2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport: The start of something new
Sometimes you don't need to climb a mountain.
You don't need a massive car and you don't need.
Utmost exquisite luxury.
Sometimes you need a motor that you know hack a field or two so you don't mind getting muddy, that's practical, and Land Rover has made just that car: the new Discovery Sport.
Discovery isn't a single care anymore, it's a whole sub-brand, one of Land Rover's three pillars.
Luxury for Range Rovers, Discovery is leisure, and Defender cars are dual purpose, which means something.
It's probably Land Rover speak for everyone.
The Disco brand is about to be a thing, like the Range Rover.
There was once a time when there were only three Land Rover products, the Range Rover, the Discovery and the Defender.
Then the Friedlander came along and softened it up a little bit.
But then the Range Roger Sport happened and that was followed by the Evoke and they worked very, very well.
People liked them so, Land Rover split it's deck.
This is the first of a whole family of Discovery vehicles.
And in the fullness of time, there will be a whole host of defenders, as well, for the super hardcore.
The Discovery Sport is a looker, there's no doubt about that.
It's easily identifiable as a landrover vehicle.
Yet, not one.
From the old days how it makes the big Discovery look positively antiquated which considering it's a fairly similar basic car then we've had since 2003 that's not much of a surprise.
The Sport is the first official Discovery offshoot, though it does replace the Freelander, which was really a softer, smaller, more family and wallet friendly Land Rover product.
Still good off road, but not as good as the proper cars.
The Freelander often felt like a poor relation to the rest of the Land Rover family.
Be that fair or not, it did, whereas the discovery sport feels a lot more grown up.
Very well screwed together.
Everything's big and chunky.
And it's got land rover's new touch screen entertainment thing.
Which is a blessed relief because it brings technology you feel actually belongs in a car like this.
The old one was, frankly, awful.
To move the game on a little further, Land Rover will allegedly slinging a bunch of Ingenium engines under the hood.
They're super green and super great.
But from launch, well, they're not here.
If you want one of these before anyone else, you'll have to put up with the tried and tested 2.2 liter diesel, found in a variety of Jaguar Land Rover products.
You'll get 46 mpg.
If you're good.
Usually at this point in a video I say well what's it actually like to drive?
But considering we're in Iceland where there's changeable weather, mostly snow, and I'm on studded tires, none is really gonna relate to the real world but lesson to be nice.
Course but here's what's it's like to drive thus far.
Here's what we can ascertain.
The four wheel drive system absolutely works.
I can vouch for the snow setting, on this car because we're in snow and I've not fallen of yet, but that might also be mostly.
Because of the studded tires.
Amazing amounts of grip.
The gearbox, we have the nine speed ZS gearbox and it is brilliant.
You can't really tell when it's changing gear, it just does its thing.
But nine ratios, I don't think we've been out of third because we haven't been going at great speed.
First gear is reserved for rock.
Crawling, and off-roady things that you would conceivably do with a Discovery Sport.
Nine times out of ten you'll start off in second gear in town.
That's smart, and the engine, the 2.2 tried tested proven it's really very good.
Not to 60 with this gear box, takes a little longer than nine seconds.
Its top speed is 117 miles an hour.
Inside, you know what?
It feels like I'm very well put together bit of kit.
Everything is big and chunky, which means you can use it when you've got gloves on.
That's clever thinking from a company that wants you to use these things in extreme situations.
That's quite clever.
Everything in here works.
You can tell this ia product designed with stuff like this in mind.
Because it's taken everything we've thrown at it.
If the car could drive itself it probably would and it would be 1000 times better than I am.
Offroading, you just throw these things at anything and then we do it.
I mean, this won't go as far as say a Range Rover, full fat big boy, or a Defender, but it's still pretty chuffing good, and this is going through several feet of snow, and just shrugged it of like this is fine I am a Land Rover.
Landrover I can do that.
And often you look at cars in this segment, cars of this size, so this is up against, what, the Audi T5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60.
You look at them and you think alright it's got four wheel drive and it will do X Y Z and they say it'll climb up a mountain or it will forge a river and you think alright it might do that.
But it never will actually do it.
Whereas you look at one of these, and you think, all right Land Rover says it can do that.
I actually believe it will.
And maybe some of the people that buy these things will use it for that.
99% of these will be seen in the Waitrose car park.
I can almost guarantee it.
But if there's a blizzard on the way to Waitrose.
Who's gonna get there?
The Q5 or the Discovery Sport?
In the UK at least, it's 5 plus 2 seats, you can seat two in the boot if you need to.
I think it's optional elsewhere in the world, but it feels really large.
And if you look at it from certain angles, you see it's, it's quite rear heavy, it's quite a long car, it's more station wagony than SUVish, I suppose, for our American friends.
Shortly before we came out here to drive this, Land Rover managed to achieve a five star Euro NCAP rating.
Not only that, but I'm told by Land Rover sources.
Horse, but this is the safest of all of the cars in its class, including a Volvo.
So the Freelander's gone and now the name on the nose of your chosen Landy, means that you're into luxury, leisure, or dual-purpose.
And this is the first new car to enter the leisure side of things.
It's also quite a big deal.
Because where there's a sport, others will follow.
I don't know where there'll be room for another discovery, but I place good money that there will be one and there'll be a handful of descenders as well.
Basically Land Rover will be able to provide you with a product at any price point that suits you that will go as off road as you want it.
Here's a thought though.
Owning a Land Rover product, in the U.K. at least, has always been something of a point of pride.
Will filling every conceivable SUV niche take any of that away.
Jaguar Land Rover is doing very well.
More and more people want the fruits of it's labor.
But is aggressive expansion going to create more demand.
Or cheapen the rest.
I'll leave that to you to decide.
So then, this is the start of the Discovery Revolution, the new Discovery Sport where it looks good, it drives well.
I really like it.
I have a sneaking suspicion these are going to sell well all over the world.
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