BE A SPORT SMALL LAND ROVER WILL CAUSE A HEADACHE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CARS GUIDE - Peter Barn­well Call Triv­ett Land Rover Par­ra­matta, Church St, Par­ra­matta on 9841 8888.

LAND Rover’s new Dis­cov­ery Sport re­places the ven­er­a­ble Free­lander in the com­pact, pre­mium SUV seg­ment.

They are like chalk and cheese, with the new­comer light years ahead of the old timer on all fronts though some of the en­gine vari­ants are car­ried over.

NEW TECH­NOL­OGY

IT must be dif­fi­cult for car man­u­fac­tur­ers to plan a new model with the flow of new tech­nol­ogy com­ing through at an ever-quick­en­ing rate. How do you pre­dict what’s just around the cor­ner next week let alone next year?

To ad­dress that is­sue, the new Dis­cov­ery Sport (noth­ing to do with the Dis­cov­ery by the way) is crammed full of the latest tech­nol­ogy on a num­ber of lev­els in­clud­ing con­nec­tiv­ity, safety, driv­e­train, driver as­sist and even de­sign.

There’s a nine-speed auto for starters and a 5+2 seat­ing lay­out, a com­pletely new rear sus­pen­sion sys­tem lifted from the latest Jag XE sedan and stuff like torque vec­tor­ing, a full time (on de­mand) all wheel drive sys­tem, au­ton­o­mous auto brake func­tion, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, cli­mate con­trol seats (hot or cool), and the en­gines have been re­vised with low fric­tion The Dis­cov­ery Sport will cause a headache for the com­pe­ti­tion and Land Rover it­self be­cause of its looks, fea­tures and price. Why would you buy a big one when the mid­dle size one looks this good and costs a bomb less? in­ter­nals, stop/start and di­rect in­jec­tion on both diesel and petrol mod­els.

Our drive car was the mid-spec SD4 Sport SE diesel. The TD4 is be­low it and HSE and HSE Lux­ury above. Price with auto trans­mis­sion is $59,000, with the six-speed man­ual model $2500 less.

NEW­MODEL

AS this is a com­pletely new model from Land Rover, you get plenty of stan­dard kit in­clud­ing leather, multi elec­tric seat ad­just­ment, pre­mium au­dio, large in­fo­tain­ment screen, multi-func­tion wheel, cruise, Ter­rain Re­sponse with five modes, pad­dle shift, re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing, power tailgate, but­ton start, dual zone cli­mate con­trol and other good­ies.

On the driver as­sist front there’s rearview cam­era, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, rear park as­sist, and the au­ton­o­mous auto brake among a gen­er­ous list of kit but op­tion packs can in­crease the level of fea­tures dra­mat­i­cally.

But the SE is fine in terms of value for money and the price is right against the com­pe­ti­tion – for a new model.

EN­GINE

THE en­gine is a 2.2-litre turbo diesel four with 140kW/420Nm out­put. The TD4 has less power but the same torque. The test ve­hi­cle can use as lit­tle as 6.0-litres/100km and in­deed, we saw this fig­ure of­ten on the 1000km test drive.

The nine-speed auto might seem like overkill but it’s so smooth and un­ob­tru­sive you wouldn’t know it was chang­ing ra­tios. Feel the need to have a greater in­put ... you can use the pad­dle shift and change drive modes.

DRIV­ING

TYP­I­CALLY, off road abil­ity is top drawer with the Disco Sport ca­pa­ble of ven­tur­ing a long way off the beaten track thanks in part to the 212mm ride height, clever on de­mand all wheel drive sys­tem, torquey en­gine and wheel at each cor­ner body de­sign that of­fers steep ap­proach and de­par­ture an­glers off road.

Ride qual­ity is ex­em­plary on and off road thanks in part to the new rear multi-link sus­pen­sion.

New brakes too – big­ger than the Free­lander and easily ca­pa­ble of stop­ping the 1775kg Disco Sport.

The bodyshell is a mono­coque de­sign us­ing steel and alu­minium and feels rock solid in tough off road driv­ing. The body looks fab­u­lous from any an­gle with a dis­tinct Land Rover fam­ily look. It’s ar­guably the best looker in the range and is quite big when you park it against some­thing like a Lexus NX.

Look­ing good . . . Land Rover Dis­cov­ery Sport.

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