- Comfortable interior
- Good performance figures
- Modern design
- Low emissions
A unique selling point of the Discovery Sport, dating back to its launch in 2014 when it replaced the Freelander, has been the fact that it is a 7-seater luxury compact SUV.
But the latest addition to the range, the P300e, only has five seats due to its battery pack occupying space at the rear of the cabin, yet still has to go head-to-head with not only the big three premium German rivals but also its Jaguar E-PACE stable-mate.
Here is where the confidence bit kicks in because Land Rover believes it has harnessed the best of both worlds – combining the brand’s trademark go-anywhere expertise with zero emissions capability. Better still, it completes the task with comfort, precision, and style.
Engines and Performance
The Discovery Sport range is an extensive one, comprising petrol and diesel mild hybrid models - all of which have seven seats – plus the most potent model in the line-up, the P300e plug-in electric hybrid.
Unlike the rest of the range which have 2.0-litre engines, the P300e is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rear axle for a total system output of 309bhp.
That is plenty of punch, sufficient to launch the car from 0 to 62mph in 6.2 seconds, making it among the most lively vehicles of this car class.
And while the majority of the Sport’s everyday work will be on properly surfaced roads, its capability over the harshest terrain can not be underestimated.
This is after all a Land Rover, at the core of which is something called Terrain Response, which is operated at the push of a finger and makes light of everything from sand and mud to grass, gravel, and snow.
Should you need to pick your way down a steep incline then just dial in the Hill Descent Control, take your feet off the pedals and the Discovery will dance its own way down.
Emissions and Charging
Not only is this latest Discovery Sport both a rewarding and relaxing car to drive, but it also signals some serious financial benefits too.
For instance, its 34-mile pure electric range along with CO2 emissions of 44g/km qualify it for a 13 percent benefit-in-kind tax band, making it a very attractive proposition for company car drivers.
Of course, any disciplined driver making predominantly short journeys or commuter trips will save money by plugging in at home overnight and potentially be able to get somewhere near the 141mpg official fuel return figure.
Away from home, a 0 to 80 percent charge using a 50kW DC public charger should take as little as 30 minutes, while on a 7kW AC home charger you can fire up from 0 to 100 percent in around two hours.
Whether your trips are in the city, on rural lanes or on the motorway, the Discovery Sport remains a top quality and extremely capable compact crossover model.
Nor does compact mean small because interior space, front and back, is plentiful, while our tested version in the R-Dynamic SE trim brings a sportier style and comfort to the cabin with its 12-way electrically adjustable memory driver’s seat.
The result of all this is a model that is every inch as good as anything else wearing a premium badge, it is a joy to drive and boasts the chassis systems and advanced tech to ensure it is reassuring and enjoyable in any environment.
The R-Dynamic SE specification is like the cherry on top. Being a fairly high-level trim, you benefit from a wide range of features that do not come as standard on the entry-level models, but you do not have quite the same level of luxury as the top-of-the-range R-Dynamic HSE trim.