There are worse things to do than drive around in the latest Discovery Sport, particularly when it’s kitted out with all the luxuries of the HSE Luxury trim.
Those on the outside would have to be observant to notice that it’s the 2017 model though, as changes are minimal. More likely to draw their attention is the new paint, the Aruba metallic of our test vehicle being one of four new colours. But it’s inside that you really notice the difference.
The main addition to the cabin is the upgrade of the infotainment system to the very latest InControl Touch Pro. The widescreen touchscreen is 10.2ins, and you can do what you like with it, poke it, swipe, pinch, whatever.
Rather neatly, it supports Tile Bluetooth tracker integration. If you get the small tags from Tile you can then attach them to things like keys or bags and then the sat nav can tell you where they are. They’re working on tags for husbands, dogs and small children.
Smart though the new Discovery Sport is, you’re still using the Ingenium diesel engine. That’s good, in that it has no trouble pulling the vehicle along, and it can tow 2.5 tonnes too, but it’s less good in that it’s not the quietest or smoothest diesel out there. You’ll feel it through the controls and you’ll definitely hear it if you start working the engine hard.
It works cleanly with the nine-speed auto box, although there’s still that slight hesitant delay when you push the throttle down. It’s just enough of a delay to make things occasionally more exciting than you’d like at junctions.
However, generally the engine works well and is a steady companion. Much like the handling really, which is steady as she goes, with a bit of roll here, and a bit of a bump there, but overall you feel like you’re in a secure vehicle which can handle rather more than the odd bump on the highway of life.
If events turn against you, there is now driver condition monitoring (‘How are you feeling? Tired? No? You sure? I’ll ask again in a minute.’). There’s also an intelligent speed limiter and lane keep assist – apparently this is software and not the driver.
These safety aids should make the occupants even safer, and whatever happens they’ll be more comfortable as the cabin is spacious and well equipped. We like the reclining and sliding second row of seats so you can configure the cabin for people or for luggage. That infotainment system is also a step up, from a system that was already really rather good. That just about sums up the vehicle. It was a very good SUV and now it’s even better in small ways that all add up.
Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 SD4
Engine 4 cyls, 1999cc, diesel
Power 178bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 317lb ft at 1750rpm
Gearbox 9-spd automatic
Top speed 117mph
Economy 53.3mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band 139g/km, 27%
Graham Scott is a writer for AutoCar.
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