The Discovery Sport is a great choice if true off-road confidence and serious style are top priorities.
Back in 2015, we were introduced to the Land Rover Discovery Sport as the replacement for the outgoing LR2. This new compact crossover offers unique styling that very much sets it apart from the competition. The Discovery Sport was a welcomed revision as a gateway model for those looking to become part of the British family. With a much more modern appeal including LEDs and a contrasting paint scheme, the Disco certainly makes an impression. Now going into its third year of production, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Dynamic tested here is moving forward with subtle updates.
Smaller vehicles call for smaller and more efficient engines, and that certainly does apply to the powerplant of the Disco. The 2.0L turbocharged and intercooled inline four-cylinder, called “Ingenium”, is direct injected too. It produces 240 horsepower at 5800RPM, with 250 lb-ft of torque at 1750RPM. I have no complaints with how well this engine moves the Disco, with its 0 to 100km/h of 8.2 seconds. The ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission does an adequate job of managing power too, with the hopes of optimizing fuel efficiency. Land Rover rates the Discovery Sport with a combined fuel average of 10.7L/100km. After living with the car for a week, I managed to average 11.2L/100km; not far off from the manufacturer rating. The 70L tank does require premium fuel when visiting the pumps.
As one would expect from any Land Rover, the all-wheel-drive system helps keep the SUV steady on almost any surface. As we are in the midst of the winter season, a convenient blizzard fell upon the city of Toronto. Per usual, traffic slowed and intersections were gridlocked. Knowing I was about embark on what would be a long drive, I felt confident as I was about to get behind the wheel of and a vehicle built by folks who have a history of building truly the best all-terrain vehicles in the world.
My confidence was spot on, as the Discovery Sport held its own on the snow-covered roads. Whist other cars struggled to gain traction, the Discovery moved forward with ease thanks to the AWD system managing power at each individual wheel. There are four standard Terrain Response settings; General Driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand. This selective Terrain Response technology comes standard across all trims levels, and all-wheel-drive is standard on all Discovery Sport models sold in Canada.
Where this crossover excels in multiple terrain driveability, it starts to lose its ability when it comes to offering a comfortable drive in an everyday setting. Though the front and rear axles are independent, the suspension proves to be rather stiff. This comes expected from a crossover with off-roading heritage, however with this being a premium SUV that will realistically see little more than a gravel road, it becomes a bit of a disappointment.
Due to the stiffer suspension, the Disco Sport stays true to the “Sport” marque; the body remains relatively flat when manoeuvring on-ramps and off-ramps at speed. Bottom line is, softer suspension would benefit the Disco as a daily driver, as opposed to an off-road explorer.
In true Land Rover fashion, the HSE Luxury does look fantastic. Acting as a cherry on top of the already-delicious milkshake, Land Rover has added an optional appearance array dubbed the Dynamic Styling Package ($3,800). This includes various interior and exterior styling appointments that take the Discovery Sport to another level of allure. The front and rear bumpers receive some tweaks that enhance the distinctive looks. Black accents replace the otherwise standard materials, along with integrated exhaust covers built into the rear bumper.
Our tester was spec’d with the Corris Grey metallic paint with the optional Narvik Black fixed panoramic contrast roof. The 20-inch five split-spoke ‘Style 511’ wheels finished in gloss black further more finish the exterior of the car, tying in the blacked-out theme introduced by the Dynamic Styling. The interior receives minor changes with the presence of red accents found throughout the cabin. The seats are adorned with red piping and red contrast stitching, whilst the centre stack receives two red pillars on either side.
Red piping around the seats is a nice touch whereas personally, the red synthetic columns on the centre stack seem a little tacky. Even still, by no means are they a deal breaker. Land Rover also offers the ability to add a 50/50 split third row seating option, with room to seat two people. However this option essentially eliminates all existing trunk space, nor is it very comfortable for the select occupants designated to sit back there.
The interior is covered in variations of black leather. Where the seats are a combination of perforated inserts and smooth leather surfaces, the dashboard features a stylized leather surface with more contrast red stitching – part of the Dynamic Styling package. A series of brushed aluminum pieces accent the door panels, steering wheel and the centre console around the rotary gear selector. A polished black piano wood sliding cover protects the cup holder area when not in use.
An optional Ebony headliner ($350) is added to offer a more luxurious interior, as opposed to the standard Cirrus headliner. Whereas most vehicles of this day in age come with optional automatic sunroofs, the Discovery Sport features a fixed glass roof for maximum visibility and natural lighting, with an automatic shade than can be activated at the front overhead controls. It’s a classy feature that looks very nice and does a good job of brightening up the cabin, but it’s unfortunate that the glass does not open.
Underneath the luxurious covers is a plethora of technology for passengers to use whilst on the move. The Driver’s Tech Pack ($1,400) helps keep occupants safe with automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed limiter, blind sport monitoring with reverse traffic detection, and lane departure warning. The TouchPro package ($2,100) entertains the media portion of the vehicle with an 825-watt Meridian Digital Surround Sound system with 17 speakers, and the 10.2-inch InControl Touch Pro screen with navigation and InControl Pro services.
Bluetooth audio and smartphone connectivity are also included, helping keep drivers concentrated on the road ahead of them. Fret not about cold weather either, as heated seats are equipped, along with a heated steering wheel that takes no time to warm up. A heated windshield ($400) helps melt away any ice that has formed over the course of the car being stationary during a cold winters night.
I could go on and on about the amount of features this crossover has to offer, but we’d be here for quite some time. The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Dynamic has a base MSRP of $50,990 (for the HSE Luxury). This Dynamic model, fully loaded as-tested, comes to a total of $68,000. Though the Discovery Sport is an entry level SUV, in this price bracket it is competing with serious competition. The new Jaguar F-Pace (reviewed here) within the JLR family, or even the Mercedes-Benz GLC (reviewed here), both offer excellent alternatives. The Discovery Sport is a great choice if true off-road confidence and serious style are top priorities.
2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Dynamic Gallery