The compact crossover with guts, the Discovery Sport retains much of Land Rover's trademark capability, and yet is plenty practical for everyday duty. You also get a level of interior craftsmanship that rivals many larger, more expensive luxury vehicles.
What's New for 2016
A newly optional third row boosts seating capacity to seven. Land Rover's telematics and remote access system is now standard on all models.
Choosing Your Land Rover Discovery Sport
While the Discovery Sport isn't intended for heavy-duty boulder bashing, it's far more comfortable in the wild than key competitors. All-wheel drive comes standard, of course, along with Land Rover's advanced Terrain Response system, which optimizes vehicle performance for different driver-selected surface characteristics.
As expected, the standard cabin seats five, but you can order up a third row for seven-passenger seating, a rarity in this class. Cargo space is average at 60 cubic feet, but feels like more thanks to the Sport's efficiently boxy rear.
Every model gets a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is also standard. The Discovery Sport can pull loads up to 4,400 pounds, well above average for a crossover of this size.
The Sport is available in three trim levels:
Both HSE and HSE Lux can get a Vision Assist package with adaptive headlamps, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera system. Also available on these trims is a Driver Assist Plus package, which adds front collision alert with automatic braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and (for the HSE) navigation. An automated parking system can be added as well.
All models are eligible for a Climate Comfort package with heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated windshield, and (for HSE and HSE Lux) ventilated front seats. The Black Design package adds 19- or 20-inch black wheels and a variety black exterior trim components.
Unless your children are small and stay that way, the optional third row ($1,750) isn't very useful. For all its virtues, the Discovery Sport is not to be confused with legitimate seven-passenger vehicles, which is why Land Rover accurately refers to it as a "5 + 2" crossover.