2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport Expert Review

Editor's Overview

A stylish, comfortable and off-road-capable compact SUV, the popular 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is also the luxury brand’s most affordable model. Prices start well below $40,000 for a Discovery Sport SE with a 237-horsepower turbocharged engine and Land Rover’s advanced all-wheel-drive Terrain Response system. A small third row is also offered, which is unusual for the class.

You'll Like The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport If...

Land Rover’s 2018 Discovery Sport uniquely blends a handsome design, an opulent interior and luxurious appointments with the authentic rugged off-road capability the British brand is known for. It also offers one of the only 3rd-row seats in the segment, and its low starting price undercuts many of its competitors.

You May Not Like The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport If...

Unlike some other Land Rover SUVs, the new 2018 Discovery Sport is not available with a diesel engine. There’s no hybrid model either. Also, some buyers may be disappointed in the firm ride provided by the Discovery Sport’s off-road-capable suspension.

What's New

For 2018, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport gets two new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines with as much as 286 horsepower, which is a significant increase over last year’s model. For the first time Land Rover has made a 12-way-power driver’s seat available, and Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Monitor are now stand-alone options. Onboard Wi-Fi has also been upgraded to 4G.

Interior Features

The Discovery Sport's interior offers the same blend of off-road utility and luxury-brand plushness the rest of the SUV delivers. The efficient, blocky theme feels right in line with off-road adventuring, but the deep-dish seating, 8-way-power front seats, and leather upholstery (leather and cloth on SE versions) remind you this is a luxury SUV. We’re also fans of its unique rotary shifter and the SUV’s 8-inch touch screen and intuitive infotainment system. The raised 2nd-row seats slide and recline, and will easily accommodate 6-foot-4 occupants, and the smart interior packaging gives it more usable cargo space than its larger BMW X3 and Audi Q5 rivals. The optional third row is small but useful for small children.

Exterior Features

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is not the luxury brand’s smallest SUV. The Discovery Sport is about 10 inches longer than the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. It is shorter than competitors, however, but it's also wider, giving it an edge when it comes to stability. It shares much of its attractive shape with the larger and more expensive Land Rover Discovery, including its steeply sloped windshield and body-color C-pillar, which looks like a bladed weapon. The Discovery Sport’s short overhangs front and rear give it generous approach and departure angles -- that means it can tackle steep slopes without scraping -- and it can even ford streams up to 23.6 inches deep.

Driving Impressions

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport possesses all the luxury credentials expected of a $40,000 SUV. The cabin isolates wind and road noise efficiently enough to allow for normal conversation at highway speeds, and the ride is rather firm, although not jarringly so. For the driver, there is good visibility in all areas save for the rear quarters, which have small side glass and big blind spots. The Discovery Sport’s new 237-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is smooth and powerful. Acceleration is brisk enough for most buyers and the 9-speed automatic is a good match for the 4-cylinder engine. The more powerful 286-horsepower engine adds serious muscle. With that engine 0-60 mph takes just 6.3 seconds. Most of the Discovery Sport’s competition can’t come close to its capability off-road, thanks to its ground clearance, suspension travel and Land Rover’s all-wheel drive and Terrain Response system with various settings for Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts and Sand.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is the least expensive Land Rover model available, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $38,800 including the $995 destination charge. We suggest the more lavishly equipped Discovery Sport HSE, which starts at a still reasonable $43,900. If you want all the bells and whistles, head for the $47,790 Discovery Sport HSE Luxury. Once you've added in all the various options, including the more powerful engine, you're looking at a price tag well north of $60,000. We still recommend the HSE first for the longest-lasting satisfaction, though the SE model will also earn your pride. And the standard 237-horsepower engine is enough for most buyers. For a closer look at what folks in your area paid for the new Discovery Sport, check out the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price. At resale time, the Audi Q5 is a little better, while the BMW X3 slots well below.

Notable Equipment

For a luxury SUV starting under $40,000, the 2018 Discovery Sport SE comes nicely equipped. All-wheel drive is standard, as is the Terrain Response System which has settings for different conditions like snow and sand, Hill Descent Control, push-button start, partial leather seating, power-adjustable front seats, USB media and charging ports in the first row, plus two 2nd-row USB charging ports. A 10-speaker audio/infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity is also standard. If you want full leather seating and the panoramic sunroof, you'll have to move up one trim level to the Discovery Sport HSE.

Notable Options

Stand-alone options and packages are available for the Discovery Sport SE, HSE and HSE Luxury and include keyless entry and heated front and rear seats on the SE model, plus smart safety features like automatic traffic detection, high-beam assist, surround-camera system, adaptive headlights and emergency braking on the HSE and HSE Luxury versions. The HSE and Luxury trims can come with a heated steering wheel and windshield, head-up display, upgraded audio and adaptive suspension. A 12-way-power driver’s seat is now available, and Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Monitor are stand-alone options. A Meridian audio upgrade and Touch Pro navigation system are also offered.

Favorite Features

SURROUND CAMERA SYSTEM

Optional on the HSE model, but standard on the top HSE Luxury trim level, the Surround Camera System is like a rearview camera on steroids. Four cameras mounted around the SUV provide an overhead 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the Discovery Sport and its surroundings. It makes parking and maneuvering the SUV in tight spaces much easier.


EMERGENCY BRAKING

This optional system is part of the Driver Assist Plus Package. It provides autonomous emergency braking when necessary if the system detects a forward collision is about to take place. First it will warn the driver of the danger, but if action is not taken the Land Rover will apply the brakes for the driver.



Under the Hood

For 2018, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport gets a pair of new engines and they’re both a big improvement over engines in last year’s model. All three trim levels are offered with a 237-horsepower version of the new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which is smoother and more responsive than last year’s engine. Buyers wanting more power can upgrade to a 286-horsepower version in the top trim levels for about $7,000. Interestingly, both engines get essentially the same fuel mileage but the more powerful engine shaves nearly a full second off the SUV’s 0-60-mph acceleration time. All Discovery Sports get a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission and a Haldex all-wheel-drive system, which seamlessly varies the power between the front and rear tires that have the most grip.2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

237 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

251 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/25 mpg2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

286 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 mpg

Editors' Notes

A stylish, comfortable and off-road-capable compact SUV, the popular 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is also the luxury brand’s most affordable model. Prices start well below $40,000 for a Discovery Sport SE with a 237-horsepower turbocharged engine and Land Rover’s advanced all-wheel-drive Terrain Response system. A small kid-friendly third row is also offered, which is unusual for the class. Competitors include the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX. But, unlike these worthy rivals, the Discovery Sport SUV isn’t just about an opulent interior and advanced safety and entertainment options. Land Rover’s Discovery Sport can actually conquer some serious off-road obstacles. Buyers can also step up to a 286-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is available on the HSE and top Luxury HSE trim levels. Both engines work with a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.

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Owner Reviews

4.5

6 Reviews

67% 17% 17% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

I makes you look really cool. I love the way it makes me feel.

my car is trendy. I love the ruggedness. The exterior makes me look cool. The back up safety beeping, camera and other safety things are awesome.

- Sarah R

It's a very smooth ride and it drives very well.

I like that it's an SUV. I like that it drives and rides very smooth. I don't like the fact that it uses quite a bit of gas.

- Justin B

It is a nice roomy car with blind spot monitoring, panoramic roof and easy controls.

It is a big nice car with lot of space.It has 7 seats and a panoramic roof.

- shamit S