also a 177 kW four-cylinder petrol unit displacing 2.0 litres.

All Australian imports have four-wheel drive as Land Rover Australia is well aware that’s what serious buyers demand in the market downunder. Some countries do get a two-wheel drive version of Discovery. The Evoque can be ordered in 2WD or 4WD.

We carried out a major drive program organised by Land Rover out of Canberra. It covered several hundred kilometres of normal on-road driving; city, suburban, motorway and country. But our real interest was in serious off-road driving in the hills of Canberra and NSW.

Off-road the Discovery Sport is everything we anticipated, only better. We had it cruising on loose gravel surfaces at speeds that could have earned us a speeding ticket on motorways. (When are we going to get reasonable limits on our motorways?) On the tight and twisty gravel and dirt tracks it performed well, always with the insurance of electronic stability aids standing by if we did make a silly mistake.

The complete 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport range is:
TD4 SE: $53,300 (manual), $55,800 (automatic)
SD4 SE: $56,400 (manual), $59,000 (automatic)
TD4 HSE: $57,900 (manual), $60,400 (automatic)
SI4 SE: $59,000 (automatic)
SD4 HSE: $61,100 (manual), $63,600 (automatic)
SD4 HSE Luxury: $66,500 (manual), $69,000 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Land Rover dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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