Tested: Land-Rover Discovery Sport SE SD4

The happy lifestyle

Car brochures used to be highly technical. I know this because there’s a pack lying on my desk right now, one of which is from 1976 and dedicates an entire page to rear suspension geometry. Nobody’s interested in that nowadays, they just want to see “media streaming” in big, thin letters over a photo of a laughing driver.

This isn’t a complaint, merely an observation. Almost every manufacturer publishes decent specifications but their brochures have become simplified pieces of art designed to (and I quote) sell the sizzle, not the steak. Land Rover’s online brochure is no different, replete with laughing driver images.

The steak in question is the brand-new Discovery Sport, taking over from the slightly drab Freelander by borrowing the Evoque’s make-up kit. Although it’s a handsome machine, this author mourns the loss of the Freelander’s (more practical) boxy shape and disapproves of the modern, one-size-fits-all design trend.

Disco Sport’s interior is guilty of the same thing as it borrows a lot of gear from other LR products. The dials are straight off an Evoque while the steering wheel and new infotainment system are shared with Jags and other Landies. In a positive light, this aids consistency and saves costs (for the factory AND client).

This evolving of their range is how Land Rover aims to give vehicles with green ovals the best chance of catching some new, stylish, adventure-loving urbanites. You know the type. Your neighbours, friends, colleagues, family and you; basically anybody who leads an active life with skinny writing above their heads.

The new Discovery Sport certainly has the right ingredients…

The new Discovery Sport certainly has the right ingredients to master city commuting and desert exploring with equal aplomb. Using the in-house four-cylinder turbo-petrol (Si4) or turbo-diesel (SD4) engines with a more intelligent Terrain Response system, our SD4 press demonstrator never put a wheel wrong.

First gear (of nine!) is rather short which can translate into snappy reactions from the lively engine. Other than that, city driving offers smooth gear changes and a relatively comfortable ride, as well as decent fuel consumption. Land Rover claims 6.3L/100km, we averaged about eight to nine.

The updated 8-inch touchy-feely audio and info screen is far easier to use than its predecessor although most testers noted that sound quality wasn’t great (in this SE spec) and what lacking bass there was rattled the doors. Cool urbanites will love the Bluetooth and multiple media inputs, though.

Our photo-shoot location was at the end of a bumpy farm road with small ditches; which the car laughed at. More challenging was a short beach sortie where we simply selected “Sand” from the pre-set menu. Not only did the Disco Sport sail around effortlessly, it also reversed up a small dune without fuss.

Bad points? The most obvious would be its price which is dictated by the strong British Pound. Correction: it’s being pummeled by the free-falling Rand. Prices currently stand at about N$600,000 for the entry-level Pure model and go through this SE (N$675,000) over HSE (N$735,000) to the Luxury model for N$775,000.

The base model may lack leather and cruise control but still features Terrain Response and all important safety aids, this SE model adds those luxuries (plus climate control, navigation and parking assistants) while the top two cars spoil you with Xenon lights, keyless entry, better audio and luxury leather.

If you’re in the market for a capable family SUV and this Landy tickles your fancy, I suggest striking sooner than later due to our exchange rate. I’m also happy to report that you can pick a cheaper model and simply add any individual extras to create the car that suits your active, smiling, brochure-ready lifestyle.



0-10km/h: 0,64 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,10 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,61 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,26 seconds
0-50km/h: 3,19 seconds
0-60km/h: 4,01 seconds
0-70km/h: 5,00 seconds
0-80km/h: 6,25 seconds
0-90km/h: 7,54 seconds
0-100km/h: 9,04 seconds
0-110km/h: 10,98 seconds
0-120km/h: 12,87 seconds
0-130km/h: 15,16 seconds
0-140km/h: 17,95 seconds

0-100m: 7,07 seconds @ 86,52km/h
0-200m: 10,72 seconds @ 108,42km/h
0-300m: 13,81 seconds @ 124,41km/h
0-400m: 16,58 seconds @ 135,27km/h

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0.64G

Altitude: 64m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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