The Discovery Sport, Land Rover’s entry-level range, has been thoroughly updated with a facelift and technical tweaks for 2019.
Since its introduction in 2015, Land Rover’s compact premium SUV has become the brand’s most popular vehicle with nearly half a million units sold, and this midlife makeover is more comprehensive than the average facelift.
A design tweak comprises signature new LED lights at the front and rear, alongside an updated front grille and bumpers. The trademark Discovery design cues, including the clamshell bonnet, rising beltline and tapered roof remain.
Inside, the seven-seater cabin has been updated with Land Rover’s digital Touch Pro infotainment interface and latest connectivity, as introduced in the Range Rover Velar and Evoque. There’s a more flexible seating arrangement with up to 24 combinations, and the cabin is upgraded with more premium materials.
Cabin oddments space has improved across all rows and the fuel tank’s been increased by 20% to 65l.
The new Discovery Sport will be available in Standard, S, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE trim. The R-Dynamic variants are identified by Shadow Atlas script on the bonnet and tailgate. Inside, branded treadplates further differentiate them from the regular models.
Built on Land Rover’s latest Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), the Discovery Sport is made more refined with a new body that is 13% stiffer than before, together with rigidly-mounted subframes that reduce noise and vibration.
In SA,customers will have a choice of Ingenium diesel and petrol engines paired with an updated ZF nine-speed transmission which offers a claimed 2% fuel economy improvement.
The 2.0l diesel, badged D180, offers 132kW and 430Nm while returning a claimed average fuel consumption of 5.8l/100km. The P250 petrol has outputs of 183kW and 365Nm with a quoted of 8.0l/100km. An economical P300e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version is scheduled to join the range in SA next year.
Like the recently-launched Evoque, the updated Discovery Sport is available with a smart rear view mirror that transforms into a video screen at the flick of a switch to display what’s behind the vehicle in high definition. It ensures rear visibility isn’t compromised by second-row passengers or bulky items in the boot.
Clever new Ground View technology has been introduced to help drivers navigate high kerbs or rough terrain by projecting a virtual 180° camera view around and beneath the vehicle onto the touchscreen, effectively rendering the bonnet invisible.
The digital transformation continues with the addition of an inductive smarphone charger, while a 4G WiFi hotspot, alongside USB and 12V connectivity points on every row ensure passengers remain charged and connected.
Second and third row occupants get their own heating and ventilation controls.
For regular drivers of the new Discovery Sport, Smart Settings uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn driver preferences, adjusting massage and seat positions, music and climate settings and steering column positioning to suit each driver.
A new option offered is Land Rover’s Activity Key, a waterproof wrist bracelet that allows you to leave the key fob locked in the vehicle while indulging in white water rafting or other activities not suited to having a fob in your pocket.
The updated Discovery Sport retains its terrain-tackling proficiency, including a wading depth of 600mm, all-wheel drive, and a Terrain Response 2 system that automatically detects the surface and adjusts power delivery to best suit the conditions. Avanced Tow Assist makes reversing with a trailer (up to 2,500kg) more intuitive and safer than ever.
To promote fuel efficiency in the all-wheel drive vehicle, drive to the rear wheels is disconnected under steady cruising to reduce frictional losses, but re-engaged in less than 500 milliseconds when needed.
There is a reversing camera as standard on all models, alongside a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. These include Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, which centres the vehicle in the lane based on road markings as well as maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Other active safety features include Lane Keep Assist and a Driver Condition Monitor.
The new Discovery Sport is scheduled for local introduction near the end of the year, with pricing to be announced closer to the time.