- Key upgrades over the 2019 model.
- Great off-road capability.
- Athletic, sporty-looking exterior.
- Inexpensive for a Land Rover.
- Heated front seats for colder climates.
- Fuel economy not as good as its competitors.
- Available third-row is cramped.
Would we buy one? Indubitably!
Vehicle Type: Four-door, five-seat compact crossover.
Price Range: From $38,850 to $53,850 MSRP before option packages and before a $995 destination charge.
Powertrain: All trims come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces either 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque or 286 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of power level, the Disco' Sport achieves 19 MPG city and 24 MPG highway, 21 MPG combined.
An all-new, 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain that produces 286 horsepower is available in addition to the standard, turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The only available transmission is a 9-speed automatic by legendary transmission manufacturer ZF, and four-wheel drive is standard across all trims. Its available trims are Base, S, S R-Dynamic, SE, R-Dynamic SE, HSE R-Dynamic. This might be the best Discovery Sport model yet, thanks to improved standard amenities.
Competitors: Jeep Cherokee, BMW X5, Mercedes Benz GLC300, and Acura RDX.
Overall Score: 8/10
Safety Features: 9/10
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
As far as modern safety tech, Land Rover offers automated emergency braking with forward-collision detection, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. Adaptive cruise control is an optional extra.
Land Rover now offers some tremendous trickle-down technology from the more expensive Range Rover Evoque: ClearSight Rear View, which transforms the rearview mirror into an HD video screen. This displays a rear-facing camera feed onto the mirror and gives the driver an uninhibited glimpse of pedestrians and large items that might be obscured by blind spots. It also has a wider 50-degree field of view - the camera is positioned above the rear window for maximum awareness.
The Discovery Sport's high-card is its absolute-base trim, which comes in a bit cheaper than other small and compact SUVs from Europe and Japan. Besides the Acura RDX's several-hundred-less starting figure of $38,200, the BMW X5 is a whopping $58,900, and Mercedes CL 300 splits the difference somewhat at $43,200. The Jeep Cherokee is far cheaper than everyone at $32,370, though far less appointed than everyone else at this price.
Because the Discovery Sport SE has an available hybrid-assisted powertrain, four-wheel drive, excellent seating room, good tech, substantial tow capacity, and a starting price of just $38,850, we think it's a solid value.
Tech Features: 8/10
Featured prominently in the front passenger area is a large digital gauge cluster, as well as a 10-inch infotainment screen. Wireless charging for cell phones is present in the lower center console and USB and 12-Volt connections in every seat row. Land Rover's InControl Touch Pro infotainment system comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, 4G LTE connectivity wi-fi hotspot, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium sound system, as well as new "smart settings," which artificial intelligence algorithms to get an idea of driver preferences, and adjust the seating position, music, and climate settings.
Keyless entry is standard, as are LED headlights. An optional navigation system is available.
The available ClearSight Ground View is quite neat, offering a 180-degree view beneath the Discovery Sport on the center touch screen; this is great for off-roading and just generally getting around tight spaces.
As we hinted at above, the 2020 Disco' Sport comes equipped with all-wheel-drive, a towing capacity of 4,409 lbs, and an optional third row of seating, making it a great all-purpose small SUV.
Cargo room is very good at 55.6 cubic feet with the second row of seats folded down on two-row models, 27.5 cubic feet with the third row folded down on three-row models. With all rows up on a three-row model, the cargo room is a scant 4.1 cubic feet. The large liftgate makes loading cargo a breeze as well.
The headroom is generous: 39.5 inches up front and 38.7 inches in the second row. The third row should be reserved for small occupants only: 34.4 inches. The ratios continue in shoulder and legroom; the front and second rows are great; the third row is minuscule. For those searching for much more room in the back, the Range Rover Velar would be a better choice.
Off-road-ability is always one of a Land Rover's most significant benefits, and the Disco' Sport is no exception. It has an approach angle of 22.9 degrees, a departure angle of 28.3 degrees, a ramp break-over angle of 17.7 degrees, can wade through 23.6 inches of water, and has 8.3 inches of ground clearance. It also features Land Rover's Terrain Response System, which automatically adapts its drivetrain and brakes to various on- and off-road driving conditions. All of these combine for some stiff competition against the Jeep Cherokee.
Styling & Design: 9/10
We think the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is a real beauty. With sharp, aesthetically-pleasing, and athletic lines, and an athletic stance, it has presence. Even the absolute-base trim looks upscale and appears to have a price tag that's a lot higher than $39,000.
The 2020 model features some subtle-yet-welcome design changes over the 2019 model as well, such as LED lighting, sporty fog lights, different wheels, and revised bumper enhancements on some trims. Plus, consumers have a choice of 12 paint colors to keep things exciting and stand out, as well as some even sportier features if they spring for the R-Dynamic trim (starting at $43,100 before delivery).
New interior trim and upholstery colors are available for 2020, which give any row seat an added high-end look, which helps the Discovery excel against the pricier competition.
Driving Experience: 9/10
Regardless of power level, reviewers could achieve 60 MPH from a standstill in just 7.5 seconds with the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport. For being equipped with an all-wheel driveline, weighing in at just over 4,000 lbs, and having only a 2.0-liter turbo-four under its hood, this is very good for its segment.
Reviewers also noted that it rides very well, though it isn't a champ in twistier bits of tarmac. It's OK because it wasn't built for such duty; it's more off-road- and hauling-focused. Though, the Discovery Sport R-Dynamic would indeed up the ante in cornering fun.
Fuel Efficiency: 7/10
This is perhaps the Land Rover Discovery's least-desirable trait: while its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is sprightly with as much as 296 horsepower on tap, it still only manages to achieve an EPA-estimated 19 MPG City, 24 MPG Highway, and 21 MPG Combined. Reviewers were right on the money with their results and noted that even the higher-trims available on the BMW X5 yield 24 MPG City.
We expected the Discovery's saving grace would be hybrid availability. Oddly, hybrid-equipped models are rated at the same MPG as the gas-only trim. The hybrid's ability to run on electricity alone at lower speeds hasn't seemed to improve overall mileage significantly.