Time Well Spent: Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury 2.0Td4 180

In Partnership With: North Yorkshire Moors Railway


Mike Humble:

Land Rovers ever popular Discovery Sport is a car we have tested before, but now benefits from some subtle revisions in both efficiency and driver appeal. The former certainly makes a difference in its frugality, even more appreciative considering this model was the higher powered 180bhp “Ingenium” diesel…

Yours on the road for £43,400 – The Discovery Sport HSE Luxury 2.0 Td4
Someone once said; you don’t stay ahead by standing still and never has a truer statement been made. But in the world of Jaguar Land Rover they seem to move so fast its almost a blur. What with the all new Discovery and Jaguar XE & F Pace with the Range Rover Velar coming on stream later this year, its impossible to imagine such fast paced development taking place under the ownership of the companies previous incumbents. With each new model success rightly comes to them and we have the talented British engineers and the parent company TATA to thank.

The recently introduced all British designed and produced “Ingenium” range of engines are proving to be yet another success story in the JLR portfolio. Our recent Disco-Sport on test featured the 180bhp version of this well engineered power unit mated to their computer controlled ZF sourced 9 speed automatic gearbox. Its a massive step forward over the old PSA / Ford developed 2.2 engine in terms of efficiency, refinement and power. The plant is well insulated and flexible in its delivery and after some strong mileage (almost 1000 miles covered in one week) fine fuel consumption was noted.

As you would expect, its a nice place to be. Front seats are great and the driving position ditto. Plenty of buttons and toys to keep everyone entertained and the on board technology is impressive. Overall its nicely nailed together but that centre console and its air vents are not befitting of a premium car – they feel cheap to the touch. Refinement when cruising down the motorway cannot really be faulted.

Green minded motorists will appreciate the eco display function that’s jam packed with stats and information – I found all this quite fascinating, modern and useful

Nothing much has changed with the interior – not that there was that much wrong with it anyway. You’ve now got an improved Meridian head unit / infotainment system that processes imputed data from your fingertips slightly quicker than before. The sound quality is truly first rate (it benefited from the optional entertainment pack too) and its reasonably simple to use. Green minded motorists will appreciate the eco display function that’s jam packed with stats and information – I found all this quite fascinating, modern and useful… its a technology packed interesting car.

As you would expect of a premium brand with the green oval badge, the HSE Luxury oozes class from every pore. Just hopping inside fills the nostrils with that pleasant leather and carpet smell to reassure the owner his / her £43,400 has been well spent. As a motorway cruiser or family tool the Sport performs with *aplomb. Most of the mileage accrued was motorway journey down to the West Country and up and over to Herefordshire, no possible complaint could be made about comfort or refinement. The i4 engine in this application works a treat – punchy, reasonably refined and thrifty.

* word usage by kind donation via K Jones esq – Leicestershire

The Wolverhampton built all JLR Ingenuim 2.0 diesel works well in 180bhp tune. Sensible driving brings pleasing economy and unless you gun it for all its worth remains calm and refined. Superb ZF gearbox adds the cherry to the cake. Only gripe is the torque fall off below 1500rpm – keep it spinning over that and it’ll pull from its boots.
It can get a bit vocal if you drive in manual paddleshift mode and let her rip, but left in full auto it slides up and down the gears with little noise, sensation or fuss. Obviously though its no ’66 Mini Cooper – S when it comes to road holding. Engineer Montgomery Scott used to cry; “ye cannae change the laws of physics Cap’n” which is true, its a lofty car in stance but there’s plenty of grip and body roll is both predictable and controlled. The steering has that usual E-PAS lack of real feel at the rim but no way near as arcade game light as you’ll find in some rivals these days.

One or two little nips and tucks in the quality department were noted. The column stalks are identical to every other Jaguar Land Rover product these days but they felt a little better assembled with less free-play when you waggle them in your fingertips. The paint finish seemed better than before and close inspection of the panel welds visible when the tailgate is opened looked more consistent and better finished off. In all honesty, the only thing I could tut about in terms of fit and finish were the rather cheap and loose feeling air vents in the centre console – not deal breaker but a bit of a let down when everything else seems so impressive.

Enough space in the rear for most people and the seats are as snug as the front. Occupants will enjoy the superb Meridian sound system too. As a premium family SUV its got a hell of a lot going for it… its not cheap – but there again nor does it look or smell cheap either.

all in all its still a very able and capable vehicle with very little against its favour

The biggest difference I found was the huge difference in economy. On a journey from Sussex to Somerset driving at the legal motorway speed, the Discovery Sport did the whole journey on just £20 of fuel… this was not far shy of their claimed figure of 53.3mpg combined average. Push hard though and a notable reversal of fortune is noted, drive with safety and responsibility in mind and it almost sips its drink like a well mannered Parish Vicar on home visit. Nothing changes in terms of space, practicality or off road ability, all in all its still a very able and capable vehicle with very little against its favour.

So it comes as no surprise. The Land Rover Discover Sport sells in silly numbers for one very good reason – its a very good car. It has the power of the brand, its aspirational and even though its the entry range into the Land Rover family, it doesn’t feel cheap… but that’s a good job too because it isn’t. But hey – ho… you only get what you pay for – other rivals may be much less in outlay cost but they lack that all import kudos.

And in this sector and class its all about the brand isn’t it?




Not a great deal more needs to be said. Its a damn good car made better through skilful revisions, impressive engineering and that fine new all British developed and assembled power unit.

Its been a runaway success and rightly so. Not cheap at all but a fine Brit car that comes very highly recommended.

MODEL TESTED: Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury 2.0Td4

Price: £43,400 excluding options

Power Unit: 2.0 i4D Ingenuim turbo diesel Euro6 16v transverse in-line four

Driveline: ZF 9 speed electronically controlled automatic with four wheel drive

Power / Torque: 180bhp with 430Nm of torque @ 1750rpm

Performance: *0 – 60 in 8.4 seconds with *117mph top speed

Fuel Economy: *53.3mpg combined (47.9mpg actual on test)

Co2 Output: 139G/Km

* = Manufacturers or Govt claimed data

The Highs:

  • Efficient
  • Overall refinement & good ride
  • Well equipped
  • Practical
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Good on board technology
  • Feels solid & well engineered

The Lows:

  • Eye wateringly expensive when you start ticking the options boxes
  • Centre console and air vents feel cheap to the touch
  • Driveline still a bit loud and vocal when you drive really hard
  • E- PAS Steering lacks definite feel

For more information on the Land Rover Discovery Sport CLICK HERE






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