Review: Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015)
Refined and comfortable. 2.0 Ingenium diesel engine. Highly capable off-road. 2.0 Si4 240 and 290PS ingenium petrol engines.
Ride firm at low speeds. Infotainment not as intuitive as some rivals. Complaints of severe interior noise. Engine oil contamination from DPF regens after short runs is the most serious problem.
Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £28,995, brokers can source from £29,000
- Contract hire deals from £278.63 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 24–40
- On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure
The Discovery Sport is the stylish and luxurious replacement for the Freelander. However, forget like-for-like comparisons, because the Discovery Sport is miles ahead of its predecessor in on every level.
Based on the Evoque, the Discovery Sport combines a huge interior with a composed ride. This means the Discovery Sport is comfortable and extremely large inside, with most models getting a 5+2 seating configuration and around 1700 litres of maximum boot space.
The '+2' seats are essentially a third row that lift out of the boot floor while the moveable second row provides easy access. However, while the compact third row of seats are perfect for young children, adults will only want to use them for the shortest of journeys.
The interior of the Discovery Sport is similar to the Evoque, with an abundance of soft-touch materials and a well-crafted dashboard. Standard equipment is impressive and all models get climate control for the first two row of seats, along with cruise control, a heated windscreen and partial leather seats.
The Discovery Sport was launched with the 2.2-litre SD4 engine but this was replaced in September 2015 with a new, British-built 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine.
The four-cylinder Ingenium is a huge step up from the 2.2 diesel, with lower emissions, better economy and notably less noise. The TD4, with 150PS, will return 129g/km of CO2 and close to 58mpg according to the official figures, while its high speed operation is near silent.
On the road the Discovery Sport feels capable and fun, with plenty of grip in the corners and plenty of torque. We'd recommend the automatic gearbox over the manual, as it's smooth with near seamless gear changes. The four-wheel drive system is identical to the one found in the Evoque and linked to Land Rover's excellent Terrain Response system, which means the Discovery Sport is more than capable off road. In fact, it's better than any of its rivals when it comes to tackling mud or snow.
Freelander owners will no doubt baulk at the upmarket price, with entry-level models costing upwards of £30,000, while high-spec models will venture deep into £40,000 territory. Yet, even after factoring the new pricing strategy, the Discovery Sport still has huge appeal, with plenty of refinement, sophistication and outstanding off-road ability.
What does a Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015) cost?
Buy a used Land Rover Discovery Sport from £28,495
Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The 5+2 seating layout is one of the Discovery Sport’s biggest selling points and will appeal to families who occasionally need a seven-seater. The third row folds out of the boot floor and is easy to reach, thanks to the fact that the second row of seats slide forward.
Adults will find the third row to be a squeeze, with limited leg and shoulder room, but Land Rover doesn’t hide the fact that the extra seats are only intended for occasional use. Children on the other hand will love them and all rows can be fitted with charging sockets, which means all passengers can charge electronic devices simultaneously.
From September 2015 Land Rover updated the Discovery Sport range, introducing E-Capability badging for the 150PS models, which only has five seats instead of the 5+2 system. All of the seats are comfortable and finished in partial leather as standard, with plenty of upper leg and back support. As a result the Discovery Sport is well-suited for long journeys, with the second row of seats sliding back to offer an impressive 999mm of leg room.
There's no shortage of storage, with a maximum of 1700 litres and lots of cabin pockets and cubby holes, which again makes it useful for families who need to carry lots of loose items.
The dashboard copies the Evoque, with a sophisticated layout that’s easy to master. Automatic versions get a nice rotary dial that raises up from the centre console and all of the switches have a solid feel. You also won't need a diploma in software engineering to understand the infotainment system, which again is colourful and easy to use.
Since the launch of the Discovery Sport there have been some questions about interior build quality and almost all of our test cars have suffered from front seats that squeak or creak. We've also noticed rattles from the rear seats, which can be rather annoying on long trips.
Standard equipment is good though and entry-level SE models get all of the essentials, with climate control, heated front seats, cruise control, Bluetooth and an eight-inch colour display. Touchscreen navigation and a powered tailgate are added to SE Tech trim, while the range-topping HSE Luxury gets configurable mood lighting, illuminated aluminium treadplates and climate control for the third row of seats.
SE is the entry-level trim and gets seats in partial leather, 5+2 seating with second row slide/recline, climate control, heated front seats, heated windscreen, 18-inch nine-spoke ‘Style 109’ alloy wheels, power adjustable, heated mirrors, cruise control, 8-inch colour touch-screen, DAB, Bluetooth plus Land Rover Audio with ten speakers.
SE Tech adds touchscreen navigation system, rain sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlamps, front parking sensor, a powered tailgate and front fog lamps.
HSE includes seats in grained leather with eight-way electric adjustment, a panoramic sunroof, air quality sensing and high level climate control vents in second row, xenon headlamps with LED signature and automatic high beam assist (AHBA), Land Rover Audio with 11 speakers including subwoofer, keyless entry, auto-dimming interior mirror, 19-inch five split-spoke ‘Style 521’ alloy wheels plus front and rear carpet mats.
HSE Black adds 20-inch five split-spoke alloy wheels with gloss black finish, privacy glass, black roof and a black finish to the grille.
HSE Luxury trim includes seats in Windsor leather with 10-way memory adjustment, climate heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats, heated leather steering wheel, power adjustable heated powerfold exterior mirrors with memory function, Land Rover InControl Apps, park assist, illuminated aluminium treadplates, configurable mood lighting, front and rear premium carpet mats, 20-inch five split-spoke 'Style 511' alloy wheels and loadspace stowage rails.
Child seats that fit a Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015) like to drive?
- Engines range from P200 Automatic (2019) to 2.2 SD4 190
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 24–50 mpg
The Discovery Sport was launched with the 190PS 2.2 SD4 diesel engine, which is packed with plenty of low down torque, with 420Nm available from 1750rpm. However, while the SD4 is capable of pushing the Discovery Sport along with meaningful grunt, it disappoints with poor refinement and an abundance of diesel clatter at low-speeds.
Economy is average too, with the SD4 returning a claimed 46mpg and emitting 162g/km of CO2 when paired with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. A nine-speed automatic is available, but pushes the Discovery Sport into Band H with 166g/km of CO2.
The 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine replaced the SD4 in September 2015 and is the best powertraint by far, with hushed operating noise, impressive performance and outstanding economy. The British-built four-cylinder engine is available in two outputs - 150PS and 180PS - with the former returning 129g/km of CO2 and 57.7mpg fuel economy.
The 180PS delivers 139g/km and up to 53.3mpg in both manual and nine-speed automatic transmission options. Torque is also plentiful with 430Nm at 1750rpm, while the 150PS unit - badged as E-Capability - provides a more modest 380Nm. This means the Discovery Sport is suited for towing tasks, with huge amounts of low-gear torque.
On the road the Discovery Sport feels composed and refined, with low road and wind noise. The automatic gearbox is the best transmission choice, with swift and intelligent changes. The auto can also tow up to 2200kg, whereas the manual is limited to 2000kg.
Admittedly, the ride can feel firm at low speeds and around town, but it's never enough to disrupt the handling or make things uncomfortable. The Discovery Sport does suffer from a bit of bodyroll in the corners, but balances this out with plenty of grip and progressive steering that ensures the driver has a full understanding of how much traction is available.
As you'd expect of a Land Rover, the Discovery Sport is extremely capable off road, with the four-wheel drive system fed through the excellent Terrain Response. This means the driver can adjust the suspension and gear selection to match the conditions.
|2.0 eD4 150||50 mpg||10.6 s||123 g/km|
|2.0 SD4 240 Automatic||39–44 mpg||7.5 s||169 g/km|
|2.0 Si4 240 Automatic||31–33 mpg||6.8–7.9 s||182–190 g/km|
|2.0 TD4 150||44–58 mpg||11.7 s||129 g/km|
|2.0 TD4 180||44–53 mpg||9.9 s||139 g/km|
|2.0 TD4 180 Automatic||43–53 mpg||8.9–9.9 s||139–172 g/km|
|2.2 SD4 190||45–46 mpg||8.4–9.8 s||162–166 g/km|
|2.2 SD4 190 Automatic||45–46 mpg||8.4–9.8 s||162–166 g/km|
|D150 (2019)||-||-||140–149 g/km|
|D150 Automatic 4WD (2019)||-||-||144–152 g/km|
|D180 Automatic (2019)||-||-||147–155 g/km|
|D240 Automatic (2019)||-||-||163–175 g/km|
|P200 Automatic (2019)||-||-||177–183 g/km|
|P250 Automatic (2019)||-||-||179–185 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Land Rover Discovery Sport (2015)?
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