2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

Discovery Sport

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2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview

Rugged and sleek, family-friendly and terrain-taming, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport claims an ancestry that tamed rivers, deserts, and jungles from Africa to Asia--but this compact crossover feels at home on highways all over the world as well. With the ascendancy of fuel-efficient powerplants, demands for state-of-the-art technology and communications, and swoopier profiles, Land Rover decided, in 2014, to revise its Discovery Series II SUVs. Hence the introduction of the 5-seat Discovery Sport, the smallest vehicle in the automaker's lineup.

Riding on Land Rover’s tough LR-MS platform, the 2017 Discovery Sport comes in 3 trims: the SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury. All trims offer 2 rows of seating, with a third-row (suitable only for small children) available as an option. Look for the second-row seats to recline and adjust back and forth for some extra legroom.

Since its 2015 debut, the Discovery Sport has added upgrades to Rover’s InControl infotainment and telematics, a Black Design exterior enhancement package featuring a black exterior and gloss black 19- or 20-inch wheels, and remote engine start. For 2017, expect all trims to feature more smartphone apps and an optional 10.2-inch touchscreen in place of the standard 8-inch display for the InControl system. The SE gets a new cabin air quality sensor for 2017, along with Land Rover’s All Terrain Progress Control, which combines low-speed cruise control and descent control for off-roading. Look for the HSE to come with standard front parking sensors and a foot-operated rear-power liftgate next year, while the HSE Luxury is slated to carry new diamond-finish 19-inch wheels and an 11-speaker 380-watt Meridian premium audio system as standard equipment.

An available Dynamic Design package, which builds on the currently optional Black Design package, is scheduled to be available on the HSE and HSE Luxury for 2017 and offers some slight revisions to the front and rear bumpers, integrated tailpipes, and leather upholstery with contrast stitching. And four new exterior paint colors, Silicon Silver, Farallon Black, Carpathian Grey, and Aruba, are also scheduled for next year’s lineup.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) is the only powerplant available for the Discovery Sport stable. Combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission, the force-fed I4 puts out 240 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, with mileage numbers coming in at 20 mpg city/26 highway/22 combined. Rover’s Terrain Response system is part of the standard full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) aboard all Discovery Sport trims. This feature includes selectable settings for General (ordinary driving conditions), Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand and automatically adjusts acceleration, braking, gear selection, and stability control functions to suit particular surface conditions, making the Discovery Sport surprisingly adept off road. There’s also an Eco mode that adjusts throttle, shifting, and climate-control functions for maximum fuel efficiency. One track test has the current Discovery Sport going from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds, a little slower than most class rivals.

While this downsized Rover’s cabin is appealing enough, with comfortable leather-trimmed front and second-row seats and automatic climate control, it doesn’t measure up to the competition, even with 60 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

Inside, the 2017 Discovery Sport boasts a rotary-dial shifter that rises out of the console when the engine is switched on, along with a configurable 5-inch driver information display. And the upgraded InControl infotainment uses a high-performance Intel Quad-core computing and graphics processor mated with a solid-state drive (SSD) to offer one of the more intuitive systems available.

Premium standard touches include power-folding mirrors and a 10-speaker Meridian stereo packing 190 watts on all trims, with the HSE adding standard 10-way power-adjustable front seats, memory for driver settings, a panoramic sunroof, and remote engine start. The HSE Luxury features all of the above along with standard GPS navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, ambient cabin lighting in various colors, and full leather upholstery.

Additional options for the current Discovery Sport trims include a 16-speaker Meridian audio system boasting 825 watts and a Cold Climate Package with heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a heated windshield.

Standard safety equipment on all variations is expected to include antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head curtain airbags, daytime running lights, InControl emergency alerts and communications, a post-collision safety system, a rear-view camera, and rear parking sensors. The HSE and HSE Luxury feature standard front and rear parking sensors, with the HSE Luxury also sporting a standard head-up windshield display.

Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alerts, and forward-collision alerts with automatic collision-mitigation braking are again available, and safety options like lane-keeping assist and a driver-alert system that uses chimes and flashing messages on the InControl touchscreen to alert drowsy drivers are new for 2017. Also new is the Automatic Speed-Limit Limiter, which, when activated, reads traffic signs to automatically adjust your speed to posted limits.

Curiously, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have no current crash-test data for the Discovery Sport.

Expect the 2017 Discovery Sport, with a base MSRP of $37,695, to be challenged by Acura’s RDX ($35,570), Audi’s Q5 ($46,925), BMW’s X3 ($48,895), and Volvo’s XC60 ($47,205) in the luxury crossover market.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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