“The cabin is finished in typical Land Rover kit with excellent materials and a mediocre infotainment system. That’s significant, because the Discovery Sport is the first vehicle to use Jaguar Land Rover’s brand-new and desperately needed replacement for the fussy and stubborn system we’ve complained about for years. The new InControl system uses an 8.0-inch touch screen that looks sharp, with more color and crisper graphics than the current offering. However, all it takes is a few taps to the screen to realize that the underlying software is still slow to react and occasionally unresponsive altogether.” -- Car and Driver
Land Rover's polished Discovery Sport is no Chelsea tractor
“We test a mid-ranking Sport rolling on 19 inch wheels; it looks good on first acquaintance, with a clear bloodline to cars such as the Evoque, which has been so successful for the coffers of Jaguar Land Rover in recent years.
“The two are related under the skin, too. The Sport uses Evoque running gear, with the same engine, transmission and Haldex centre coupling, controlled by the same Terrain Response system. Later in 2015 new inhouse Ingenium engines will arrive, but for now we test the single motor available, the familiar PSA-Ford-JLR turbodiesel.
“The 187 bhp [horsepower measured at the rear wheel, not at the engine] 2.2-litre diesel engine and nine-speed automatic gearbox are strong, mostly smooth and slick, the car riding well on the Icelandic test routes of our first drive. We’ve yet to drive the car in the UK and will update this Discovery Sport review with further updates in due course.
“We like the size, too; driving many full-size Land Rovers can feel a chore in modern Britain -- a Disco or Range Rover is too big for many roads and daily drives. While the new Discovery Sport is around 9cm longer than the outgoing Freelander 2, it’s also a few millimetres narrower and lower, and that helps it feel nimble and compact on the road.
“A Chelsea tractor, it is not.” -- Car magazine
“From our Reykjavik, Iceland, home base, we spent a day climbing icy hills, traversing snow-covered two tracks and yes, did the obligatory water crossing -- it wouldn't be a Land Rover driving experience without one. The weather alternated between brilliant sun and near white-out conditions. The Discovery sailed through it all. (Full disclosure -- it was on studded tires.) The Terrain Response settings -- General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts and Sand -- helped deal with it all, as did the 24 inches of wading depth and 9 inches of wheel travel.
“The engine felt strong, mostly smooth and pulled well through the rev range. Above 3000 rpm, it really felt stout. The 9-speed trans (16 pounds lighter than the Evoque's earlier 6-speed) felt smooth, though a bit slow to react. Using the paddles took care of any lag time.
“The car felt like the right size and was wieldy and predictable with quick, precise steering, while the front buckets felt fine after a full day at the helm.” -- Autoweek
“Our opening drive couldn’t fully answer enthusiast questions: Our Rover convoy was punked out with studded Pirelli winter tires, and they rarely touched dry pavement in this inhospitable clime. But racing back to Reykjavik on slippery roads, the Rover’s confident dynamics were still transmitted. Body motions are well managed, while brake-based torque vectoring aids turn-in and helps quell understeer. The Terrain Response system, along with its familiar settings for mud, snow and other conditions, is backed by all manner of tech controls to aid the driver in off-road or slippery conditions: hill descent, gradient, roll stability, dynamic stability, electronic traction, and engine drag torque.” -- Automobile magazine
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