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2021 Family Car of the year: Toyota RAV4

By Carsguide Team

Published 1 June 2021

Toyota’s new RAV4 has been named 2019 CarsGuide Family Car of the Year.

According to CarsGuide’s FamilyGuide segment expert Nedahl Stelio, “The new RAV4 was hard to beat,”

“It brings leading safety, everyday practicality and comfort, and a variety of models including a variety of variants with near-seamless hybrid integration in either two or all-wheel drive, all for good value that Australian families are looking for,” she said.

Toyota’s RAV4 beat out competition over other SUVs and hatchbacks with new models on sale between September 1, 2018 and September 1, 2019.

Ms Stelio added, “The new RAV4 is a big improvement on the last model, but not only that, it feels good to drive, has all-important the boot space that’s so vital when you have a family and is cost efficient.

Finalists for the family car of the year included:

VW Touareg

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VW Touareg

Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

Kia Sorento

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Kia Sorento

How much does it cost and what features does it have?

The Discovery Sport S D150 lists for $62,450 before on-road costs.

The S D150 is the most affordable of all the Discovery Sports.

The “S” means it's an entry grade with the least amount of features and the “D150” tells you it has the least powerful engine.

That makes it sound terrible, doesn't it?

Discovery Sport S inside view

Truth is it's far from it, and the S D150 could be the smartest buy of the lot if you're prioritising value-for-money.

Coming standard is:

There are some options on this test car, the privacy glass is optional and costs $650; the black roof is, too, and is $920 and that's all fine, but annoyingly you'll have to pay $900 for keyless entry.

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Land Rover Discovery Sport

Complete guide to the Land Rover Discovery Sport

The Discovery Sport is one of the most affordable Land Rovers you can buy, but it comes with the style, luxury and off-road capability you would expect from this iconic British brand

See our complete guide for all the latest reviews, pricing, specs and comparisons.

This 10-inch screen is a standard feature.

It's easy to use and the wide-screen format looks stunning.

Also standard are these multi-function controls.

This one changes from temperature to fan speed.

And this one changes from temperature to the drive modes - including off-road settings.
The 'Leisure Activity Key' is also standard...
... but I call it a key bangle. It'll lock and unlock the car.

What about its looks?

Yes, this is the Discovery Sport.
It's littler than its big brother the Discovery.

Interior design

If you choose the entry grade of many car brands it normally means you’re not going to be given much in the way of a luxurious cabin, but that’s not the case with the S D150. Nearly everything you can see in the image below is either standard or a no-cost option.

Those seats with their Light Oyster grained leather upholstery are a no-cost option, but you can also choose from four other colours and textures.

The Fuji White trim on the dashboard and the doors won’t cost you a cent more, either, and if you’re not a fan of it there’s Narvick Black, too.

That leather upholstery extends all the way back into the third row. Actually, did you know that in most countries you need to pay more to have the Discovery Sport equipped with seven seats? In Australia the third row is standard with the list price of the car.

For an SUV which is at the more affordable end of the range the Discovery Sport S D150’s cabin is well appointed, modern and stylishly minimalistic in its design.

How practical is it?

The only thing I found impractical about the Discovery Sport was the colour of those leather seats.

Sure it looks like a beautiful layer of snow has softly fallen on your interior but if you have children, partake in travel snackery, or are wearing new blue jeans... then a darker colour is a safer bet.

Discovery Sport S inside view

Now let's talk space and storage inside because it's outstanding.

Up front there's a giant covered centre console bin, big enough for handbags or small backpacks, all doors have enormous pockets, there are six cup holders – two in the front, two in the second row and another pair in the third.

Discovery Sport S center console

For charging and media there's just one USB port up front, and two 12V sockets on board.

Ours had an optional wireless charger. It's good to see directional vents for all three rows, while the third row has a fan speed controller.

It's a Land Rover thing I know, but those window switches are too high. You feel like you're reaching up to a high shelf to get a coffee cup, just to put the window down.

Discovery Sport S window

Discovery Sport S with seats up Discovery Sport S with seats down

There's not much boot space with the third row up, but the back two seats fold flat to give you an impressive 754 litres of cargo space.

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The second row is excellent for legroom.
And there's more than enough head room for my high hair.

What safety features does it have?

The Discovery Sport was given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2014. That was a long time ago and minimum safety standards to achieve five stars have come a long way. That said, this SUV underwent a major update in 2019 and included in that was the addition of more advanced safety equipment.

Discovery Sport S steering wheel

Coming standard on the S D150 is high-speed AEB, lane keeping and blind spot assistance, plus adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

There's also front and rear parking sensors and a spectacularly clear reversing camera. My test car was fitted with the '360 Degree Surround Camera' which is $410 and allows you to see, not only behind you, but underneath the car, too.

For child seats you'll find two ISOFIX mounts and three top tether anchor points across the second row, while airbags cover the third row.

Discovery Sport S airbag

There's even a pedestrian airbag hiding in the bonnet which will deploy like an air mattress to cushion an impact.

Discovery Sport S airbag dummy

What's under the bonnet?

Well, D150 refers to the engine – it's a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel.

Making 110kW and 380Nm, it's the least powerful in the range.

Every Discovery Sport is all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic shifts gears.

What's it like to drive?

Skip on down if you like

but there's something you should know first like the fuel economy...

...and what went wrong.

Fuel economy

Land Rover says that after driving the Discovery Sport on a mix of open and urban roads the D150 four-cylinder turbo-diesel should have used 5.7L/100km. My own testing didn’t quite match that mileage from the manufacturer.

Discovery Sport S window

I started with a full tank of diesel and drove 314.6km using the Discovery Sport most likely how you will: there were school drop offs, dashes to the supermarket, and a trip a couple of hundred kilometres up the coast to stay with the grandparents. After this I filled the tank back to full - it needed 33.9 litres.

So, the fuel economy I achieved, if you could call it an achievement, was 10.8L/100km. Yup, almost double what Land Rover said I should get. Of course, fuel economy is affected by many things - how you drive, how heavy the vehicle is laden up, but it may also indicate that the vehicle is not performing properly.

What about ownership costs?

We're friends aren't we? Of course we are. So, I wouldn't be doing the right thing if I didn't tell you about what went wrong.

First the tailgate rattled when it shut.

Then after 435km the dashboard told me it had detected a gearbox fault.

Discovery Sport S steering odometer gerabox fault

Then I lost reverse gear... in the supermarket car park.

When I took it back to Land Rover the engine light came on.

Discovery Sport S check engine light

And then when I asked to borrow another Discovery Sport to see if it too had noisy front suspension... the door handle trim of that car came off in my hand.

Discovery Sport S door trim broken

Maybe it's just me?

If it makes you feel any better the Discovery Sport comes with 24-hour roadside assistance, although the three-year/100,000km warranty could be longer.

What's it like to drive?

It seemed the Discovery was doing everything it could to make me hate it.

But it was hard not to like it, a lot.

Not when it felt this good to drive.

The way it steers, rides and moves with you is superb.

All with that high driving position and great view from its big windows.

If I could drive the Discovery from the bed to the kitchen I would.

It's that easy to pilot.


OK, you might be feeling a bit confused about the Land Rover Discovery Sport S D150 now.

So, let's go through what it does well good and then the things that aren't so good.

First the good stuff.

There are the stylish looks from that prestigious exterior to that stunning, minimalist interior.

That cabin is also roomy and practical with seven seats which is not very common for a medium-sized SUV and good storage space.

The tech inside is also impressive with the wide screen and multi-function controls.

Finally, it's superb to pilot. This SUV is comfortable, easy to drive and more off-road capable than most of its rivals.

Now, the not so-good points.

My test car consumed a lot more diesel fuel than I'd expect from an SUV of this size - almost double what the manufacturer says it should use.

Then there's the warranty, which is years shorter than what many of the mainstream brands are offering.

And finally, there were the mechanical issues – the ignition fault. I'm hoping this is just an unlucky one-off fault with my test car. It's the first time this has happened on any Land Rover I've tested – and there have been many.

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Range and Specs

Vehicle Specs Price
P200 S (147KW) 2.0L, ULP, 9 SP AUTO $60,500
D150 R-Dynamic S (110KW) 2.0L, ULP, 9 SP AUTO $65,050
D240 HSE (177KW) 2.0L, ULP, CVT AUTO $79,700

Pricing Guides

Starts From


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

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Land Rover Discovery Sport

Expert Rating

7.3 / 10

The Land Rover Discovery Sport S D150 is practical, stylish, and great to drive on and off the road. You might find it's thirstier than you'd expect for mid-sized SUV with a diesel engine and that warranty is short, too.

What we don't

  • Short warranty
  • Thirstier than expected
  • Mechanical issues
  • Price and Features

  • Design

  • Practicality

  • Engine & Trans

  • Fuel Consumption

  • Ownership

  • Safety

  • Driving

See all Land Rover Discovery Sport Reviews