The Land Rover Discovery Sport has been given a major overhaul with a range of new petrol-electric hybrid powertrains and an updated interior.
Having been on sale for five years, the firm’s best-selling model was starting to feel its age in the face of stiff competition from premium rivals such as the Volvo XC60, and even more mainstream brands such as Skoda with the Kodiaq.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport has also been heavily criticised for quality and reliability issues, with an extensive catalogue of problems since it was launched. In multiple reliability surveys, it has regularly been regarded as one of the least-reliable new cars on sale.
At the heart of the Discovery Sport’s extensive refresh is the move to Land Rover’s new vehicle platform, which also underpins the second-generation Range Rover Evoque.
This opens up new powertrain possibilities for the Discovery Sport, and as such, it also shares the Evoque’s 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) system. This is fitted as standard to all vehicles with an automatic transmission, although is not fitted to manual models. It uses an electric generator and small battery pack that can harvest and store energy under deceleration, then deploy it under acceleration to aid the internal combustion engine and improve fuel economy and emission figures.
At launch, there are three 2.0-litre diesel engine options and two 2.0-litre petrol units, all offered with all-wheel drive and automatic transmissions. An entry-level diesel is also available with front-wheel drive and a manual transmission. A petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will join the range later in 2019.
Exterior styling changes are relatively subtle, but inside there’s been a more extensive overhaul. The Discovery Sport gets Jaguar Land Rover’s latest ten-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Rawdon Glover, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: “Discovery Sport has been a stunning sales success for Land Rover, leading the way for the past three years and selling almost 100,000 models in the UK to date.
“The new model combines everything the Discovery family of vehicles embodies with a greater focus on modern life – whether through the new electrified 48-volt MHEV or PHEV powertrains, the latest technologies that keep you connected at all times, or the durable materials used throughout the cabin.
“The result is a compact seven-seat SUV that caters for every family, in every eventuality.”
The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is available to order now with four standard trim options as well as four variations of the sportier, higher-specified R-Dynamic trim. Prices start from £31,575 and go up to £49,675 for the top-spec, highest-output diesel option.