No, this Discovery Sport is not the replacement for the Honorable Discovery 4 that appeared on these pages a few months ago. Since the presentation of the Evoque Coupé in 2010 (and the arrival of the 5-door version in 2011), Land Rover has begun a complete overhaul of its range, roughly one model per year. The form evolved, but the substance remains the same: Above and Beyond.
The Discovery Sport has made its first appearance during a presentation with great fanfare at the Paris 2014 Land Rover saw it big because for the occasion, a barge exposing the beast road ability roamed the Seine during The event.
The brand\’s stand was not to be outdone, the Discovery Sport sat there in the middle of water splashed once every hour to attract the attention of the crowd of the entire hall a few moments, also history to remember The spirit of adventure that has animated the brand for almost 70 years now.
Unlike most of my colleagues, I will not dwell on the debate of succession (or not) of the late Freelander. For me, these are two vehicles with a very different philosophy. The Discovery Sport has much more in common with a Discovery (the bigger, the real!) Than with a Freelander, if only because of its family vocation.
His style is of course reminiscent of the Evoque , initiator of stylistic revival applied to the full range: optical tapered front, grille “honeycomb” no doubt about its origin. Despite a design almost unanimous (it is only a few minutes to observe the reactions of admirers on the passage of the machine), purists remain rather dubious about this new policy favoring design as the first imperative In the specifications. Do not the Land Rover become too “urban bubbles”? Are they still ready to climb the trees like their ancestors? That\’s what we\’re going to find out…
When the person Land Rover told me the color ( Silver Indus ), I said to myself “and presto, a bland configuration in addition to my list” already imagining myself driving a Discovery Sport based in the middle of Rest of the surrounding traffic … So to say that I was very pleasantly surprised when I discovered it thus. My test vehicle has in fact the ” Black Pack ” including as the name suggests many elements painted black: the grille, the inscription “Discovery”, the fog lights, side vents, the mirror caps And finally the 20-inch wheels. These are the ones that worry me the most, their color and their size are not conducive to the arduous practice of off-road, we will have to be vigilant …
The painting is beautiful (Mea Culpa). The term ” Indus Silver ” is in no way deserved. In the sun, while other so-called silver-colored cars reveal the limitations of their painting drawing much more towards the light gray, that of the Discovery Sport sparkles with a thousand lights and slices perfectly with the black body parts. As far as external configuration is concerned, it is therefore a faultless one, and the latter necessarily influences the appreciation of the general line. In front, it is almost copy / paste with the Evoque, although an effort has been made to make the line more round, less wild. In profile, the painted body-color junction between the rear windows adds a touch of dynamism to the whole, a phenomenon accentuated by the contrasting colored roof. The horizontal rib enhances the profile and gives an impression of robustness. The design of the latter is clear, precise, dynamic, no frills.
Finish by the stern. The first word that comes to my mind – as many of you think, of course – is “mastoc”. The huge rear lights show the same light signature that LED optics before. Add to that a rather small rear window (not as much as on the Evoque but all the same), an impressive rear spoiler and you get a SUV with aggressive design and rather flashy, what to seduce many Customers.
After such a demonstration of strength of the designers, one would be almost disappointed in discovering the cockpit. Capable of accommodating up to 7 people in a 5 2 configuration (probably named to immediately warn the customer of the tightness of the last two seats), the Discovery Sport is 30 cm longer than the Evoque, Makes the difference. You will travel to four or five in the greatest of comforts. Well done, the test model even has heated seats in the back as well as 5V sockets so that everyone can recharge their smartphone, something to delight your passengers. In spite of the 7 seats, it is well to four that you will travel the best, leaving to each passenger the space necessary to preserve its privacy and a volume of loading rather correct for the category Trunk reaches 479 liters in configuration 5 places). We nevertheless note a difference in finish with the Evoque which is positioned a notch above, especially in the choice of plastics to my taste far too present at this level of finish. Some brushed aluminum elements slicing history with the surrounding black and the trick is played. The glass roof (now become unavoidable) adds what it takes in luminosity.
The positioning of the various controls is successful, everything is in its place. The Discovery Sportvintage 2016 has the latest multimedia system Incontrol supposed to catch up with a few black spots precedent. We gain in legibility, the intuitive side has been perfectly respected, but how slow! The touch response times are just insane, not to mention the time it takes to establish a GPS route after entering a destination … So I just dropped the idea to connect my smartphone in Bluetooth . Luckily, the USB socket allows me to have access to my music …
All in all, the whole is rather sober, well laid out, but deserves some extra attention to the finish, especially at this price level.
For the next, sensitive souls abstain. I\’m a purist.
A Land, any SUV versatile it is, it must go in the mud without reluctance! So I put it to the test to verify if his coat of arms was not usurped … Does he deserve his letters of nobility? We will discover this step!
In order not to rush it from the beginning, but also to get used to its behavior and its different reactions on slippery terrain, nothing better than a muddy road with ruts between fields. J\’enclenche the famous ” Terrain Response ” whose operation has already been stated on these pages and obviously selects the “fashion mud and ruts .” The ground on which I am going to evolve is very wet and the ruts are particularly badly formed, sliding repeatedly in perspective, especially since I only have “summer” tires and not mixed tires. But Land Rover ensures that its vehicles can evolve without difficulty with all types of tires, the all-wheel drive taking care of the rest. Of course, I do not have either short box or manual differential lock as on the legendary Defender, everything is managed electronically. In any case, the use of the latter requires a certain know-how and many precautions of use. On the other hand, I can disable the ESP, which, on rough / slippery terrain, is mandatory to avoid any unintended reaction of the vehicle that you could not catch yourself. I progress at very reduced speed, the imperfections of the terrain are too much felt because of the large diameter rims, they will at least avoid me wanting to go too fast. I place myself in the ruts already traced on the ground but the latter become very irregular, the direction does not respond almost, I am the path traced on the ground without being able to disengage from it which can quickly prove to be dangerous. In a case like this, do not try to steer your wheels thoroughly! The ruts are comparable to rails on which you circulate and want to turn at all costs would only damage the mechanics. The best thing to do is to let the vehicle slow down, you can help it lightly with the brake pedal but in this case, the wheels equipped with summer tires are blocked and the inertia of the vehicle (even at low pace) Without you being able to control it.
My Discovery Sport manages to stop and I get rid of the ruts to place myself next door, the ground is soft but the grip is much better. The terrain improves and the ruts disappear to give way to a flat path with a thin layer of mud on top, the terrain dreamed of to play steering / counter-steering. I did not pray, the 4-wheel drive largely take over and I can slide the vehicle without risking a head to tail, the back hunting, the front is exactly where I want, simply exhilarating.
After learning about the reactions of the craft in a situation of loss of adhesion, I will be able to attack more dangerous obstacles. Not only to make off-road, a Land Rover bearing the name “Discovery”, also Sport it is, must cross. Direction the forest where the tracks will be a vague memory leaving room for a more wild environment. I start slowly with the crossing of a frontal obstacle. The Discovery Sport climbs without difficulty and despite the humidity of the mound, the wheels do not skate for a single moment. However, an element will soon handicap my progression: the exit angle. For neophytes, this is simply the maximum inclination of the downhill plane without damaging the rear bumper. Both exhaust outlets may rub and I prefer not to try the devil. Remember that the practice of all-terrain alone is strongly discouraged unless you know perfectly the terrain as well as your machine, which for me was not the case here. A reconnaissance of the terrain by the driver beforehand is therefore necessary in order to study the trajectory as well as possible and to identify possible traps such as stumps or stones that you would not have seen from the steering wheel. Add to that the presence of a comrade outside the vehicle, positioned so as to see it in profile, thus allowing you to better appreciate your angle of attack and exit.
Second obstacle, a hollow all that is most commonplace. Once again the humidity was present to complicate the task. A session 4 × 4 without getting stuck is not funny, fortunately, your servant is there to entertain you. I begin my descent without problem, the angle of the slope allows me to engulf in the hollow and come out without risk of rubbing an organ. It\’s going back in time. Despite all my efforts, the Discovery Sport is no longer able to progress and the right rear wheel slips, the summer tires are unfortunately reaching their limits. Needless to force, it would only aggravate the situation by digging a hole under my wheel which would immobilize me definitely. I therefore activate the reverse gear (never let your vehicle go down in freewheels), starts another trajectory and extirpates me without too much trouble of this new obstacle.
Finally, the ditch crossing, highly appreciated as often spectacular. To attack it in front would be madness, I do not have sufficient ground clearance. It is therefore at an angle that I begin the last test of this test course. As I expected, I can quickly lift one of the two rear wheels. Once again, my progression will stop there, the angle of attack does not allow me to go further. And it is in this situation that the Discovery Sport impressed me most …
I start the reverse and despite the front wheels partly pointed to the right and a rear wheel detached from the ground, the Land does not hesitate for a single moment and retreats net without skating once! Proof that the distribution of torque to the four-wheel drive (which you can follow live from the multimedia screen) has been done admirably.
The Discovery Sport thus deserves its letters of nobility and undoubtedly surpasses any competitor SUV in terms of crossing. It lacked only two things: tires adapted as well as a pneumatic suspension allowing to regulate the height of case for the perilous passages.
Few will be the buyers to use their Discovery Sport as I did. It is therefore on road that it has yet to prove itself. Well known for lovers of motor sports in the Paris region, the Cheuvreuse valley is full of roads mixing beautiful rectilinear portions between the fields with tight turns, the perfect field to test the agility of my SUV and its 4-cylinder 2.0 L Diesel of 180 hp. The least we can say is that it really is not for that. Despite handling more than exemplary, the Discovery Sport pitching in corners and you have to press hard on the middle pedal to slow the beast of more than 1.8 T ! Also, if I do not go in sequential mode and leaves the BVA 9 reports act itself, it gets tangled a little brushes and difficulty in finding the ideal ratio. Back on the highway is much better, couple on all floors, ubiquitous silence, everything would be perfect if the slightest imperfection of the road not being felt along my spine. The 20-inch wheels are superb, but strongly discouraged if your back sometimes plays tricks on you. Finally, do not be afraid if you plan to use it in town from time to time. The “Eco” mode actually reduces the consumption (if you adopt the correct driving of course) while the front and rear radars, the back-up camera and the blind spot alarm enable you to move without fear. For the more fortunate of you accustomed to large hotels valet mode ” Valet ” is available from the media reducing the access of the latter screen with simple commands needed to conduct pure, clever!
Everything has a price, and concerning my test vehicle not least … Available from € 34,000, the Discovery Sport TD4 HSE Luxury reached € 65,300 including options! So what do we get for that price? And well you have a top-of-the-range SUV very well equipped, with the look devastating, the finish rather satisfactory and including real abilities off-road see crossing. If this last point really matters, forget the competitors from across the Rhine and go!