Land Rover introduces another SUV to its lineup with the new 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, which will usher in a new line of Discovery models based on the Discovery Vision concept from the New York auto show. The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will target families with multiple children, bringing to the table a "5+2" seven-seat interior, standard all-wheel drive, and an efficient four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Old Goods Made New
Sharing many of its components and much of its front-end architecture with the Range Rover Evoque, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport employs the same 240-hp turbo-four engine producing 251 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to the Evoque’s nine-speed ZF automatic transmission, delivering power to all four wheels with a standard Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Brakes are vented discs in the front and solid discs at the rear, and suspension components include a coil spring and strut assembly up front with an all-new multilink rear suspension.
Land Rover claims that the new multilink rear suspension is compact enough to allow for “minimal intrusion” in to the rear cargo area, helping maximize interior volume for the standard third-row seating area. The rear seats fold flat to turn the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport into a more traditional five-seat crossover, and the 60/40 split second row seats are engineered to slide backward up to 6.3 inches for maximum legroom. Despite the versatile and capacious interior, the footprint for the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport is relatively small—it stands at 180.7 inches long, 85.6 inches wide, and 67.9 inches tall. Although a fair bit wider and taller than a traditional compact sedan, it measures just 1.3 inches longer than a 2015 Honda Civic. Curb weight totals 3957 pounds, a figure kept in check by extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum.
Styling We Recognize
On the outside, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport adopts familiar styling. The brand’s dual-bar horizontal grille is flanked on either side by Range Rover-style wraparound headlights, which lead into a black A-pillar and roofline (a panoramic sunroof is optional). Halogen headlamps with daytime running lamps are standard, while LED and Xenon lighting will be optional. Both the fender side scuttle and forward-raked C-pillar fall in line with other Land Rover models, as well.
Capability We’d Expect
Versatility and off-road capability were not forgotten, despite the focus on modern styling. The Discovery Sport can tackle inclines of up to 45 degrees, traverse all types of terrain with its Terrain Response selectable off-road driving modes, and wade in water up to 23.6 inches high without flooding the engine intake, which is positioned above the top of the wheel well.
Connectivity and Safety Galore
Appealing to the modern family (with or without Ty Burrell), the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will come with a standard eight-inch infotainment display with navigation, five-inch TFT instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control, and leather-trimmed interior surfaces. The new Discovery is also designed to integrate with the whole family’s devices, as it’s equipped with up to four 12V power ports and six USB charging ports, while the available Bluetooth handsfree audio system can connect with up to two phones simultaneously. A 10-speaker sound system will be standard, while an 11-speaker system will be available as an upgrade, as will a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety features have always been important for family haulers often carrying precious cargo, and the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport is on board with what customers will want to feel safe. An emergency brake-assist feature is standard, while optional equipment includes autonomous emergency braking to lessen or avoid effects of an impending collision, automatic park assist, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition.
The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover will go on sale in early 2015 for $38,290 including destination, replacing the outgoing LR2. Although it is both newer and bigger, the Discovery Sport will undercut the price of the $42,025 Evoque, which does not come with standard navigation. Fuel economy will be released later, but the 240-hp turbo-four returns 30 mpg on the highway in the 2014 Range Rover Evoque.