I have a perception about SUV’s. If it’s a 4X4, it has to be diesel. This wasn’tthe case with the new Land Rover Discovery’s petrol variant that I had to review for this month.
It’s a 4X4 SUV and it runs on petrol. These two things were not very amusing to hear when I first got the keys of the car. However, as soon as I read the spec sheet- 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor churning out 240 bhp of power, I got a bit excited and within fifteen or twenty minutes of getting behind the wheel, I got glued to the driving experience and things became really interesting. Read on to find more.
What is it?
Land Rover Discovery Sport’s petrol variant which replaced the Freelander earlier last year. Has more power than the diesel variants and emits lesser emissions than the dirty fuel and was basically launched to take on the “Diesel Ban” which was imposed in Delhi NCR and Chennai early last year.
How does it look?
Exactly like the diesel variant i.e is based on the new JLR design philosophy. The familiar Land Rover front fascia and the headlights can confuse you for the Evoque at the first look. However, the huge DISCOVERY badging on the bonnet will ensure that there is no confusion left. Around the sides, it looks pretty compact and doesn’t feel like a 7 seater. The 17-inch alloy wheels look a bit small in proportion to the bulk of the SUV and Land Rover should have at least given an option of upsizing. The rear, in my opinion is a bit of a letdown and to be honest looks a bit disappointing compared to the rest of the design. But again, looks are subjective right? The cabin of the Discovery Sport is a nice and comfortable place to be in, the materials used look nice and upmarket, the In Control touch screen unit offers rich graphics and sounds nice as well.The interiors are built to last in typical Land Rover fashion. There’s plenty of space for even a 6 footer like me at the front and in the second row as well. However, the third row of seats is best suited for kids and adults will tend to feel claustrophobic in there.
What’s under the hood?
How does it drive? Powering this 7 seater(5+2 technically) SUV is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit churning out 240bhp of power and 340NM of torque. The numbers are very interesting for a small 2-litre petrol pot(considering the bulk of a 4X4 SUV) and it accelerates decently as well (8.5 seconds for 0-100kmph). There is this slight engine note as well which adds to the drama when revved hard. Under 3000 rpm , there is a slightly noticeable turbo lag which takes some time to get used to and the car isn’t the quickest to get off the line. Things become better post 3500 rpm and there is enough power to keep you happy if you redline it once in awhile. JLR’s tried and tested 9-speed ZF gearbox is taking care of the transmission duties and does a fairly good job in shifting through the gears in the Disco Sport as well and it comes with Land Rover’s terrain management system which we did not get to test extensively.
Should I buy one?
A petrol-powered 4×4 SUV has certain drawbacks like a meek tank range, single digit fuel economy figures and lack of torque for hardcore offroading stints. Having said that, the Discovery sport petrol comes with 90 hp more power than the entry level diesel variant and is a good `6 Lakh rupee cheaper than the top of the line diesel variant which strengthen its case. The closest competition of the Discovery Sport is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 which is slightly cheaper than the Discovery and is a fresher product as well. We will be doing a mid-size luxury SUV shootout soon and it will be very interesting to see how the Discovery Sport faires out amongst its competition!
Price: ₹ 58 Lakhs
- ENGINE – 1999cc, turbocharged
- Power – 240bhp
- Torque – 340Nm
- 9-Speed Automatic,
- Four Wheel Drive
Reviewed by – Konark Tyagi