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Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 review: SE Si4


Presenting the Land Rover you can get for $60,255 (before on-road costs). It’s the Discovery Sport, a five-seater SUV that competes with cars like the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3, but unlike those cars, can be optioned up to a seven-seater should you so desire. 

It’s features punch well above its price level but do remember the extras for a Land Rover can be extensive, so you probably won’t end up paying $60K. You’ll only have yourself to blame for that, though. 

I tested the Discovery Sport SE Si4, bottom of the range in petrol, for seven days over the summer holidays when we were driving all over Sydney to various beaches, here’s how it performed with my family of four. 

How does it look?

The exterior is outstanding. It’s not a large SUV, this one actually looks quite compact for the amount of space it has inside. The front grille has just the right blend of rugged and stylish. It’s clean design and sleek lines give the car a sophisticated finish. 

The car I drove had Land Rover’s two-tone colour scheme with the roof in black, but that's an extra and will cost $970. Still, I think the exterior makes the car look far more expensive than it actually is.

The exterior is outstanding, especially with Land Rover’s two-tone colour scheme. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The exterior is outstanding, especially with Land Rover’s two-tone colour scheme. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

The interior however, is on the basic end of luxe, in that everything looks polished and extremely well finished, but there are no dazzling bits of design to make you go ‘ah’ when you open the doors. 

There’s a matt black finish around the centre console area that will wear well and won’t show up dirty fingerprints, and if you close the panel on top of the cupholders it has a high-shine finish, but apart from that everything is quite subdued. A bit of ‘you get what you pay for’, really.

The interior is on the basic end of luxe with a matte black finish around the centre console. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The interior is on the basic end of luxe with a matte black finish around the centre console. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

As standard you’ll get perforated leather seats which look great and are comfortable to sit in with 10-way power operated front seat adjustment, and an ultra-smooth leather steering wheel that feels fabulous to drive with all day. 

You can option up from there to 12-way power operated front seats (but I’m not sure the extra two ways are worth the $1130 it costs), and heated front and rear seats will set you back $1310.

A clearly visible head-up display in the windscreen costs an extra $1590, or you could just live with the dashboard which is partly digital and looks quite swish, for nothing. 

Still, it’s hard to complain about this interior, you certainly don’t feel hard done by as everything is functional and looks good. 

How does it drive?

Here’s where the Discovery Sport shines because the engine is powerful (2.0-litre turbo) and also smooth.

It doesn’t feel heavy at all but speeds up so quickly you’ll have to keep an eye on your speed as I found that if I didn’t watch it, I could easily be doing more than the speed limit without realising. 

The smooth 2.0-litre turbo offers plenty of power. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The smooth 2.0-litre turbo offers plenty of power. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

I found myself coasting along highways and zooming up hills, and the car gives an immediate surge of power if you want to overtake. 

It has 4WD capabilities, which is getting rarer in this category, and means you’ll be able to take it off-road

Visibility is good out of all windows and parking is relatively easy for a car this size. The steering wheel turns easily and it’s not a workout to squeeze into tight parks, plus there’s a high-def reverse parking camera to help you out. 

How spacious is it?

The interior feels breezy, whether you’re sitting in the front or back. Legroom and headroom are great in the front, even if you’re tall and there is so much space in the back seats. The rear seats can actually move forward and back, depending on how much space you need in the boot, to give either section more room. So it’s customisable depending on your needs for that day. 

  • The interior feels breezy, whether you’re sitting in the front or back. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The interior feels breezy, whether you’re sitting in the front or back. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • There's so much space in the back with the seats able to move forward and back. (image credit: Dean McCartney) There's so much space in the back with the seats able to move forward and back. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

Boot space is also excellent, with enough room to fit a pram, groceries or sporting equipment. At 981 litres (which is likely to be measured up to the roof), it’s plenty of room for a growing family (and the boot will also house two seats if you choose to option them in, for $2100). 

Boot space is also excellent, at 981 litres. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Boot space is also excellent, at 981 litres. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How easy is it to use every day?

Things like a full-size spare tyre (another growing rarity in this category) make all the difference if you like long distance road trips. There are two cupholders in the front, two in the back, a decent sized centre storage bin, a spot to throw your phone in the front and quite large storage in each door, complete with a section for large bottles. 

Rear passengers get their own air vents which are on the edges of each side, rather than in the centre, and were certainly appreciated by the kids when driven for two hours in 37-degree heat.  

The Discovery Sport has Land Rover’s signature circular gearshift, and while it takes a short while to get used to it, once you do it’s really easy to use. The boot has a power operated tailgate that you can open and close with a button on the key which I find super handy, and things like auto wipers actually work well, too.

How safe is it?

As standard you’ll get all the safety biggies: front airbags for driver and front passenger plus side curtain airbags that extend to the back row, AEB, lane departure warnings and ISOFIX points on the outer two rear seats. However, you’ll have to option in blind spot monitoring and reverse traffic detection for $1210 if you want those. 

There are ISOFIX points on the outer two rear seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney) There are ISOFIX points on the outer two rear seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

What’s the tech like?

Land Rover uses its own multimedia system on the 8.0-inch touchscreen, the Discovery Sport doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which is fine because you can still connect via Bluetooth to listen to your Spotify and use the phone.

The multimedia system is controlled through a 8.0-inch touchscreen. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The multimedia system is controlled through a 8.0-inch touchscreen. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

The in-built sat nav is good but a little slow, still the screen is high-res and has a clear picture. The whole thing is modern to look at and easy to use. 

You can also also opt up with the 'Entertainment Pack' that gives you Meridian surround sound, 16 speakers and a subwoofer for $3570.

How much does it cost to own?

The Land Rover Discovery Sport SE starts at $60,255, all the extras that were added to my car included the ones I’ve mentioned plus a few more, and the car as tested ended up at $80,435, plus on road costs. 

Fuel consumption is a fairly average 8.0L/100km. There’s a three year/100,000km warranty and service intervals are every 12 months or 16,000km. You can pre-purchase six years of services for around $1500.


The Wrap

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a pretty great family car. I think the prestige of the brand belies the actual price - but keep in mind if you go nuts on options the price does creep up.

Still, you get an excellent exterior, powerful engine with 4WD capability, heaps of interior and boot space and advanced safety features, so you’re not left wanting much else. 

I gave it a family rating of eight out of 10, my children also gave it an eight, they really loved it.

Likes

Exterior design
Powerful engine
Interior and boot space

Dislikes

No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$70,860

Based on new car retail price

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