September 5, 2014

Land Rover's Discovery Sport – it's not what you might first think

Yeeha! Here’s what we need – a more compact, more lithe version of the Land Rover Discovery, able to slip between trees in our typical forests and between rocks on the banks of our braided rivers. Good on you Land Ro … eh, what’s that? Oh. What’s really going on is that Land Rover has given the Disco name to what is basically a Freelander replacement. The Discovery Sport is similar to the Evoque under its body skin, has “five-plus-two” seating and, of course, lacks low-range gearing. Land Rover notes that its Terrain Response System has been “enhanced” and that the Sport is “extremely good” off-road, even compared with the Discovery 4. Perhaps that’s so, but it’s more likely to be fodder for the Tui billboard copywriters.

Being officially introduced in January and arriving in New Zealand next May, it’s 80mm longer than the Freelander at 4590mm and 15mm lower. At 1817kg it’s roughly the same weight as a Freelander and 800-900kg less than a Discovery 4. Interior space is said to be excellent thanks in part to a new multi-link suspension that eliminates the need for suspension towers. It’ll probably come Down Under with the 2.2 litre SD4 diesel, as also used by Peugeot-Citroën and Ford, with a nine-speed ZF automatic and maybe a six-speed manual gearbox. It will later get Jaguar-Land Rover’s new and more powerful ED4 diesel.

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