2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport Targets Lux CUVs with Off-Road Chops, Room for Seven
3 Septembre 2014 - Autoblog
Land Rover's latest product offensive has targeted the brand's high-end Range Rover line, with the eponymous fullsize model receiving rave reviews alongside critical acclaim for the midsize Sport and compact Evoque.
As we found when testing the LR4, that's left the standard Land Rover models in a particularly bad place, a fact that's doubly true when analyzing the entry-level Land Rover, the unloved LR2.
For 2015, Land Rover has finally turned its attentions to the LR2, wisely ditching the alpha-numeric nonsense and bestowing a new title on its entry level offering. Meet the Discovery Sport. Boasting seating for seven, a 240-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine, a nine-speed automatic and a sub-$40,000 starting price, Land Rover is hoping to do the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK what the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover did to the X5 and GL-Class.
But first, let's talk about the styling. Upon initial observation, the reactions among the Autoblog team were not positive. But, given some time to look at it and view it from a variety of angles, there are some nicer aspects of this design. Chief among them is the floating roof, which is accentuated by the way the C-pillar sort of disappears into the roofline. While it does look a bit like a swollen Evoque, LR has done a fair job of selling the Disco Sport as a larger, more passenger friendly offering by avoiding the chop-top greenhouse and delivering a more rounded rear-end. Both the nose and tail deviate from tradition by featuring "DISCOVERY" badging, rather than the traditional "LAND ROVER" adornments – something that we aren't super excited about, to be honest.
LR claims it invited families to its development center to analyze how they interact with the interiors of other automakers' offerings in an attempt to develop smarter ways of accessing third-row seats, connecting phones and iPods, and fitting car seats. The result is a cabin that boasts "stadium-style" seating, with a sliding and reclining second-row that sits two-inches higher than the front thrones and offer up a total of 39.8-inches of legroom, which is 2.4 inches more than an Audi Q5 and 4.7 more than a Mercedes GLK.
Despite Land Rover's luxurious reputation, it seems like it's trying to put some distance between the standard models and the Range Rover line, as the Disco Sport's interior looks a bit more utilitarian than even the Range Rover Evoque. Of course, we'll need to wait and see this in person before rendering a real verdict.
The heart of a Land Rover is its mechanicals and in the Disco Sport's case, that means the aforementioned 2.0T and nine-speed auto. In addition to its 240 hp, the engine also turns out 250 pound-feet of torque from just 1,750 rpm. The nine-speed auto has been developed by ZF and can also be found on the Range Rover Evoque.
Off road abilities should, naturally, be class leading, with 8.3 inches of ground travel, a breakover angle of 21 degrees and the ability to climb 45-degree gradients. Land Rover's well-received Terrain Response system manages the full-time all-wheel-drive system and its electronically controlled Haldex center differential.