Reviews

2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Walk Around


You have to squint to find traditional Land Rover design cues. It’s not boxy and angular any more. The Discovery Sport doesn’t fully commit to the soft crossover look, but the sculpting is smooth and not chiseled. It adds Land Rover ruggedness. It looks rakish from the side. It’s all about the stance. The wheels are big for the body, so the Sport looks planted.

The thin strips of honeycomb grille, clamshell hood, skid plates, short overhangs, and keyed headlamps say Range Rover. The roofline pulls over the rear pillars in an athletic manner, ending at a stubby tailgate spoiler as it does. If North Face designed cars, they would look like this.

Interior

The Discovery Sport is business-like in the cabin, its horizontal dash and vertical centerstack meeting with the rigidity of a T-square. It’s not stark, however, but rather an elegant contrast to the contemporary exterior. Soft-touch surfaces abound, especially on the knobs and dials, and the rotary shift controller, rising from the piano-black center console upon startup, is a nice centerpiece. Climate control knobs are from Jaguar. There’s plenty of hard plastic, but it’s mostly hidden away where it doesn’t matter as much.

Graphics on the optional 10.2-inch infotainment screen are really nice, but the option requires adding a number of other features that shoot the price still higher. There’s a USB charging port for every passenger, including in the third row.

Thanks to the high seating position and thin pillars, the forward visibility is excellent. Not so the rearward visibility when the third row is deployed. But that’s normal, and it comes with a rearview camera for improved safety when backing up.

There’s good space in the first two rows, and the second row sits higher than the first, for good passenger visibility through the windshield, part of the Land Rover identity. The second row also reclines, and slides on a 6.3-inch track, allowing for lots of leg room.

The optional third row very small and poorly padded. It folds up from the cargo floor and has an even higher seating position than the second row, great for kids but it puts adults’ knees into their chins. So forget it, for adults. Families needing a third row should look to the Discovery, not the Sport, but it is there for the rare need.

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