The brand new Land Rover Discovery Sport was launched in India and will replace the iconic Freelander. The new SUV, dubbed the baby Discovery, from the venerable British brand is being positioned as a compact SUV and is available at a starting price (ex-showroom, Mumbai) of Rs.46.1 lakhs.
The new SUV is expected to take on the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in India.
The Discovery Sport is about 190 mm longer than the Freelander that it replaces, yet is smaller than many of its competitors, including the Audi Q5. The compactness offers a unique USP for the new SUV as large-size vehicles can be quite difficult to maneuver in the not-so-great traffic conditions of the country. Despite its small size, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport exudes a keenly masculine profile which adds to its attractiveness.
Unlike the Freelander which was a 5-seater SUV, the new Discovery Sport features flexible seating options wherein the third row can be converted to either a seating arrangement or freed up for luggage space. The engines in the rear suspension layout are mounted transversely so as to free up space for the third row seats. The seats in the second and third rows can be folded up separately, resulting in a great amount of flexibility depending on the cargo and/or passenger capacity. The third row, however, is suitable only for children.
In a marked improvement from the rather ‘downmarket’ interiors of the Freelander, the baby Discovery features plush and classy interiors. The company is offering three primary color combinations; all black, black/tan and black/beige. The Discovery Sport features the Land Rover’s Terrain Response System capable of handling any kind of driving surface.
The driver needs to input the type of surface that the vehicle will be moving on and the fully automated system optimizes the gear change program, 4-wheel torque split and the throttle response appropriately to cope with the terrain. The new SUV also features the Hill Descent Control, which is very useful while driving on steep descents.
There are two engine options available for the new Land Rover Discovery Sport. While both are 2.2-liter inline-4 diesel engines, one delivers 400Nm of torque and 150 PS of power and the other one offers 420 Nm and 190 PS. The SUV features a 9-speed ZF automatic transmission, the same highly potent gear system that is employed in the Range Rover Evoque.