Test Drive Land Rover Discovery SportSeptember 28, 2019
Updating with a platform upgrade is more like a generational change, but officially this is restyling to suit modern environmental trends.
According to the laws of the writing genre, the gun illuminated in the book must ultimately fire. A competent marketer can turn even a bottle of drinking water into a weapon: the container with the liquid in the interior of the test machine was not made from the usual glass or plastic, but from recycled paper, which, in turn, can be recycled and put into action. If it were an accident, during the presentation no one would have paid the attention of the audience to such a trifle.
Recycling materials is a trend today, and the latest transformations of Discovery Sport owe a lot to environmentalists. The original crossover was at the peak of form, and the circulation of the model has already exceeded 470 thousand copies, and this is by far the best indicator among Land Rover models. The economy of the product did not require urgent adjustments, but the introduction of more stringent methods for measuring the level of toxicity of WLTP forced British engineers to redesign the vehicle’s technology. And very thoroughly.
Formally, the model index (L550) has not changed, and externally Discovery Sport differs little from the former. The newcomer added 8 mm in length and became only 3 mm higher, the width and wheelbase of the model were saved. Other front bumpers with vertical slots, more expressive LED headlights, relying even on the basic version, like another pattern of the rear lights, pull no more than restyling. But at the same time, the new and old cars do not have a single common body part and, more importantly, different platforms.
Now at the heart of Discovery Sport is the same PTA architecture with integrated subframes and hybrid powertrain elements that previously appeared on the updated Range Rover Evoque. All cars, with the exception of the front-wheel drive 150-horsepower diesel version with a manual gearbox, received the MHEV appendage in the form of a belt starter-generator and a 48-volt battery. Such an add-on does not add power to the power units, but in a company with a modified 9-band automatic, it helps engines reduce toxicity and save fuel. And the release of a full-fledged hybrid modification of the PHEV with a three-cylinder engine and the possibility of recharging from the outlet is planned for next year.
If the options with front-wheel drive and a manual transmission really seem out of place here, then the hybrid versions of all degrees of softness are truly sorry. They also deprived us of the most powerful 240-horsepower diesel version. The bottom line is the family of 2-liter Ingenium engines: two diesel engines with a return of 150 and 180 liters. S., as well as a pair of gasoline “fours” with a capacity of 200 and 250 forces, respectively. The plus is that cars added about 5% in price, although hybrid modifications would have cost more.
How much more presentable the interior has become is evident not only in better decoration. The basic idea of effective minimalism is preserved, but the filling has become even more technological. In the arsenal of the new Discovery Sport, the Evoque steering wheel with small touchpads has also appeared. The options list includes a virtual dashboard Interactive Driver Display, as well as a ClearSight cabin mirror with the ability to broadcast streaming video, capable of “seeing through the hood” Ground View system.
Not to say that without these gadgets the operation of the crossover would be unbearable, but they are really convenient and easy to use. By pressing only one button on the separate climate control unit, you turn the right temperature controller into the mode selector of the Terrain Response all-wheel drive system. When ordering the Advanced Tow Assist package with the same washer, you can adjust the trajectory of the trailer when reversing. And of the relatively simple options, it is worth noting the tablet holders combined with the charging connectors.
A minimal increase in the length of the car did not make its interior significantly more spacious. Nevertheless, large adults behind are “not behind them,” and large families, as before, can order two additional folding chairs by five standard. Similar furniture is available in any of the complete sets.
But who doesn’t like a fast ride? During the presentation, company representatives constantly mentioned sportiness and counted the number of “horses” of top engines, but in reality the younger Discovery did not seem more energetic. Yes, thanks to a 13% increase in body stiffness, the new crossover is steered a little sharper, and 250 gasoline hp really pull vigorously, but in general this kit still does not burn. Slight excitement is caused only by noticeable lateral rolls during active cornering. And there is a feeling that the car can drive fast, but it doesn’t really like it.
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