2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review
Edmunds expert review
The cumulative changes to the Discovery Sport over the last two years are significant. This year brings a new engine that comes in two different power-output levels, along with revisions to the front seats. Add those updates to last year's changes to the infotainment system and the addition of an optional adaptive suspension, and the Discovery Sport has changed quite a bit.
In the past we knocked the Discovery Sport for its relatively slow acceleration, below-average fuel economy, brittle ride, overly firm seats and high cost, especially considering how much more luxurious competitors can be. The new, optional 286-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder adds a turn of speed but is a pricey extra, and fuel economy remains the same. The optional adaptive suspension, which should improve ride quality, is a stand-alone option. As far as cost goes, the market seems to have caught up — while the Discovery Sport gets pricey quickly when you start checking options boxes, so do its European competitors. At least the revisions to the seats come standard.
Still, if the Disco Sport's optional third-row seat or trick traction control that allows for more off-road and inclement-weather capability isn't at the top of your list of priorities, there are a lot of great compact luxury SUVs to choose from. The redesigned 2018 Volvo XC60 is luxurious, modern and capable. The Audi Q5 has lots of excellent available technology and outstanding road manners. Top-tier Discovery Sports also compete with more entry-level trims of the Porsche Macan, which is a bit tight on the inside but is also one of the best-driving SUVs on the road. And that's not to mention offerings from Acura, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and even Alfa Romeo. This is a crowded segment, and Land Rover has pinned its appeal on a few very specific strengths.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is a compact luxury SUV that comes standard with five seats, though an optional two-person third row raises capacity to seven. There are three trim levels: SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. A more powerful engine is available for the HSE and HSE Luxury trims.
The Discovery Sport's powertrain also includes Land Rover's All-Terrain Progress Control (a low-speed off-road cruise control), hill descent control and the driver-adjustable Terrain Response system. The latter 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 and 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.
The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 237 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. A more powerful version of this engine is available for the HSE and HSE Luxury trims and makes 286 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.
Standard equipment on the SE includes automatic headlamps and wipers, power-folding and heated mirrors, a rearview camera, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, 18-inch wheels, and the Land Rover Terrain Response system, which changes vehicle settings to match various surfaces. Also standard are 10-way power front seats, partial leather upholstery, a 60/40-split rear seat (folding, reclining, sliding), an 8-inch touchscreen interface, four USB charging ports (two front, two rear) and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB media player interface.
Some options are unique to the SE: The Convenience package adds proximity entry, a hands-free liftgate and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The SE Vision Assist package adds foglights and xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights. Twelve-way power-adjustable front seats and navigation are available as stand-alone options.
The HSE includes the contents of the Convenience and SE Vision packages and adds a fixed panoramic roof, front parking sensors, full leather upholstery, and 12-way power front seats with memory functions.
Both the SE and HSE can be upgraded with the Audio Upgrade package, which adds an 11-speaker Meridian stereo and satellite radio. Smartphone-connection apps and satellite radio are available for both as stand-alone options.
The HSE Luxury adds the Audio Upgrade package, 19-inch wheels, fancier exterior trim, multicolor interior ambient lighting, upgraded leather upholstery and navigation functionality.
The HSE trims are available with a number of option packages. The Vision Assist package includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams and a surround-view camera system. The Driver Assist Plus package adds the navigation functionality, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. The HUD & Park Assist package brings a head-up display and an automatic parking system that can handle perpendicular and parallel parking duties. The Intelligent Dynamics Pack adds an active all-wheel-drive system, which switches between front- and all-wheel drive based on conditions to save fuel, and an adaptive magnetic suspension. The Entertainment Pack adds a 17-speaker Meridian sound system and the upgraded 10-inch InControl Touch Pro touchscreen interface that includes onboard Wi-Fi and its own upgraded navigation system. Finally, the Dynamic Design package adds a variety of special exterior and trim pieces, including gloss-black 20-inch wheels.
All trims can be equipped with the Climate Comfort package, which includes a variety of heated items: windshield, steering wheel, and front and rear seats. Also available as stand-alone options are different wheels (19- or 20-inch), contrasting roof color choices, the head-up display, automatic high beams, a cargo cover and onboard Wi-Fi. For 2018, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control have both been made available as stand-alone options.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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