2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Starting MSRP: $37,965 - $46,595

Estimated MPG: 20 city / 25 hwy

2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport is the most affordable model from this renowned British brand. The Discovery Sport offers ample luxury and impressive off-road prowess.

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 06/21/2017

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a luxury compact SUV available in SE, HSE and HSE Luxury trims. All-wheel drive is standard, and all models comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Now in its third model year, the 2017 Discovery Sport offers several updates of note. A new interface for the vehicle's infotainment system provides a larger screen, and it mimics the look and functionality of a smartphone app. A feature that helps drivers observe speed limits has been added, along with a driver drowsiness monitor and lane keeping assist. A new Dynamic Design package provides upgrades such as unique bumpers and black-accented exterior trim.

Exterior

Exterior
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Though it's small in size, the Discovery Sport is big on Land Rover styling cues. The signature Land Rover grille leads the way up front, and powerful shoulders, a high beltline and flared wheel wells are among this SUV's many defining characteristics. Its strong stance is further amplified by oversized wheels, and an optional glossy black wheel design is available to dress things up even more.

Standard equipment includes automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch wheels, daytime running lights, rear fog lamps and body-colored exterior door handles. The list of available features includes xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate, front fog lamps, LED accent lights, noble-plated upper and lower exterior door handles, a wide assortment of wheel choices and contrasting roof color choices.

Interior

Interior
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The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport offers standard room for five or space for seven when choosing the third-row option, and it delivers generous interior space marked by high-quality materials and excellent fit and finish. Partial leather upholstery is standard, and full leather upholstery is available.

The cabin offers an attractive two-tone color layout, neatly dividing the upper and lower dashboard, the door panels and the window trim. Soft-touch materials, contrast stitching and brightwork contribute to this SUV’s sophisticated presentation.

The front seats are very comfortable and come standard with eight-way power adjustability. In our test vehicle, both seats supplied the right blend of bolstering and comfort for long drives. The rear bench seat has a 60/40-split design with ample room for three, including sufficient legroom.

The available third-row seat is ideal for children only and delivers the added passenger-carrying space some may require on occasion. That said, we hesitate to recommend the seat for everyday use as it takes away from the generous 32.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the second-row seat (60 cubic feet with the second-row seat folded). Upgrading to the Land Rover Discovery is a more sensible approach for families needing the extra room.

All models come with dual-zone climate control and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. Upgrades bring in a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Performance

Performance
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The Land Rover Discovery Sport has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is standard. The standard Terrain Response system offers multiple settings, allowing you to customize your Discovery Sport's driving dynamics to best handle difficult topography.

The Discovery Sport delivers an EPA-estimated 20/25 mpg city/highway. This is slightly less frugal than the fuel economy offered by rivals such as the Acura RDX and BMW X3.

One of this SUV’s strong suits is its driving dynamics, and it's especially impressive on twisty roads, since it hugs corners with very little pitch and roll. This Land Rover also has a tight turning radius, and this is helpful on narrow city streets or when parking. There is ample power served by the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, although lag times are longer than we’d like. The rotary shift controller was sticky on occasion and slow to shift into gear. With our test vehicle, operating the transmission in Sport mode and using the paddle shifters delivered the most engaging and enjoyable performance.

Technology

Technology
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Standard technologies include 10-speaker audio system, and in our test vehlcle, this stereo delivered a satisfying listening experience. Land Rover supplies USB ports for each row. Also included are an auxiliary audio jack and Bluetooth.

All models feature an infotainment system and an 8-inch touch screen. The system is easy to comprehend and responds quickly to commands.

Available upgrades include navigation, a premium Meridian audio system, satellite radio, HD radio, keyless entry and ignition, a head-up display, a larger touch screen and in-cabin Wi-Fi.

Safety

Safety
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All 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport models are equipped with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Optional safety features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and parking assist with automatic parallel and perpendicular parking.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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With a starting price of $38,690, including destination, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport SE is slightly more affordable than models such as the Audi Q5 and Cadillac XT5. However, the Lincoln MKC and Acura RDX have slightly lower price points, even with optional all-wheel drive.

Our test Discovery Sport in the mid-level HSE grade has a starting price of $42,195 with no options added. Land Rover offers a complete Dynamic design package ($5,000) that provides exterior and interior upgrades. A Vision Assist package ($1,900) includes adaptive xenon headlights, a surround-camera system, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic detection. A Cold Climate package ($1,600) includes heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Finally, a Row 3 package ($1,750) adds third-row seating and third-row heating and cooling vents.

We think the HSE trim offers the features most customers want. Add in the Vision Assist package and you will pay about $45,000 for your Discovery Sport.

Overall

Overall
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The Discovery Sport provides a reasonable gateway to the Land Rover brand, but you'll have to go easy on the upgrades, since they can steeply inflate your final price. A roomy and upscale interior, generous cargo space and off-road versatility are its strongest attributes. Despite fierce competition from worthy rivals, this Land Rover is a standout.