Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE review

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is an attractive mid-sized premium SUV offering strong all-round ability

Thanks to a recent facelift Land Rover’s Discovery Sport has received a new lease of life keeping it competitive in the increasingly crowded premium SUV market. Land Rover’s pricing means that the Discovery Sport crosses into multiple classes competing against a broad range of rivals including the BMW X3, the Audi Q5 and the higher trim variants of the Nissan X-Trail and Skoda Kodiaq. Can the Discovery Sport be all things to all people? We’ve had a look at the HSE trim level to decide.

The Discovery Sport HSE offers an array of ability covering a broad range of functions from the daily commute to towing a caravan or horsebox. In HSE trim the Discovery Sport is equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights and enhanced bodywork trim that can be specced in black for an additional cost.

Best large SUVs

In Sport HSE trim there is a choice of four different engines – three diesels and one petrol. The two lower-powered diesels can be specced with either a manual or automatic gearbox, with the petrol engine and highest output diesel engine only available with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. If you never expect to need the Discovery Sport’s four-wheel drive, the least powerful diesel can also be had in a front-wheel drive configuration. The diesels are better suited to higher mileage drivers delivering fuel economy between 32 and 42mpg under the new WLTP testing regime with the petrol variant managing around 25mpg on average.

The petrol powered HSE model does offer brisk performance, but unless you’re specifically after a performance SUV we’d recommend the mid-level diesel model as it has plenty of power. Whichever engine you choose the HSE is an entertaining car to drive with well-weighted and precise steering and good body control which makes it fun to drive on a winding road while also feeling composed and refined on the motorway.

The 19-inch alloy wheels on the HSE models can make for a slightly jittery ride at urban speeds but it’s not unduly uncomfortable and once you reach higher speeds the ride quality smooths out impressively.

Overall the Discovery Sport HSE’s interior feels impressive but there are a couple of hard plastic surfaces on show which take the edge off the premium experience. It has a well thought out layout, but some may not find it as premium as similar offerings from Volvo or Audi. It is well equipped, though, with leather seats (heated and with 10-way electric adjustment for the front) a rear-view camera and a Meridian sound system and a 10.2-inch infotainment system. Some rivals may offer more advanced infotainment but the Discovery Sport counters this with its ‘5+2’ seating which offers occasional use seats in its boot. Accommodation is, overall, pretty generous given the car’s relatively compact exterior dimensions.

Verdict 4/5

While the Discovery Sport might not be quite as bang up-to-date as some other rivals, it’s still a very attractive package, especially in HSE trim which offers a good blend of equipment for the price. However, there’s only one petrol engine to choose from and it’s both expensive and thirsty and given the current diesel backlash, you may also want to look at other petrol-engined SUVs from other manufacturers before making your choice.

Recommended

Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV review
Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV
Land Rover Discovery Sport
16 Jun 2022

Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV review

Top 10 best tow cars 2022
Skoda Enyaq front corner
Best cars
20 May 2022

Top 10 best tow cars 2022

Top 10 best cars for dog owners 2022
Corolla Sport Tourer Rear
Best cars
10 May 2022

Top 10 best cars for dog owners 2022

Top 10 best used SUVs 2022
Skoda Karoq - front 3/4 view
Best cars
12 Apr 2022

Top 10 best used SUVs 2022

Most Popular

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?
Hero image
News
11 Aug 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N spotted testing
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
News
11 Aug 2022

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N spotted testing

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022