Land Rover Discovery Sport review - A talented all-rounder - Land Rover Discovery Sport performance and 0-60 time

Subtly brilliant, the Discovery Sport takes fight to the Germans

Evo rating
Price
from £28,995

Performance and 0-60mph time

Rather surprisingly, the automatic version of the top-end Discovery Sport is one second faster in the 0-60mph sprint, taking 8.9 seconds according to Land Rover - to the manual model's 9.9-second time. That's despite a 10kg weight penalty (1884kg for the auto vs. 1874kg for the manual in HSE Luxury trim), but is no doubt thanks to the more advantageous gearing afforded by the nine-speed auto.

The new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine is far more hushed than its 2.2-litre predecessor in the Freelander, whose gruff note discouraged you from heading towards the upper reaches of the rev range. To be fair, the new engine is hardly a screamer either, so you're better off exploring the engine's healthy 317lb ft of torque developed at 1750rpm, and not venturing much beyond around 3000rpm. It feels strong and willing across that band, with a keen response to prods on the accelerator.

The nine-speed automatic is smooth, but far from perfect. In most driving, its ability to shuffle quickly to higher ratios keeps noise low and economy high, but with nine gears to choose from any sudden demand for performance leaves it hunting for the correct gear. At this point, it'll invariably choose a gear lower than is really necessary, resulting in more noise than performance. Select Sport mode from the rotary gear selector and things improve - the electronics tend to keep the car as close to the 1750rpm torque peak as possible - though expect economy to suffer with the increased revs.

Of course, that low down torque comes in particularly useful if you're one of the few that plan on exploring the Discovery Sport's off-road performance. Most won't know or care whether a 25-degree approach angle, a 21-degree ramp angle and a 31-degree departure angle are any good (they are), but an unlucky flood-enduring few will appreciate its exceptional 600mm wading depth. Likewise, the Terrain Response system is something few will ever change out of 'default' mode, but when challenged it proves highly effective at keeping the car moving, in situations where many others would have to abandon ship.

Most Popular

Mercedes-AMG C43 2022 review – can AMG really rival the M340i with just four cylinders?
Mercedes-AMG C43 – header
Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes-AMG C43 2022 review – can AMG really rival the M340i with just four cylinders?

Two cylinders and a turbo down on its predecessor, the C43 still has it where it counts
28 Jun 2022
A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive
Car wash loophole in an MGF
MG

A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive

How the drop-tops Grand Challenge got some of the evo team in a lather
21 Jun 2022
BMW M4 Competition xDrive 2022 review – is the all-wheel-drive M4 really the best one?
BMW M4 Competition xDrive – header
BMW M4

BMW M4 Competition xDrive 2022 review – is the all-wheel-drive M4 really the best one?

It might be easy to dismiss the BMW M4 Competition xDrive as the sensible option, but be in no doubt, this is about as good as sports coupes get
29 Jun 2022