Review : Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2021

The Land Rover Discovery Sport gets a mid-life facelift and the changes are
more than just skin-deep!

Final Verdict : More comfortable, refined and luxurious now; drives better too. 4 out of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When We usually talk about a facelift, it involves a set of new bumpers, new headlights and tail-lights, and maybe a minor update in the engine bay. The 2020 Discovery Sport Facelift though, is different, and the updates are more than just skin-deep.

At first glance, the updates do seem purely visual. The Discovery sport facelift now gets design elements seen on larger land Rovers, especially around the front. It looks smoother but more aggressive, and there’s more girth to it. The s variant here is the entry-level model and it gets a pronounced silver skid plate on the lower half. The honeycomb- design grille is painted in a similar shade of silver, and the headlights too are akin to the ones on the bigger land Rovers – they are sharper, with new LED daytime running lights offered as standard across variants. Changes along the side and back include new wheels and an updated rear bumper, along with a set of new LED Tail-Lights with detailed lighting elements.

On the inside, the changes are far more obvious. For instance, the rotary knob gear selector has been replaced by a more traditional lever. you also get a nicer looking dashboard with open-pore wood inserts, a large horizontally oriented 10-inch touchscreen that has a new user interface, and a gloss black center console that houses the climate control and drive mode functions. While the top-spec variant gets a fully digital instrument cluster, the base s variant here gets a part-digital, part-analogue cluster that looks like a bit of an afterthought at first, but is actually rather well implemented. This variant also misses out on the ‘Clearsight’ rear-view camera and mirror screen package, but land Rover has equipped it with features like the massive panoramic sunroof (that doesn’t open) and the powered tailgate that can be operated using just a button.

One of the main drawbacks of the Land Rover Discovery Sport has been its 7-seat layout, and that continues on the updated model too. On the second row, there is slightly less under- thigh support and the seat is a bit firm. The third row is best reserved for children or for very short trips; there just isn’t enough space for a fully grown adult to spend any amount of time.

New Discovery Sport 7 Seat Layout

As mentioned, the changes aren’t just skin-deep. land Rover has updated the Discovery Sport with a set of BS6-compliant petrol and diesel 2.0-litre motors. The one we have here is the D180 diesel unit that makes 180HP. What you notice immediately is that overall noise levels on the updated engine is significantly lower. There is still a hint of gruffness and it can’t quite match the level of refinement seen on German cars, but it isn’t far off the mark. The engine is mated to a 9-speed torque converter that is now more responsive than before – both, in the ‘D’ or Drive mode, and in ‘S’ or sport mode. If you have a light right leg, the Discovery sport will be happy to cruise around in the 9th gear at speeds as low as 80kph.

However, that said, when you do pin the throttle down, power delivery start to taper off rather quickly. Top-end performance is a bit disappointing here.

Another real big update with the facelift is the introduction of a brand-new platform. Called the Premium Transverse architecture, it’s the same one that underpins the new Range Rover Evoque. and a new platform usually means a stiffer floor, better safety, and improved ride and handling.

If you have spent a bit of time behind the wheel of the pre-facelift Discovery sport, the difference is stark! The steering is responsive, although a bit on the heavier side. Ride quality, especially over really bad and broken roads, is excellent, and while the Disco sport does have a noticeable amount of body roll while changing lanes, it drives and handles with plenty of confidence.

The updates certainly show a remarkable improvement over the pre-facelift Discovery sport. The SUV now looks neater and cleaner, with a more aggressive and contemporary look. The cabin is more luxurious and packed with tech (especially on the R-Dynamic variant), it’s smoother and more refined, it rides and drives better, and, of course, because it is a 4×4 and a land Rover, you can expect it to be a lot more competent off-road too. yes, the third row isn’t very useful, a bit more performance would have been nice, and priced from Rs. 57.06- 60.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it isn’t better value either. still, with the update, the Discovery sport is clearly back in the game. We’d, however, choose the petrol P250 with 245hp, as it would be a bit nicer to drive.

TOP RIVALS :

Mercedes Benz GLC : The Mercedes Benz GLC is the top rival of Discovery Sport. It has also been updated recently and is also comfortable and well built and equipped.

Mercedes Benz GLC

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