Modern Motoring: 6 takeaways from the 2017 Range Rover Discovery Sport

Appearance

The Discovery Sport boasts a fairly conservative appearance but there’s enough style and grace to certainly be classified as a luxury vehicle. Gone are the days of the tall and boxy Range Rover offerings. Following modern design cues, that's been replaced with smooth and sleek (well, as sleek as you can be for an SUV) lines.
Inside, it’s (recent) business as usual with a long front end with the highlight being a 10 inch infotainment screen (HSE Luxury trim) and the collapsing/rising gear shift. There’s no guesswork in finding climate and audio controls, the Windsor leather seats look beautiful, and there’s a certain high-end feeling that’s unmistakably Range Rover the moment you sit down.
Could I get used to seeing that in my driveway every morning? Absolutely.

Engine

Beneath the hood is where you’ll find a small yet mighty motor, in the form of a 2.0 L turbocharged 4 cylinder offering that produces 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft. of torque that’s run through a 9-speed automatic gearbox. 
Fuel economy rates at 11.9 city, 9.0 highway for a combined 10.7 L/100 km, all running on up to 70 litres of recommended premium fuel. After a week of driving the Discovery, which included a ski trip to Ellicottville, my average fuel economy through about 800 km hit 10.1, which is quite good considering it’s an SUV with a turbocharged engine.

Technology

The Discovery’s Adaptive Dynamics is a helluva system, which I’ll let them describe:
“Adaptive Dynamics provides the optimum balance of ride and control. It does so by monitoring the vehicle’s movements at least 1,000 times a second and adjusting the damper settings between soft and firm as your inputs or the road dictate. This happens virtually instantaneously to minimize body roll, deliver greater control and ensure a composed, flat ride. It even senses off-road conditions and optimizes damping accordingly.” 1,000 times a second…well then.
Torque vectoring (which enhances the vehicle’s agility and stability when cornering) and their 9 speed transmission are great for things you can feel but not see.
Safety tech includes a backup camera, front and rear parking aids, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, surround view cameras and a heads up display are all available options. 

On the road

City driving (which took up close to 50% of my test week) proved to be a smooth experience with the 9 speed transmission not giving a muddled feeling in lower gears, as some other “more than 6 gear” transmissions might. While it’s definitely not perfect, the Discovery responds well up to 60 km/h without having to stomp on the gas pedal to upshift.  
The seating position is higher than I expected, which was based on the small up-step to get into the vehicle, which is something I’m a big fan of as I enjoy a higher vantage point on the road.
Highway driving, which included a round trip from Mississauga to Ellicottivlle, was simply wonderful, as the Discovery cruises extremely smoothly on the highway. The comfortable seats not only made a 2 hour road trip enjoyable but I would (well, if Range Rover let me) take a trip to Montreal in the same car and am confident that there wouldn’t be any dreaded seat-fatigue. You know the one…where the seat gets increasingly uncomfortable the further you go.
There’s a great balance struck for offering a strong driving experience, both at high and low speeds.

Trim levels

You’re given three trim choices in the 2017 Discovery Sport, which are:

SE: $41,790 MSRP. Features include automatic headlights with rain sensing wipers, cruise control with speed limiter and ambient interior lighting.

HSE: $46,990 MSRP. This mid-trim level offers a rear view camera, 10 way power front seats, fog lights and Xenon headlights.

HSE Luxury: $50,990 MSRP. At the top trim level, features include Windsor leather seats, configurable ambient lighting, a 10 inch infotainment system (the other two have 8 inch screens) and a power gestured tailgate. 

My tester was jam packed with $16,440 worth of extra features, including the Dynamic pack, Touch pro pack, driver tech pack, heads up display, heated front windscreen, vision assist pack and a few others. With a total price as tested at $69,090, there are plenty of ways to configure your Discovery Sport to your liking.

I imagine the popular seller will be the HSE as you get a solid amount of features before hitting the $50K mark, along with a front and rear parking aids.

Cargo space

At most (with the rear seats folded) you’ll have 1,698 litres of cargo space to work with, so expect a few calls on moving/furniture shopping days.
Fold only the “20” in the 40/20/40 rear seats and enjoy 1,124 litres of space, ideal for skis, snowboards or an unassembled Billy bookshelf.
Collapse a “40” and a “20” to utilize 1,411 litres of space and there’s still a respectable 981 litres for groceries and golf clubs. 
There are two tiny seats (for two tiny people, bringing the capacity to 7 people) that when in use, shrink cargo space to 194 litres. Although, it’s unlikely anyone would ever occupy those two seats. Well, maybe the family dog.
Camping trips, road trips or airport chauffeur trips are all made easier with the Discovery and you’ll do so in class and style.

Enjoy the full gallery below: