#31 Land Rover Discovery Sport – The strikingly refined compact crossover

The launch of the all-new Land Rover Discovery Sport marks the end of the Freelander. As we all know the Freelander was Land Rover’s first compact crossover. Since its introduction in 1997, the Land Rover Freelander continued to be one of the best-selling four-wheel-drive vehicles in the world.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Why is the new model called the Discovery Sport? This is because Land Rover converted the Discovery to an entire family of new vehicles. This will follow existing convention at the company, where the Range Rover Sport sits alongside the larger range-topping Range Rover model. The Discovery Sport borrows its inspiration from the Vision Concept. Being the first member of the Land Rover Discovery family, the Sport offers a dynamic design with a compact footprint and seven-passenger seating in a ‘5+2’ configuration.

Discover Vision Concept 

Striking looks
The Land Rover Discovery Sport’s proportions put the wheels out at the corners, contributing to both a low centre of gravity and a ‘planted’ stance. Aside from the overall shape, details including a clamshell hood and distinctive two-bar grille with hexagonal mesh connect it to its’ Land Rover identity. Large outboard air intakes and LED fog lamps are visible on the front bumper.

Land Rover Freelander 

The slim, wraparound headlamps are reminiscent of designs used on Range Rover vehicles. Round daytime-running lights (DRLs) are punctuated at four equal intervals to represent the points of a compass. Halogen headlamps and DRLs are standard, and available trim upgrades include Xenon headlamps and LEDs (light emitting diodes) for the DRLs.

Striking front design 

The tail lamp design echoes the headlamps’ slim, wraparound design. The roofline slants downward towards the rear to create a dramatic profile. The C-pillar leans forward toward the gloss-black window surrounds, allowing for an optional contrast roof design.

Powerful headlamps 

At the rear of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the spoiler features inner extensions that improve aerodynamic efficiency. The spoiler features an advanced LED light-pipe technology, which creates a slender and elegant ribbon of light. Five distinctive alloy wheel designs are available with Silver or Gloss Black finishes.

Wedge shaped profile 

Great performance
The Land Rover Discovery gets its power from the same turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine found in the Range Rover Evoque. The 2.0-litre power unit churns out 178 kW (240 hp) and 340 Nm of torque. Paired with the 2.0-litre unit is nine-speed automatic transmission. The transmission uses closely spaced gear ratios to provide seamless response and powerful mid-range acceleration.

Great off-road companion 

A rotary gearshift controller rises silently from the centre console when the engine is started. Steering wheel paddle shifters offer complete driver control for manual gear selection. The electric power-assisted steering system (EPAS) has been tuned for excellent handling on the road. The Land Rover Discovery Sport is equipped with vented 12.8-inch front and 11.8-inch rear disc brakes, providing reassuring stopping power.

Large panoramic sunroof 

Off-road abilities
With all-wheel-drive traction and long-travel suspension for excellent articulation, the Discovery Sport provides impressive all-terrain performance. The Discovery Sport can scale gradients of up to 45 degrees. In extreme situations the lower trim on the front bumper can be removed to increase the approach angle. Land Rover’s Terrain Response maximizes the capability of the Discovery Sport in challenging conditions.

Fog lamps integrated to the air intakes 

Controlled through an intuitive interface on the centre console, Terrain Response is designed to precisely tailor the crossover’s steering, throttle response, gearbox and braking and stability systems to the demands of the terrain. Terrain Response features four settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow (for slippery conditions on- and off-road); Mud and Ruts, and Sand.

Two bar grille 

Luxurious interior
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is design to cater for large families. The raised front seats offer the driver a commanding view of the road. In a theme similar to Range Rover models, the front cabin design uses the strong vertical lines of the centre console and the slimmer horizontal elements of the instrument panel to create a striking elegant look.

Luxurious cockpit 

A prominent centre console groups all controls logically. Behind the three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel is an easy-to-read instrument cluster, with twin analogue dials set deeply into cylindrical housings to shield them from glare.

Innovative infotainment system 

A 5-inch colour TFT display, positioned between the main dials, presents key data such as fuel levels, gear position, coolant temperature and Terrain Response modes. Upper trim levels feature twin-needle-stitched leather on the upper part of the instrument panel and door surfaces. Configurable mood lighting, controlled via the central 8-inch touch screen, enhances interior ambience.

Spacious interior 

Innovative entertainment
The standard infotainment system uses an 8-inch touchscreen display with 800×480 pixel resolution for an easy and intuitive user experience. The driver can monitor and control a wide range of functions by using drag, scroll or swipe gestures, similar to a smartphone.

Seven seats layout 

The Discovery Sport will be available with two audio systems; a 10-speaker system and an 11-speaker upgrade version (including subwoofer). Land Rover has equipped the Discovery Sport with up to four 12V power points. There are also as many as six USB charging sockets, allowing multiple electronic devices to be recharged simultaneously.

A worthy successor to the Freelander 


The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a worthy successor to the Freelander. The compact crossover’s great design combined with classic Land Rover off-road dynamics make it a must have choice. The Land Rover Discovery Sport is bound to be one of the best-selling luxury compact crossovers in the world just like the Freelander. This is certainly the new age of Discovery.