2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Pricing

HSE 4WD

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2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Launched as an all-new model for 2015, the Discovery Sport is Land Rover’s entry-level vehicle, a highly capable unit-body SUV competing against other premium crossovers like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport offers a new Dynamic Design Package with special front and rear bumper designs, integrated rear tailpipes, glossy black 20-inch alloy wheels, and black trim inside and out. The 2017 Discovery Sport offers an optional infotainment system with an upgraded 10.2-inch screen.

While the competition seats five, the Discovery Sport seats five or seven, the latter with an optional third row. However, it’s an exceptionally tight third row, so we’re inclined to consider it a five-seater. Land Rover does not call it a seven-seater, either, rather a 5+2.

Discovery Sport takes some underpinnings from the Range Rover Evoque, stretched and pulled to be longer and wider. Its hood, roof and liftgate are aluminum, and about 20 percent of the chassis is high-strength steel, taking about 150 pounds out of the LR2, despite being four inches longer.

We found the Discovery Sport handles with verve and tackles off-road challenges with ease. The engine is smooth and strong.

Discovery Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder with direct injection, making 240 horsepower, mated well to a responsive paddle-shifting 9-speed automatic. Discovery Sport can accelerate from zero to sixty in 7.8 seconds and can hit 124 miles per hour.

Haldex all-wheel drive is standard. The system moves power between the front and rear wheels, up to 100 percent at each end, and then between the left and right wheels, depending on where the traction is needed. Its Terrain Response system has normal, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand modes, along with a new dynamic mode.

Discovery Sport is rated to tow up to 5500 pounds, with standard Tow Hitch Assist, Tow Assist, and Trailer Stability Assist.

Available safety equipment includes lane-departure warning, parking assist with perpendicular parking, trailer-sway control, and automatic headlamps. In the top two models, the optional automatic emergency system uses cameras to detect objects and will brake to reduce the impact or stop before impact if there’s time, from a speed no more than 32 mph.

EPA fuel mileage is 20 miles per gallon City, 25 Highway, and 22 Combined. It requires Premium gasoline. Discovery Sport hasn’t been crash tested by the NHTSA or IIHS.

Model Lineup

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport comes in SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury models, all equipped with all-wheel drive and the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport SE ($37,695) includes leather trim, eight-way power seats, a 10-speaker audio system, an app-based infotainment system with an eight-inch screen, rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $995 destination charge.)

Discovery Sport HSE adds 10-way power seats in upgraded leather, a fixed glass roof, xenon HID headlamps, front parking sensors, a power liftgate, and a proximity key. The HSE Luxury has high-grade leather seats finished with a special diamond pattern, navigation, 19-inch alloy wheels, and some styling items.

The SE makes optional much of the HSE equipment, plus heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate that can be opened with a swipe of a foot under the rear bumper, ambient mood lighting, and a Meridian audio system. The Entertainment Pack adds a 16-speaker audio system, navigation, and Land Rover’s new 10.2-inch infotainment system. The Intelligent Dynamics Pack includes a mode that tightens up the suspension and steering for better handling on curvy pavement. Several appearance packages are available including exclusive alloy wheels.

Walkaround

You have to squint to find traditional Land Rover design cues. It’s not boxy and angular any more. The Discovery Sport doesn’t fully commit to the soft crossover look, but the sculpting is smooth and not chiseled. It adds Land Rover ruggedness. It looks rakish from the side. It’s all about the stance. The wheels are big for the body, so the Sport looks planted.

The thin strips of honeycomb grille, clamshell hood, skid plates, short overhangs, and keyed headlamps say Range Rover. The roofline pulls over the rear pillars in an athletic manner, ending at a stubby tailgate spoiler as it does. If North Face designed cars, they would look like this.

Interior

The Discovery Sport is business-like in the cabin, its horizontal dash and vertical center stack meeting with the rigidity of a T-square. It’s not stark, however, but rather an elegant contrast to the contemporary exterior. Soft-touch surfaces abound, especially on the knobs and dials, and the rotary shift controller, rising from the piano-black center console upon startup, is a nice centerpiece. Climate control knobs are from Jaguar. There’s plenty of hard plastic, but it’s mostly hidden away where it doesn’t matter as much.

Graphics on the optional 10.2-inch infotainment screen are really nice, but the option requires adding a number of other features that shoot the price still higher. There’s a USB charging port for every passenger, including in the third row.

Thanks to the high seating position and thin pillars, the forward visibility is excellent. Not so the rearward visibility when the third row is deployed. But that’s normal, and it comes with a rearview camera for improved safety when backing up.

There’s good space in the first two rows, and the second row sits higher than the first, for good passenger visibility through the windshield, part of the Land Rover identity. The second row also reclines, and slides on a 6.3-inch track, allowing for lots of leg room.

The optional third row very small and poorly padded. It folds up from the cargo floor and has an even higher seating position than the second row, great for kids but it puts adults’ knees into their chins. So forget it, for adults. Families needing a third row should look to the Discovery, not the Sport, but it is there for the rare need.

Driving Impressions

Land Rover blends road tenacity with offroad ability like no other brand. The stocky 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, making 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque at just 1750 rpm, is responsive and confident. The broad torque curve helps the Discovery Sport feel peppier than it actually is. It’s as comfortable on the freeway as it is rock crawling on trails.

The paddleshifting 9-speed automatic can launch in second gear for smoothness and skip gears if necessary, for example when you floor and it shifts down. It can be a little busy as it sorts through gears, but it’s mostly unobtrusive. Speaking of unobtrusive, we found the standard engine stop-start system to be relatively smooth.

The suspension is front struts and rear links, both mounted to subframes for isolation from noise and vibration. The electric power steering has a variable ratio to improve on-center response. There’s not much feedback but it’s nicely weighted. It’s confident on a curvy road and unwinds predictably. Big disc brakes on all four wheels provide terrific finesse and a firm pedal feel at speed. The brakes stop the weight of nearly 4000 pounds just fine.

The suspension allows more travel and more control during rebound than the Evoque, not surprising because the Evoque is intended to be less of an offroad vehicle. The traction control system with its modes decides which wheel gets the power. That might not be traditional off-roading, but it works. The Discovery Sport can handle a steep rocky climb. The weak link will be the tire sidewalls.

The Discovery Sport offers approach and departure angles of 25 and 31 degrees, along with 8.3 inches of ground clearance and a wading depth of nearly 24 inches. The maximum tilt angle and gradient angle are 27 and 45 degrees. That all translates to high capability over very difficult terrain. Through the Haldex 5 center-differential clutch pack and brake actuation at the individual wheels, the system can send torque to whichever wheel has the most traction, and up to 100 percent to either axle.

The Terrain Response system’s modes affect throttle sensitivity, transmission response, differential behavior, steering weighting, and stability systems. It works with the Haldex 5 center-differential clutch pack and brake actuation to deliver torque to the wheel that has the grip to use it. We drove the Discovery Sport on some steep trails covered by snow and ice, rugged enough to challenge the car’s angles, ground clearance, and traction systems. We found it to be not just very capable, but very easy to drive off-road.

Summary

The Land Rover Discovery Sport SE offers a huge amount of capability, style, and premium trim at a competitive price point. Land Rover retailers have an excellent reputation. Discovery Sport features a fabulous powertrain, great cabin, competent on-road ride and handling.

Sam Moses contributed to this report.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Land Rover Discovery is all-new for 2017, supplanting the previous-generation LR4. In the relatively recent history of the British Land Rover company, the Discovery occupied a prominent, indeed iconic, position. Last called Discovery in the U.S. for 2004, it was renamed LR3 then LR4. Now, for the 2017 model year, the Discovery nameplate has re-emerged.

Following the same basic design as the Discovery Sport that debuted for 2015, the larger Discovery is built upon a totally different platform. Longer and wider, it presents a more imposing stance. Sharp angles and flat body panels of previous models are gone. Instead, the 2017 Discovery exhibits a softer profile, more crossover than SUV in character. The Discovery is in fact a close relative of the big, aluminum-bodied Range Rover.

In addition to providing seating comfort for up to seven passengers, the Discovery stands ready to deliver impeccable behavior. Whether off-road or on pavement, drivers can expect the sort of experience for which the brand has long been heralded.

Three trim levels are offered: SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury. Early-production models may be fitted with a First Edition package.

Buyers can select either a gasoline or diesel engine. The gas version is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6, seen in previous models, rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is standard, coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

For HSE or HSE Luxury models, an additional $2,000 buys a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, ready to generate 254 horsepower and a 443 pound-feet wallop of torque. With its resounding low-end vigor, the diesel performs especially well. SE and First Editions come only with the gasoline V6.

Available safety features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. One optional system can nudge the vehicle into its proper lane, in case drifting is detected. Another system can read speed-limit signs.

All models can be equipped with a surround-view camera system. Off-road, it can alert the driver to rocks and boulders ahead. We recommend getting it.

Model Lineup

Land Rover Discovery Supercharged SE ($49,990) comes with leather-upholstered 12-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, parking sensors, 19-inch wheels, and a fixed glass roof. A Capability group with two-speed transfer case, air suspension, and Terrain Response 2 system costs $1,500 extra. Seven-passenger seating, with air suspension and two-speed transfer case, adds $2,150. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $995 destination charge.)

Discovery Supercharged HSE ($56,950) adds 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, 380-watt Meridian audio, navigation with 10-inch screen, three-zone climate control, and a panoramic moonroof. Land Rover’s turbodiesel engine adds $2,000.

Discovery Supercharged HSE Luxury ($63,950) includes a two-speed transfer case, air suspension, i825-watt Meridian audio, seven-passenger seating, and leather-trimmed dashboard. The turbodiesel V6 adds $2,000.

Discovery Supercharged First Edition ($73,950), painted orange with black accents, includes just about all available features, plus 21-inch wheels.

Walkaround

Discovery has abandoned the boxy, angular look and distinctive roofline of its predecessor, but Land Rover design cues remain. Stretched-rearward LED headlights flank a sweptback mesh grille.

Toward the rear, the roof contains a hump, but it’s considerably smaller than before. Available painted in contrasting silver or black, the roof promises a little more head clearance for third-row occupants. Unlike the split tailgate of LR3/LR4 models, the Discovery version is a single unit.

Overall, the redesigned model comes across as a sizable crossover rather than a utilitarian SUV. While handsome and upscale in appearance, flaunting fender vents, the revived Discovery doesn’t stand out as forcefully from the crossover/SUV crowd.

The power tailgate opens with a kick of the foot.

Interior

Not many vehicles approach the melding of practical nature and luxury detailing found within a Land Rover product. In refinement and flexibility, the Discovery echoes its predecessors. Soft-touch materials include a padded dashboard top, though door panels contain hard plastics.

A Discovery may be ordered with five or seven seats. The second row is roomy for three, though seating is lower than expected. The 40/20/40 split-folding bench can be moved forward to expand third-row room. Two adults can ride in comfort out back, without suffering snug head or leg room.

Cargo volume totals 82.7 cubic feet behind the front seats, 45 cubic feet behind the second row, but little space if all seatbacks are upright.

Few traditional switches and knobs occupy the boxy dashboard, except for climate and Terrain Response off-roading controls. A rotary knob selects the transmission gear. The outstanding infotainment system features a colorful interface and wide touchscreen. A wireless hotspot is available, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is not.

Driving Impressions

Both engines and the ZF-supplied transmission perform brilliantly. The gasoline engine provides smooth acceleration and bountiful passing power, but rumbles even more than the diesel when idling. Passengers probably won’t hear the diesel engine, but its clatter is noticeable when outside. Diesel torque output peaks at low engine speed, and the driver can feel a refined power burst.

Whether on-pavement or off-road, handling can most accurately be described as phenomenal, made possible by accurate electronic power steering. Few vehicles approach the Discovery’s masterful balance of on- and off-road capabilities. Ride comfort ranks as glorious. The air suspension (if installed) simply smothers modest pavement flaws, while subduing sizable potholes with minimal notice to passengers.

Land Rover offers a number of valuable off-road features, but most of them cost extra. That height-adjustable air suspension is best for serious off-roading. Touching a button increases the regular 11.1-inch ground clearance to 12.8 inches. Water-fording depth reaches 35.4 inches. Approach and departure angles also expand.

Discovery SE and HSE models have a single-speed transfer case. A two-speed unit is available for more severe duties. Choosing Terrain Response 2 adds a batch of traction-control modes, including a helpful automatic setting.

For a vehicle that can approach 5,000 pounds, the Discovery is almost thrifty, especially with diesel power. Partial credit goes to switching from a boxy body, losing nearly 1,000 pounds in the process. The gasoline V6 is EPA-rated at 16/21 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined. The turbodiesel is rated at 21/26 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. A start/stop system shuts the engine off at stoplights.

Summary

Searching for a better-balanced SUV or crossover would be a futile effort. A substantial price must be paid for such capabilities, but the cachet of the Land Rover brand should ease the pain of paying more. Still, adding some of that worthy but optional off-road technology raises the total price quickly.

Driving impressions by Andrew Ganz, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.


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MSRP - MSRP is the base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price at the time of introduction, including standard equipment only and excludes taxes, transportation and destination.

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