Tough and versatile, the Land Rover Discovery Sport was the replacement for the brand’s entry-level Freelander 2. And although not a common choice for a used car, if you are looking for a luxury SUV that can seat up to seven and comes with excellent off-road ability, the Discovery Sport should be on your shortlist.
Launched in September 2015, the Discovery Sport was offered in four trim levels – S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. A base ‘Pure’ trim later replaced the S trim.
Land Rover Discovery Sport powertrain
At launch, the Discovery Sport had just a single diesel engine on offer. The engine is a 2,179cc unit that comes in two states of tune – a TD4 version making 150hp and 400Nm on the S, SE and HSE variants; and a more powerful 190hp, SD4 version producing 420Nm available only on the top-spec HSE Luxury trim. Transmission duties are handled by a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Land Rover also added engine options to the SUV along the way, the first being a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor in 2016 and then JLR’s Ingenium family of petrol and diesel engines in 2018.
At launch, there was just one diesel engine available in two states of tune.
It’s worth going for the Ingenium engines given that they are newer and still in service. If budget is a concern, the base diesel should also do, but just note that it doesn’t have as much punch as the other engines. The petrols are well-suited to city life and the occasional highway trip, while the diesel is the one to go for if you’re going to do serious mile-munching.
Land Rover Discovery Sport features
As for features, the range-topping HSE Luxury came equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, 10-way powered front seats, dual-zone climate control, a 17-speaker Meridian Surround sound audio system, a rear-seat entertainment package and Park Assist, among others.
Furthermore, being a Land Rover, it comes with the carmaker’s famed Terrain Response with off-road modes like grass, gravel, snow, mud and sand. It can also wade through 600mm of water and comes with Hill Descent Control (HDC), Roll Stability Control (RSC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard. Safety equipment on the Discovery Sport includes seven airbags, ABS and Electronic Traction Control. Much like the engines, Land Rover also updated certain features and exterior bits of this SUV. In 2019, the Discovery Sport gained a new exterior styling package with the HSE Luxury trim and the updated InControl Touch Pro infotainment system.
It’s a well-proportioned and chunky SUV that has good road presence.
The SE and HSE trims are equipped well enough and, as such, most buyers wouldn’t have an issue with opting for these. You also save money over the HSE Luxury. However, if your budget permits, it is worth going for the Luxury. You get the higher-spec diesel engine and all the bells and whistles to go with it.
What makes the Discovery Sport a unique proposition is the fact that it can be had in a 5+2 seating arrangement, while all of its rivals like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 are five-seaters. Though it’s worth knowing that the third row is cramped and best reserved for kids only, or for very short journeys.
Also remember, Land Rovers aren’t the last word in reliability but they are built tough. So it is advisable to do a thorough check up and even a PDI if you can, as replacement parts and maintenance can get expensive. The service network isn’t as expansive as rivals, but you’ll be well catered to if you live in and around large cities.
What to look out for in a used Land Rover Discovery Sport?
The Discovery Sport is known to suffer from electrical gremlins, like infotainment system crashes, loss of exterior lighting, windows not operating, vehicle not locking/unlocking, electric seats not adjusting and more. So before buying, do a very thorough check of all electrical systems of the car, either yourself or by a trained technician.
Some owners have faced issues with the Discovery Sport’s suspension. On a test drive, listen for any rattling or knocking sounds coming from the suspension while driving on a bumpy road. This is a sign that the suspension is on its way out and this will be an expensive fix.
Also worth knowing
Over its production period, Land Rover issued a couple of recalls for the Discovery Sport globally to rectify certain issues. While most didn’t concern models in India, it’s still advisable to do some research on the model year you’re buying to know what could go wrong and how it can be fixed.
Used Discover Sport price and resale value
Demand for Discovery Sports in the used market isn’t high, so you can use that to your advantage and get a better deal. Regardless of the age, engine, seating configuration and variant, don’t spend over Rs 35 lakh and also take into account how much you’ll have to spend to maintain the SUV and lose on depreciation.