What was once a box on wheels, has now transformed into a classy SUV with distinct Range Rover characteristics. But despite its rounded edges, the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport hasn’t lost all of its off-road characteristics which help it stay one step ahead of the competition.
But in the midsized SUV/Crossover segment, it’s not all about how it handles off-road. You need a little luxury inside on top of the latest safety features, and Land Rover is no stranger to having these in their vehicles.
Are there enough to keep the Discovery Sport in the game? Or should you look elsewhere? These are the real questions that need answering.
Available in almost ten different trim levels with a variety of packages, we jumped behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport P200 HSE with the optional R-Dynamic package. Our test model had five seats.
- Spacious cabin and boot
- Available with 5 or 7 seats
- Best off-road performance in class
- Feature placements
- No low-range gears
As always, a huge shout out to Land Rover Middle East for lending us the vehicle.
Want to upgrade and need a place to sell your old ride? Click here.
With all that out of the way, let’s see what the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport can do!
Driving the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
Despite its SUV statue and weighing close to two tonnes, the Discovery Sport handles pretty while, almost saloon car like especially round corners.
Only four-cylinder engines are on offer and come with a turbocharger at no extra cost. It does provide enough grunt to get you moving on tarmac and across rougher terrain, but in the fuel economy department, it falls a bit short.
We didn’t take it deep into the desert, just slightly off the beaten trail between DSO and International City Phase 2. The Discovery Sport felt right at home and remained comfortable even with the rougher terrain. We even had a chance to give the hill-descent control feature a work out which controllably guided us downhill.
Outside the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
The 2020 model year received a facelift to bring the vehicle up to speed with the rest of the Range Rover lineup. The exterior is clean as are the lines and a dash of black panelling here and there completes the classy look.
If we could take one thing away, it would be those large C-Pillars. Land Rover could make them smaller, and instead of matching the body colour, they should stick with the black finish. It also comprises the interior look and makes it feel smaller than it is.
Inside the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
The cabin is a watered-down version of other Range Rovers in the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The centre console is clean and features polished black accents. It has larger digital dials to control the temperature for the front passenger and driver.
But only one to adjust the blower speed.
The passenger side one can be switched to change the drive mode of the vehicle. A convenient location for it, but can leave some lost.
Seats are covered in plush, perforated leather which hugs your body tight and keeps you in place while swinging around a corner. The addition of a full glass panoramic roof is a welcome one as it floods the cabin with natural light and gives you a great view of the stars at night.
Despite the 2020 MY coming with more storage compartments than previous models, it still feels as if it could do with some more.
Safety and Tech
For 2020, Land Rover has passed the LED black steering wheel controls to the Discovery Sport which are comfortable to use and create a clutter-free steering wheel as there are no physical buttons.
The driver also gets a full virtual cockpit with a range of customisable options, including the ability to stretch the map across the entire screen and get rid of the traditional rev-counter and speedometer.
One key feature that sets the model apart from rivals is the rearview mirror. As with the Evoque, with a flick of a switch, a widescreen image of what’s behind is shown. At first, it feels odd to see a video feed instead of a mirror, but one gets used to it over time.
There’s not much where the Discovery Sport doesn’t have in terms of safety, and as standard, the model does come with high-tech assistance options.
Sometimes these systems can be a bit over-optimistic, and this can be adjusted in the menus if you feel you can do a better job of determining how safe it is.
Unlike its rivals, the Discovery Sport also comes with several off-road safety features including Hill Descent Control and Crawl Speed Control.
When it comes to five-seater mid-size luxury SUV’s, the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport comes pretty close to nailing it down to a tee. It can handle its own at the shops, school runs and off the beaten trail. While some buttons and dials are hard to grasp at first, you get used to them after some time.
Where the vehicle falls behind its rivals, it makes up in other areas. The cargo hold is spacious, as is the cabin. And with the optional 7-seater in the range, there’s more room for the family; it gives it another one-up on the competition.
To sum it all up, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a well-kitted out multi-seater with enough clearance to wade through a small wadi and with the Discovery Sport sitting on the more cost-effective side of the segment, we say its one to consider.
Picture credit: Rajitha Perera (Dubicars)