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CAPE TOWN – A spin-off of the Land Rover Freelander, which was cancelled after two seasons, the Discovery Sport was introduced in 2015. Boasting fresh tech and the brand’s go-anywhere appeal, the first generation was also tasked with addressing concerns consumers had with the quality issues of the car it replaced. The Whitley-based firm has now given its Discovery Sport a comprehensive update. At the local launch, we sampled the D180-badged, turbodiesel derivative in R-Dynamic HSE guise over various types of terrain during a trip to the picturesque Riebeek Valley.

As is the custom, design cues from the fifth-generation Discovery have been carried over to the midsize SUV. The most notable of these are the revised LED head- and taillamps and the bumpers. Viewed from the front, the updated Discovery Sport (seen here in an optional Namib Orange hue with black contrast roof) looks a near spitting image of its bigger sibling. Those with a keen eye might notice some new details, such as the Discovery denomination above the front wheel arches.

The leather-trimmed interior is a highlight. Perceived build quality is sound, with myriad soft-touch and rubber-lined surfaces. The door pockets, although plastic, feel solid. The door pulls in this particular unit did, however, wiggle when tugged. Land Rover’s Touch Pro system is simple to navigate, while the dual-zone climate control and Terrain Response 2, replete with an auto function, are operated via a (fingerprint- and dust-collecting) gloss black touch panel sited below the 10,25-inch infotainment display. Land Rover has, however, not completely done away with analogue items. Sited within easy reach of the driver, the right-hand dial is used to adjust temperature and select the desired off-road function. Land Rover’s ClearSight rear-view mirror and ground-view tech are on offer. The electrically adjustable driver’s pew is comfortable, giving those behind the pleasingly thin-rimmed steering wheel a commanding view over the clamshell bonnet.

The most significant update, however, is that the Discovery Sport is now underpinned by Jaguar Land Rover’s Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), which is some 13 percent stiffer than the platform of the previous model. Uprated McPherson struts (now with hydrobush tech) fore do a commendable job at reducing wheel vibration, while the integral link arrangement aft has improved handling and, thanks to its compact dimensions, frees up additional boot space. Even running on these 21-inch alloys, wrapped in 45-profile rubber, the ride is pliant and road noise is kept to a minimum. The cabin is well insulated but for faint wind flutter that becomes apparent round the A-pillars when driving at the national limit. The steering, although some might find it on the heavier side, suits the midsize SUV. It feels like you are driving something substantial.

Coupled with a nine-speed self-shifter, the 2,0-litre Ingenium mill is smooth in its workings, sending 132 kW and 430 N.m (the latter on offer from 1 500-3 000 r/min) to all four corners. The stop-start sytem is seamless. Turbo lag was, however, present when swift overtaking was required. At cruising speeds, the rear axle is disengaged and drive is sent solely to the front wheels to improve fuel consumption. Once a loss of traction is detected, an active torque vectoring system reconnects the rear in a claimed four-tenths of a second.

Breakfast at dawn was followed by some brief off-roading on a local wine and olive farm. It is a Land Rover after all. Terrain response set to auto, the SUV was in charge. Only a subtle tilt of the steering wheel here and there was required from the driver when hill descent control was activated. The 212 mm of ground clearance is sufficient. And ascent/descent gradient is rated at 45°, while Land Rover claims a wading depth of 600 mm. A two-wheel balancing act showcased the traction control’s competency, directing torque to the right-front and left-rear wheels; the system is effortless. The Discovery Sport covered in an appropriate layer of dirt, we made our way back to the Mother City.

Arguably, the Discovery Sport is a Land Rover rarely in need of a proper scrub; relegated to town-driving and the odd spot of gravel. Overall, it's a solid SUV, capable of transporting five adults and two smaller passengers (three Isofix anchorages are included) in comfort. However, take the roads less travelled and you'll likely be surprised by its capability. Thoroughly updated, the latest Discovery Sport is less a spin-off of the Freelander and more a stand-alone production in the Discovery franchise. 

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Optional
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Driver knee airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 7
  • Lane departure warning: lane keeping assist
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Standard
  • Attention assist rest assist break alert: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • Electric child proof safety lock switch: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear + front passenger
  • Directional turning headlights: opt matrix LED
  • Adaptive headlights varying light distribution: opt matrix LED
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: emergency-brake flashing hazard lights
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Engine auto Stop Start idle stop ecostop: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Electronically adjustable suspension: opt adaptive
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Optional
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: adaptive
  • Active adaptive cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • TV television: Optional
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear
  • Central locking: keyless (opt activity key)
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: std (opt activity key)
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: std + rear-view camera mirror
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Auto dimexterior mirrors: driver
  • Sun roof: opt fixed panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: opt fixed
  • Memory for electric seat adjustment: front
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: LED
  • Highbeam assist: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Towbar trailer hitch: opt detachable / opt electric detachable
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: diesel
  • Fuel range average: 1121 km
  • Driven wheels: all
  • Driven wheels quantity: 4
  • Gearratios quantity: 9
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Gear shift paddles: Standard
  • Electromechanical parking brake: Standard
  • Front tyres: 245/40 R20 (opt 245/45 R21)
  • Reartyres: 245/40 R20 (opt 245/45 R21)
  • Length: 4597 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 2069-2173 mm
  • Height: 1727 mm
  • Wheel base: 2741 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 11.8 m
  • Approach angle: 22.8
  • Break over ramp angle: 20.6
  • Departure angle: 28.2
  • Wading/fording (water crossing) depth: 600
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1873 DIN / 1948 EU kg
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2590 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 2500
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 65l
  • Fuel consumption average: 5.8 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 152g/km
  • Power maximum: 132 kW
  • Power maximum total: 132 kW
  • Power peak revs: 4000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 70.5 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 430 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 1750-2500 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 430 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 230 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 9.7s
  • Maximum top speed: 202 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1999 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0TD
  • Engine + detail: 2.0 turbo diesel
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Variable camvalve timing: Standard
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 5
  • Warranty distance (km): 100000 km
  • Maintenance plan: Standard
  • Maintenance plan time (years): 5
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service interval indicator: Standard
  • Service interval (distance): 26000 km
  • Service interval (time): 1
  • Brand: Land Rover
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 35035485
  • MMVariant: DISCOVERY SPORT 2.0D HSE R-DYNAMIC (D180)
  • MMintrodat: 2019-09-03
  • Introdate: 2020-01-22
  • DuoportarecordID: LandDisS1Fe5

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Used Discovery Sport D180 R-Dynamic HSE availbale from the following auto dealer:
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