Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto-Trader
Ideal for families who love the great outdoors, and those who want to make the most of their precious downtime, this mid-sized SUV, offering up to seven seats, is a great blend of extraordinary off-roading capability and cool urban styling.
This new Disco Sport is a facelift of the previous model, rather than a brand new car, so the styling tweaks are few, but make quite a difference. There are dark, more contemporary lights at the rear, and bigger wheels plus a new face. But the chunky clamshell bonnet and boxy silhouette remain. Inside, the materials have a more upmarket feel, with soft plastics, leather, fabric and sustainable textiles on offer, including one seat covering that is made entirely from recycled materials.
There are some clever new tricks on this car. One is called Clearsight, and turns your rear-view mirror into a camera image of what’s behind. It means you can load the car up and still have a perfectly clear (in fact, better) view of what’s behind you via a camera mounted on the car’s roof. The second is the same system, mounted at the front, which essentially allows you to see straight through the bonnet to what’s beneath the front of the car. Designed primarily for off-roading, where you often lose sight of the track, it also works wonders round town for high kerbs and parking. One other new toy is the Advanced Tow Assist, which does the counter-steering for you when reversing a trailer.
There’s a new 10.25in “Touch Pro” infotainment system, with clever little pictures for each of the functions, which are smart and clear. You can choose to have two screens in the car, first seen in the plusher Range Rover Velar, with functions controlled via graphics under a smooth glass surface.
All the rear seats slide forwards and back and split as they fold, to make the most use of this versatile space. You can choose up to eight USB charging points for all over the car if you order the seven-seat version, and the third row also gets its own air-con controls and cup holders. Another option is the new “Click and Go” tablet holders for the second row of seats, which both hold and charge tablets at the same time, to keep your kids endlessly entertained.
There are more little storage spaces scattered throughout, too.
You can choose between 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines: all but the very base car come with automatic gearboxes and four-wheel drive. We took the 2.0-litre petrol car to the Land Rover Experience Centre situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Every Land Rover customer who buys a new or used car through a Land Rover dealership gets a trip to an experience centre included. We BEG you to take them up on their offer – it’s positively criminal to own a Land Rover and not see what it can do off-road. The experience centres send you round with a lovely instructor, up steep hills and down terrifying slippery slopes, through streams, over rolling tree trunks and sideways along slopes.
The Discovery Sport range starts at £31,575 but you’ll be wanting a few more creature comforts and all-wheel drive. So that means the P200 petrol engine, which has 200 horsepower and is a smooth overtaker. In SE trim, which is middle of the range, you’re looking at about £42,000. That seems pricy and may result in a monthly finance payment of about £500-£600, depending on deposit etc, but don’t forget this can carry seven, tow a horse and trailer and make short shrift of wet, slippery conditions. Just don’t forget to pick up your Land Rover Experience voucher at the same time – it’s a fantastic day out.