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News18 » Auto
6-min read

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Diesel Review: All the SUV You Need?

The Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Diesel offers some of the best value-for-money features in the segment and promises to be a versatile and practical SUV. But is that enough to make it just the SUV for you? We find out in our review.

Manav Sinha | News18.com@manav_sinha

Updated:March 27, 2019, 4:18 PM IST
Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land Rover
Land Rover Discovery Sport. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

SUVs are getting popular, not only in India but worldwide. And when it comes to SUVs, there’s hardly anyone who knows how to do it better, and has been doing for a long time, than Land Rover. And, if you wanted to get yourself a Land Rover SUV then the most accessible one is the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Currently, it has a starting price of Rs 50.36 lakh for the petrol-engine powered variant and Rs 44.68 Lakh (all ex-showroom prices) for the diesel-engine powered variant. However, one of the most sensible variants to buy is the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE variant along with the diesel engine option – the variant that we tested in this review – as it arguably offers the best mix of everything with relation to the price tag that it comes with.

With that said, this isn’t actually the first time that we are experiencing the Land Rover Discovery Sport. We took the petrol-engine powered variant for an 800 km road trip wherein the car had left us impressed. Now though, it was the turn of the Diesel-engine powered variant of the car and this time around, the testing roads were the choc-o-bloc city roads where a car like this usually ends up spending most of its time. And since we have already covered the car in detail during our road trip, we will focus a bit more on the definitive aspect about this car which is the engine on board.

Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land RoverLand Rover Discovery Sport has a bold front-end design. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

But before we get to the engine let’s focus a bit on the way it looks. Even in this day and age where cars are becoming a lot more coupe-like, it’s hard to beat the charm of a bulky and boxy SUV. The thing that stands out the most is the chunky front-end design. It’s a bit in-your-face and yet manages to look suave. It still packs some great design elements like the fact that there is a dual tone roof and the Land Rover has blacked out the A-pillar and the B-pillar and left out the C-pillar. Overall, the car has a bold stance and it is a design that will age rather well over the years.

Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land RoverLand Rover Discovery Sport has a proper SUV stance. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Step inside the cabin and you are greeted with a fantastic build quality and the quality of materials used throughout the cabin feels premium too. However, I have to say, that a few of its elder siblings have some of the best interior designs in the world across car segments and they are pushing the boundaries in terms of the technology on board and switching to almost completely touchscreen-based interactions with the car. This ends up bringing your expectations way too high and results in the interiors of the Discovery Sport feeling a tad bit underwhelming in terms of the design that they are carrying. But when it comes to ergonomics and the practicality that it offers to the passengers, it is at par with anything else in the segment. The party piece is the pop-up knob which, well pops-up, every time you start the car to allow you to put the car in Drive.

Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land RoverLand Rover Discovery Sport interiors. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

But let’s come to what we wanted to find out from this car – how is the driving experience.

The engine that it gets is a 1999cc four-cylinder diesel unit that – except for in the base ‘Pure’ variant where it makes a bit less power and torque – produces 177 hp at 4000 RPM and 430 Nm of torque from 1750-2500 RPM. This engine comes mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

The diesel engine is refined and feels smooth no matter which RPM you are at. The gearbox does feel like it takes a second thought before shifting gears when you floor the throttle but that is not a problem when you put the car in ‘S’ mode, where the upshifts and downshifts are a lot quicker. There is a bit of turbo lag but you get used to it after a while. The engine is definitely tuned towards delivering good efficiency and low-end torque whenever needed. The Discovery Sport then is best driven with a light foot and if you do that, you won’t have anything to complain.

The chunky steering wheel is great to hold and it weighs up well during high speeds and offers great feedback too. What helps the Discovery Sport’s case further are the chunky tyres that it wears. They help in absolutely gliding over potholes and bad patches of roads.

Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land RoverLand Rover Discovery Sport gets chunky tyres. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

And let’s be honest, there is a good chance that the Discovery Sport might end up being driven by chauffeurs and if that is the case with you, then worry not, there is ample amount of room at back and the huge moon roof with the large window panels make the cabin feel airy and comfortable. And in case you are someone who is looking at the Discovery Sport as a car you would drive, then you can actually take it out for some off-roading too. And it is in this scenario that the car really shines.

The Sport comes loaded with features like Cruise Control, Hill Start Assist, Roll Stability Control, Traction Control and above all, Land Rover’s Terrain Response system. This system allows the driver to set the car’s engine, transmission, differentials, traction control and drivetrain as per their requirement by choosing from several driving modes – namely General Driving mode, Grass, Gravel, Snow, Mud and Ruts and Sand.

So it is safe to say that the Discovery Sport comes with proper Land Rover credentials too for the times you want to take the road less travelled.

The only real challenger that the Land Rover Discovery Sport has is its own cousin - the Range Rover Evoque. It is about Rs 1.5 lakh more expensive and comes with the same engine in the same state of tune and, while looks are a subjective matter, it does look better and up-to-date as compared to the Discovery Sport. And let’s not forget, its smaller dimensions might be helpful for those who might be driving such cars through city roads every day. Where the Land Rover Discovery Sport stands out and makes a case for itself is that, well, it is about Rs 1.5 lakh cheaper than the Evoque and it is bigger in dimensions in every single way. What this translates into is that if you are going to be seated at the back, you will more space to yourself. And let’s not forget, the Discovery Sport’s trump card – the 5+2 seating arrangement.

Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Discovery Sport Review, Land RoverLand Rover Discovery Sport comes with a 5+2 seating arrangement. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

You can pop open the third row of seats which are perfect for kids and adults won’t mind short distances in it either. And if you fold them down, you get a humongous boot space on offer.

So at the end of the day, if you are looking for an SUV that offers versatility, practicality and a premium experience, you should definitely consider the Land Rover Discovery Sport. And if such are things that you are looking for, then this might be all the SUV that you really need.

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| Edited by: Manav Sinha
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