With the 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport, the British SUV manufacturer brings three-row versatility to a smaller footprint than its hulking LR4/Discovery. Despite doing nearly everything as well as we’d expect from a Land Rover, the Discovery Sport – or Disco Sport, if you prefer – struggles in one of its most desirable attributes: hauling seven people comfortably.

Can it overcome this big shortcoming to earn our praise? Continue reading to find out.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport starts at an affordable-for-its-class $37,695 for the base SE trim. Because Land Rover caters to a haughtier clientele, we expect most buyers will head toward the midrange HSE trim, which starts from $42,195. At this price, the Discovery Sport comes standard with:

  • Xenon headlights with LED signatures
  • Front and rear fog lights
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Grained leather seats
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Power liftgate
  • Power front seats with memory
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque

Buyers looking for the full Land Rover experience – without moving to a Range Rover model, that is – can opt for the range-topping HSE Luxury trim for $46,595 and get features like an 11-speaker audio system, 19-inch wheels, Windsor leather seats, and mood lighting.

All Discovery Sports use a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission helps the Disco Sport return 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Being a Land Rover, four-wheel drive is standard.

Performance Pros

Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • Great blend of on-road manners and off-road capabilities.
  • Passing on the highway is no issue.
  • Tows up to 5,500 pounds, perfect for families who pull a medium-sized trailer or a boat.

Performance Cons

  • Premium fuel requirement can get expensive.
  • 20-mpg city rating hurts, too.
  • Nine-speed automatic lacks manners.
  • Sprint from 0-60 is not too impressive at 7.8 seconds.

Interior Pros

  • Very peaceful interior, even on rougher roads.
  • Plenty of roominess for five people.
  • Seating is very comfortable and supportive in all driving conditions.
  • Well-equipped from base trim to the top of the range.
  • The third row is a no-cost option.

Interior Cons

Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • The third row is tiny and thinly padded.
  • Not as premium-feeling as some of its competition – if that's a problem, consider the Range Rover Evoque.
  • Sixty cubic feet of maximum cargo room isn’t much in this type of vehicle.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Smaller crossovers, especially those with four-cylinder engines, rarely tow much. The Disco Sport, however, surprises us with its 4,400-pound towing capacity. This will give buyers the ability to tow a decent-sized trailer or boat with relative ease.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

It’s rare to see a third row in this class of crossover, so this may pique the interest of some buyers. We are sorely disappointed with just how poor these seats are. The leg room is tight, the seats are thinly padded, and there is only room for two people. In other words, the third row helps its case, but it's far from the main reason to buy a Disco Sport.

The Bottom Line

The Discovery Sport works for buyers looking for a great on- and off-road crossover with amazing ride quality, ample seating for five, and a whisper-quiet cabin. But if you regularly need that third row, go bigger. The Disco Sport's extra pair of seats, but its body is simply too small to truly take advantage of them.