2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport review: Not much more than a pretty face

Matthew N. Henry

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

This is an undeniably very SUV.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A single of the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport’s best assets is its stunning human body. Without the need of a question, this is a significantly handsome device, with elegantly basic traces and thoroughly clean surfacing. It really is approximately as very as the breathtaking Selection Rover Velar. Designers managed to carry that tastefulness into the interior as nicely, which is equally chic. Inside of and out, this luxury utility car seems like a winner.


  • Smooth-managing engine
  • Appealing interior
  • Elegant styling

Really don’t Like

  • Iffy infotainment procedure
  • Atrocious throttle tip-in
  • Paucity of functions

Too undesirable it falls shorter just about in all places else.

Send out it again

Like some thing that cannot be unseen, when you discover the Discovery Sport’s lazy throttle tip-in, it’ll be all you imagine about every time you drive this SUV. This car is infuriatingly smooth off the line, with accelerator-pedal development that is wholly nonlinear. From zero enter to about 50% throttle, the Discovery responds the similar way, with all the enthusiasm of Eeyore. This Land Rover is so very weak when having off, you have to drive it like you’re indignant just to make it really feel like a normal car.

The transmission really starts off in next gear, which is a bit also steep for the engine to pull, which can make this Land Rover damn troublesome to pilot. Cycling through the common Terrain Reaction two system’s several off-road modes does small to accurate the issue, while clicking the digital shifter into “S” method does aid, but then the transmission retains on to decreased gears when you’re cruising, which hurts performance.

Potentially the finest answer to this trouble is finding the Configurable Dynamics solution, a $350 further, while it is also involved in the $1,240 Dynamic Handling Pack. This enables you to wonderful tune the vehicle’s actions, tweak items like steering weight, transmission tuning, and indeed, throttle reaction.

Mechanical engineering

Notwithstanding troublesome drivability, the Discovery Activity functions a charming two.-liter turbocharged engine. In most designs, that 4-pot unit cranks out 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. People figures imbue this luxury SUV with generous if not superb general performance. As equipped, that is sufficient pork and beans to get my 7-seat tester to 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds. 

Turning up the wick on that two.-liter engine, the best-of-the-line R-Dynamic HSE version of this Land Rover have a excellent bit a lot more energy and torque — 286 hp and 295 lb-ft, to be exact, gains that arrive courtesy of a forty eight-volt delicate-hybrid procedure. Predictably, this powertrain’s general performance is greater, with the -to-60 time dropping to about 6.6 seconds, 50 percent a next fleeter than a related five-seat product with the common engine.

All Discovery Sports activities are equipped with a ZF-sourced, 9-speed computerized transmission. Broadly made use of in the course of the automotive business, this ratio-prosperous gearbox has earned by itself a track record for irregular general performance and unrefined shift quality. Right after yrs on the industry, it appears to be Land Rover engineers have managed to civilize this transmission. No, it ain’t fantastic, but it is really generally smooth and gear adjustments are, for the most component, nicely timed.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Feel it or not, you will find an engine concealed beneath all that black plastic.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Like other Land Rover designs, which includes the best-shelf Selection Rover, 4-wheel drive is common gear on the Discovery Activity, so is hill-descent regulate, and All Terrain Progress Regulate, which maintains a set speed while off-roading. As for functionality, this utility car can wade through a utmost of 23.6 inches of drinking water and tow up to four,409 pounds, just not at the similar time.

When it arrives to usage, the base engine returns 19 miles per gallon city and 24 on the freeway. Combined, it is really rated at 21 mpg, about what you really should be expecting for a car of this measurement. Go determine, the delicate-hybrid R-Dynamic HSE product provides similar scores.

Bolstering about-city performance is an engine end-start procedure. Although moderately smooth, it is rather slow. From when you carry off the brakes to the time you’re creeping ahead once more appears to be like an eternity. Other automakers’ end-start programs are far a lot more responsive, with combustion resuming often before your foot is wholly off the pedal.

This SUV’s suspension is on the smooth side, giving a supple, nicely-isolated ride. Therefore, it also serves up a bit of squat and dive. The nose points skyward when you punch the accelerator and its human body pitches ahead under hefty braking. Although visible, these motions are not intense.

Interior quality and comfort and ease

The Discovery Sport’s cabin is exquisite and hugely purposeful. Strongly horizontal, the dashboard is totally free of any superfluous styling or insert-ons and is nicely trimmed with smooth resources and stitching. The in general seem is timeless and exquisite, even if this tester is a bit austere dressed in black. Fortunately, mild tan and brown leather-based are on the menu and really should brighten items up considerably.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

The Land Rover Discovery Sport’s interior is largely exquisite and rather cozy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Mounted appropriate smack between the driver and entrance passenger is a ten-inch, landscape-oriented screen, which is in which Land Rover’s common InControl Contact Professional infotainment procedure resides. This multimedia arrangement seems terrific and is hugely reconfigurable, but its consumer interface is elaborate, and it could be a bit a lot more responsive. Fortunately, equally Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are supported, plus you will find in-car Wi-Fi.

Practicality is a main purpose individuals buy SUVs. They want cars with sufficient room for weekend visits to the garden middle and for hauling a load of kiddies about. In this place, the Discovery Activity is unexpectedly multipurpose. It really is next-row seat is significantly roomy, with loads of room and company cushions for all-working day support. 

Predictably, the aft-most bench is a little ones-only zone. Any grown ups relegated to this class of vacation will have their rumps on the flooring and their heads jammed into the ceiling. Fold those people again seats down, and the Discovery Activity transforms into a leather-based-lined shipping container, giving a utmost of approximately fifty six cubic feet of hauling potential.

Nickels and dimes insert up to dollars

My Discovery Activity SE tester wears a price tag tag of $53,905, a full that includes $995 in delivery costs and about 8 grand in alternatives. That determine is not fully unreasonable because this SUV is from a luxury brand and vehicles are costly. The regular new-car transaction price tag in the US these days is believed by Kelley Blue Guide to be approximately $38,000. The trouble is not what you’re finding for that outlay of money, relatively, it is really what’s not involved.

Discovery Activity SE designs arrive common with self-leveling LED headlamps, but headlight washers charge $200 further. Want fog lights? System on shelling out an supplemental $a hundred and seventy. The base entrance bucket seats modify in twelve distinct methods, but if you want butt warmers it is really a $500 upcharge. Keyless entry is super effortless to have, but it is really not involved in the base price tag, ditto for satellite radio. For those people two things, Land Rover needs $550 and $500, respectively. Cruise regulate with a speed limiter is common, but adaptive cruise regulate is bundled with significant-speed emergency braking in the $1,200 Push Package deal, while you can also get it with steering support and a array of other hugely fascinating functions in the $3,one hundred Driver Assist Package deal. I could go on, but you get the place. The Discovery Activity isn’t going to arrive with a great deal common gear. Hell, approximately all that stuff is involved on a midrange Honda Accord EX — why does Land Rover have to demand so a great deal for it?

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

The instrument cluster is equally attractive and reconfigurable. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

So, what gear does this Discovery Activity really have? Perfectly, it is really got heated, vehicle-dimming and energy-folding side-perspective mirrors. It really is also equipped with targeted visitors-indicator recognition, lane-maintaining support and computerized emergency braking. Other alternatives contain comely Byron Blue paint, a $610 further and a $1,280 mounted panoramic glass roof. The best-shelf Meridian seem procedure inflated the sticker price tag by $800, while the readily available 20-inch wheels charge the similar amount of money. Land Rover delivers a 3rd-row seat for $1,200, which boosts passenger-hauling functionality to 7. A couple a lot more inconsequential alternatives spherical this car out.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

This Land Rover is just as very from the rear as it is from the entrance.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Extra downsides than pros

Trendy and multipurpose, able and cozy, this Land Rover is not without the need of its virtues. Nevertheless, I cannot advise it. The Discovery Sport’s lack of common gear, tough infotainment procedure and that damnable low-speed throttle reaction spoil what could be a respectable SUV. 

Nearly universally, automakers construct remarkable cars these days. You have to go out of your way to invest in a undesirable auto. And while I will end shorter of contacting the Discovery Activity undesirable, it does really feel like a unusual overlook.

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