Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Smart Contender for the SUV Crown

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Smart Contender for the SUV Crown

Article excerpt

LAND Rover reckons that this Discovery Sport is the most versatile premium compact SUV currently on sale - and it's a credible claim.

This is, after all, the only prestigiously-badged car in this segment that can seat seven. It's also smart, practical, safe - and rugged enough to go a lot further than its rivals off the beaten track. Plus a stateof-the-art range of 'Ingenium' 2.0 TD4 diesel engines offer class-leading power and effi-ciency. It all means that there's nothing else quite like this car.

The engines are Land Rover's advanced 2.0-litre four cylinder Ingenium TD4 units, shared with the Range Rover Evoque and designed to deliver improved efficiency, along with class-leading torque and power. The most affordable TD4 unit in the range comes with 150PS and 350Nm of torque, but it's only offered with this car in five-seat form. Here, 62mph from rest occupies 11s on the way to 112mph.

Most though, will want the 180PS variant which comes only with the seven-seat layout and delivers a much lustier 430Nm of torque. Here, there's a maximum speed of 117mph, while 62mph from rest takes 9.4s, though you can reduce this figure by a second if you take up the option of the slick nine-speed ZF auto gearbox many owners will want. More importantly, this variant has enough pulling power to permit a towing capability of up to 2,500kgs when the optional Tow Pack is fitted. Both the TD4 powerplants come mated exclusively to 4WD. This, by the way, is a proper permanent setup rather than the less effective 'on-demand' AWD system that this car's less capable competitors use - and which Land Rover itself offers on this model in other markets.

Even if you'd never seen a picture of the Discovery Sport, you could probably generate a reasonably accurate mental sketch of it were you to imagine crossing a Range Rover with a five-door Evoque. It's a really handsome piece of design work that instantly makes even a good-looking rival like the Volvo V60 look old. …

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