2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

Pros & Cons

  • More passenger and cargo space than most competitors
  • above-average capabilities off road and in bad weather conditions
  • comfortable passenger cabin
  • available third-row seating
  • advanced technology.
  • Mediocre acceleration
  • transmission is slow to downshift
  • third-row seat is for kids only.
Other years
Land Rover Discovery Sport for Sale
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$17,987 - $27,750

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport offers style, comfort and utility combined with an above-average ability to traverse snow-choked roads or muddy trails. If you're looking for a midsize luxury SUV with an extra degree of go-anywhere gusto, this newest Land Rover is worth a look.

Vehicle overview

Automakers have spent the last 20 years or so migrating from truck-based SUVs to car-based crossovers that offer better space and fuel economy at the expense of rarely used off-road capability. That's a problem for a brand like Land Rover, which built its reputation on SUVs that combine jungle-bashing ability with English elegance. So it's no surprise that when Land Rover introduced the smaller Discovery Sport model last year, it retained its off-road abilities. The Disco Sport can't quite scale boulders the way the bigger LR4 does — it lacks hard-core hardware such as a low range or locking differentials — but thanks to the clever Terrain Response system, drivers can easily claw their way over hill and dale, no matter how much mucky mud or slippery snow is beneath their wheels.

The Discovery Sport's styling is smooth and simple inside and out; it's the antithesis of the boxy LR4 and seems to almost thumb its nose at the harsh corners and jarring lines of the old Defender. In terms of size, it's slightly bigger than some of its compact competitors, but not big enough to be considered a true midsize SUV. While we like the elegance of the materials, some might find the Disco Sport's interior just a bit too simple. But they should have no reason to complain about room: The Sport offers plenty of passenger space in the first and second rows, though the folding third-row seat, like many such offerings in this class, is best suited to small children.

Our biggest complaint with the Discovery Sport is the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Though it matches rivals for raw numbers, its real-world performance is lacking, and the indecisive nine-speed automatic transmission doesn't help. The Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 all best the little Land Rover on performance, and they offer cabins with more visual interest. When it comes time to turn off the pavement, however, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is the crossover that will take you farther.

2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport models

The 2016 Land Rover Discover Sport is a compact crossover SUV that comes standard with seating for five. A third row of seats that comes bundled with its own air vents and USB port is optional. There are three trim levels: SE, HSE and HSE Lux.

The SE base model comes well-equipped with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, privacy glass, heated power-folding outside mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a rear foglight, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, partial leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, 60/40-split second-row seats (folding, sliding, reclining), a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, push-button keyless ignition, an alarm, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a touchscreen interface and a 10-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio jack, four USB ports (one for media, three for charging only) and an iPod/media player interface.

Options include the Vision Assist package (xenon headlights, LED running lights and front foglamps), Climate Comfort package (heated front and rear seats, steering wheel and windshield), Convenience package (proximity key, power liftgate and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a HomeLink universal remote), an upgraded stereo with 11 speakers, satellite and HD radio, navigation, an app suite for the infotainment system and WiFi pre-wiring. The Black Design package includes 18-inch wheels, exterior trim and a gloss black roof.

The midrange HSE trim includes everything on the SE with the Vision Assist and Convenience packages, plus different 18-inch wheels, upgraded trim, a panoramic glass roof, full leather upholstery and 10-way power front seats with memory functions. Along with the SE's Climate Comfort package and upgraded stereo, the HSE offers a Driver Plus package with autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning system, and navigation with traffic sign recognition. The Black Design package is also available with either 18- or 19-inch wheels. Stand-alone options include automatic high beams, adaptive xenon headlights, an app suite and WiFi pre-wiring.

The top-of-the-line model is the HSE Lux, which adds 19-inch wheels; unique exterior trim; upgraded leather upholstery, trim and carpeting; an 11-speaker stereo with satellite and HD radio; navigation; an app suite and configurable mood lighting. Options echo those of the HSE (except for those that come standard on the HSE Lux), and the Black Design package is available with 19- or 20-inch wheels.

2016 Highlights

The Discovery Sport was an all-new model for 2015, and rolls into 2016 with only minor changes. The infotainment system gets a new home screen and app suite, and the Black Design package is now available on the entry-level model. Land Rover's InControl Protect system is now standard on all models. The InControl Remote app also adds additional functionality like locking and unlocking the doors and remote engine starting.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport offers just one engine: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It's hooked to a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

In Edmunds testing, the Discovery Sport went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. That's about a second slower than the average SUV in this class. Official EPA fuel economy estimates are 22 mpg in combined driving (20 city/26 highway), which is a few mpg less efficient than rivals. On the Edmunds evaluation route, it returned 25 mpg. Properly equipped, the Discovery Sport can tow up to 4,409 pounds.

The Discovery Sport's powertrain also includes Land Rover's driver-adjustable Terrain Response system. The technology has four settings (General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand) that adapt accelerator and steering response, gear selection, center differential engagement and braking/stability control systems to optimize performance in a variety of difficult driving scenarios. Unlike with other Land Rovers, there are no locking differentials, low-range gearing or adjustable suspension height.

Safety

The list of standard safety features on the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, a driver knee airbag and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera and parking sensors are also standard, as are hill descent control and hill start assist.

Safety-related options include a blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert system, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning and automatic braking for frontal crash mitigation.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Discovery Sport with 20-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is better than average for the segment.

Driving

Like its close relative, the Range Rover Evoque, the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport feels supremely stable and well-coordinated on winding roads, with the accurate steering imparting solid feedback to the driver. We highly recommend you skip the optional 20-inch wheels, though, as they are at least partly responsible for a ride that tends toward jittery on imperfect surfaces. They generate a smattering of road noise, too. Smaller wheels would certainly improve things on both counts, but no Discovery Sport will deliver the sort of plush ride quality of its pricier air-suspended siblings.

It also can't match other Land Rovers off road, lacking their ground clearance, wheel articulation, locking differential and low-range gearing. In this department it also falls short of similarly sized or priced Jeeps (Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, respectively). Nevertheless, the Discovery Sport does possess more capabilities off the beaten path than its luxury compact luxury SUV competitors. It has short overhangs, a capable all-wheel-drive setup and (most importantly) the Terrain Response system that adjusts various vehicle parameters for optimum traction on different surfaces like sand, snow or mud.

Powering all these on- and off-pavement forays is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that offers sufficient punch for most buyers in most situations. Having said that, though, virtually every competitor not powered by diesel fuel or a hybrid powertrain delivers superior acceleration. The nine-speed automatic transmission can also be reluctant to downshift, which can be an annoyance when trying to merge into faster-moving traffic.

Interior

The 2016 Discovery Sport features a handsome interior fitted with high-quality materials. The design is stylish but conservative, which may leave some shoppers wishing for something with a little more charisma.

Gauges and controls are easy to see and intuitive in their operation. The 5-inch screen between the speedometer and tachometer can be configured to display a range of useful information. The large 8-inch touchscreen mounted in the center of the dash offers a much-improved interface that uses smartphone-like gestures to control climate, audio, phone and (optional) navigation functions, as well as to access available apps including iHeartRadio, Stitcher and more. It works well, but it can be too much of a reach at times, especially the accompanying physical buttons on its right side.

The second row offers decent legroom with the movable 60/40-split bench that both reclines (which is common) and slides fore and aft (which is rare). The seat is mounted 2 inches higher than the front seats to provide a better view for its occupants. The available third row is a tight fit for all but limber youngsters, leading us to suggest you look elsewhere if you plan on hauling seven passengers on a regular basis.

Speaking of hauling, fold down all the rear seats and you have a cargo hold with 60 cubic feet of space. Numerically, this is an average amount for a compact luxury crossover, but the Disco Sport's boxy shape makes the most of it. Although this SUV has "Sport" in its name, its utility is actually more appealing.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Discovery Sport 2016
Lindy Friedman,11/23/2015
HSE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
I never envisioned myself in a Discovery Sport, until I drove one. Originally I went to Land Rover to test drive the Evoque. I spotted a white and black Discovery Sport and basically, it was over for the Evoque. I had previously read about all the "issues" with the Discovery and found not one complaint to be true. I had no trouble with acceleration or rough starts. All questions and concerns were answered and reviewed with the salesperson. One test drive, in the rain, was over 2 hours long. I wanted to drive the vehicle in bad weather. Incredible response to the road in the pouring rain. I could not be happier with my Discovery Sport.
After 4.5 years we still love our 2016 Discovery
Fazz Powell,10/17/2015
SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Update 2020: Edmunds wanted me to update my review. Not sure how this works with my old review, but I'll still loving this car. No complaints or issues since my last review. I have seen the new version of the Discovery and I can't say I like the view of the boot. Just not as sexy as before. These 2016s seem to be holding value pretty well. In 2016 I paid $41K off the lot w/tax, it's worth $29.6K today (Private sale). Update 2018: After 2.5 years, 6K miles had my battery go up, but that's normal for Florida. Even tho I only I have 6K miles at 2.5 yrs I had the 30K mile check-up: $750. Original: We took delivery of a 2016 Discovery Sport this week and have to say we couldn’t be happier with this purchase. While waiting 3 months for delivery I was reading the reviews and frankly had been quite worried by the bad press. We also test drove the full-size Sport before buying the Discovery and found the almost twice as expensive Sport to have clunky breaking, albeit a luxurious interior. I had a Mercedes GL450, which we found too hard to get in and out of and quite a sterile interior, and compared to the Discovery it was not nearly as comfortable and the transmission was more cumbersome/computerized than the Discovery…by far. So I don’t get the bad reviews. The Discovery Sport in sports mode is super smooth in acceleration and I have not experienced any of the down-shifting issues mentioned in the many reviews. Granted I live in a small town and I didn’t buy the car based on its 0-60 rating. When I first test drove the Discovery I was taken a bit back by the sparse interior by Land Rover standards, but all the dealer had was black. One also has to consider this is a low-cost Land Rover product. I ordered an SE with a Glacier Brushed Aluminum interior and it was very nice and the steering wheel is much more comfortable than the $75K GL450 with the premium 2 upgrade package I had. On the SE the two-tone roof option was only $350 which really sets it off from the competition for look and feel. We looked at every car in this price range and would recommend it to anyone in this market. Fingers crossed on maintenance, but my CPO GL450 had to have a leaking shock absorber replaced with only 28,000 miles and it was not covered by the Benz CPO and cost $900, so I don’t think Mercedes offers any better in quality.
4 months In - updated after 3years
i. scott,02/11/2016
HSE LUX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
This has been a great vehicle, meeting all my expectations. Have even taken it off road the way it was intended and it turned out as expected. Had it axles deep in mud and water:) Really enjoying this for the daily commute as well as weekend trips Have four months and over 3000 miles on the Discovery so far. Found the ride and finish to be excellent. Fuel consumption is better than expected, short trips to and from work in the low 20's, highway between 26-28. Managed 30.9 on a long highway trip thru NC mountains! Haven't taken off road yet, but expect to use the 4WD modes this winter. Interior gets lots of positive comments, rear seats for tall passengers is great. Looked at the Q5/7, Infinity QX line, Porsche Maycan & Cayenne, found the Discovery to fit all my needs for passenger room, cargo area, and towing, as well as fit and finish. Did not expect it to be a speed demon, but the turbo kicks in nicely when needed. Ride is very comfortable on in-town roads, very smooth on the highway and a delight thru the mountain curves. The pano roof makes the interior very well lit and roomy during the day. I ordered the options and color I wanted, which took 3 months due to the end of European summer holidays, it has been well worth the wait. I have had the Discovery almost a year now and 7800 miles, the SUV has been excellent in both reliability and enjoyment. Average fuel economy is 22-25 in-town and almost 30 on the highway. The DS can be driven quite sedately, or push aggressively where the turbo really makes it take off. the flexible and large cargo area has come in handy. Really glad I got this. After over 4 yrs now, this still drives like new. All the things I expected are still valid. Has been reliable, with just the usual, tires and brakes needed. Overall been a great vehicle so far.
Discovery Sport 2016 a winner for the driver!
Pat Kudo,12/08/2015
HSE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Before buying the 2016 Discovery Sport HSE, I had gone months of research and pricing with many dealers. I am new to the brand as I have been a BMW customer for 15 years. Strayed away from mass German brand and found the smaller production British car to be what I was looking for. I test drove: Audi Q5, Porsche Macan S, BMW X3 & X4, Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, and Mercedes GLE300. After the test drives, I knew the car that connected me to the road: Land Rover Discovery Sport. Be aware that JLR dealers outside your "market area" may not sell to you so you have to ask before negotiating. I did all my negotiating between 2 dealers via phone, email and text. Did not have to step inside the dealer's lot - I had already test drove the 2015 model earlier.. As for the dealer, you have to find the one that matches you - they are all different - just like people. Some dealers are snobby, snooty, rude, and others are very helpful, professional and patient. If you are financing or leasing, it pays to find out what are the best bank rates before you negotiate Some dealers are forthcoming and will tell you the finance rate or lease residual/money factors. I dealt with 2 dealers that were very transparent in their sales approach. The car has a bit stiffer suspension than the other cars I test drove, but the connection to the road is more important and the suspension is not jarring - it has manners.... The most important feature standard on this car that makes the drive so good: Torque Vectoring by braking. Torque vectoring makes high speed turns, power acceleration into turns, and off road handling a must have for confidence if you are the driver type. I love the car - it makes me smile again - like I remember when I had my first 4WD BMW. The Discovery Sport is definitely for someone or a family that wants to travel almost anywhere safely and comfortably. UPDATE: 2016 - New software loaded for the Powertrain and Infotainment has changed the car entirely. Engine is now very quick to engage with no more laggy acceleration. The navigation is reliable 100% of the time. Fuel tank reading is now accurate. I LOVE THIS CAR ! UPDATE: 2017 - Updates for the seat rattles, In Touch controls, Navigation, Auto Start Stop, and service reminder all done at no cost was EXCELLENT. Good to see JLR changing their way of listening to customers and addressing issues with factory campaigns. Service dept was very receptive to customer concerns. Good followup after the service work by JLR in England via written survey returned by post. Since I have less than a year left on my lease, I am considering another JLR product to replace the Discovery Sport. Whilst at the dealer for service, I had a chance to speak to my sales advisor and he pointed towards the Range Rover Velar or the full sized Discovery that replaced the LR4. Both look very appealing and a great way to step a customer from the Discovery Sport. So far very happy with the Discovery Sport and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a driver's car (not a mushy soft car like everyone else).....

Features & Specs

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More about the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview

The Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport is offered in the following submodels: Discovery Sport SUV. Available styles include HSE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), and HSE LUX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE is priced between $21,272 and$27,750 with odometer readings between 37816 and80946 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE LUX is priced between $17,987 and$26,925 with odometer readings between 47503 and120597 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport SE is priced between $18,485 and$21,000 with odometer readings between 56130 and115000 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sports are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2016 Discovery Sports listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,987 and mileage as low as 37816 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Can't find a used 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sports you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Land Rover Discovery Sport for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $8,998.

Find a used Land Rover for sale - 3 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,751.

Find a used certified pre-owned Land Rover Discovery Sport for sale - 11 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $17,376.

Find a used certified pre-owned Land Rover for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,632.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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