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A SPORTING CHANCE (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 192
Chart the history of Land Rover and it hasn't always been smooth sailing. There have been periods when the company has turned out some fantastic products and then there have been years spent in the automotive doldrums. Many industry commentators felt that when the company was divested from Ford's Premier Auto Group in 2007, it was the beginning of the end. The new owner, TATA Motors, had no record of managing a prestige brand and little in the way of automotive track record to call upon. Sometimes it's great to be proven wrong. That acquisition saw Land Rover go from strength to strength. In 2010 we got the fourth-generation Discovery. In 2011 the brilliant Range Rover Evoque debuted and instantly became the best-selling car in its class. The fourth-generation Range Rover appeared in 2012 and in 2014 we got perhaps the biggest surprise, the replacement of the Freelander with the seven-seat Discovery Sport. Demand for this vehicle has been stratospheric and the first batch of cars were all sold with the 190PS SD4 diesel engine, carried over from the Freelander. Here's what to look for when tracking down an early Discovery Sport.
Modelsword count: 11
5dr compact 4x4 (2.2-litre diesel [SE, SE Tech, HSE, HSE Luxury])
Historyword count: 239
The Land Rover Discovery never did sporty at all well. It had a vast array of other qualities that put it right near the top of the family 4x4 tree but on-road dynamics were never one of its big draws. If you wanted a car that handled a bit better, you graduated to the Range Rover Sport, a car that shared plenty of the Discovery's underpinnings but which featured suspension that was geared a little more to the keen driver. In 2014, Land Rover proved there was another way. If the Evoque wasn't big enough and a Range Rover Sport just too expensive, why not try the Discovery Sport? Brought into the range to pension off the Freelander and featuring 5+2 seating, pricing that looked sensible, and some very sharp styling, it was another instant winner from Land Rover. Unfortunately, Land Rover didn't quite have all its ducks in a row for the launch of the Discovery Sport. The original plan was for the car's unveiling to coincide with the development of its next-generation 2.0-litre TD4 Ingenium diesel engines, but the Ingenium project slipped. Land Rover had a choice: either hold the Discovery Sport launch back a year or launch it with the older 2.2-litre SD4 engines and risk some adverse press reaction. It bit the bullet and plumped for the latter approach. So, despite the better TD4 engine option, is it worth buying an early used SD4 model?
What You Getword count: 289
Even if you'd never seen a picture of the Discovery Sport, you could probably generate a reasonably accurate mental sketch of it were you to imagine crossing a Range Rover with a five-door Evoque. It's a really handsome piece of design work that instantly makes even a good-looking rival like the Volvo V60 look old. It also serves to make the conservative Audi Q5 look positively lumpy. The wheels are pushed nicely to each corner and there's that distinctive canted forward C-pillar profile that became such a Freelander signature. Land Rover describes the seating arrangement as '5+2' rather than a full seven-seater; that's because the rearmost seats are designed largely for kids and occasional use. The middle row of seats can be reclined, slid back and forth by 160mm, and also splits 60:40. They're also 5cm higher than the fronts, which affords a good view out. Boot space measures a useable 195-litres with all seats up, but the Discovery Sport is likely to spend most of its life in five-seat mode, in which case you get a massive 830-litres. Fold both second and third rows and you can carry up to 1,698-litres. Across the range, buyers are offered the choice between four trim levels - SE, SE Tech, HSE and HSE Luxury. Whatever your choice, all variants come with permanent 4WD. As for equipment, well entry-level SE trim gets you part-leather seating, climate control, a heated windscreen, cruise control, and the inControl Remote. This last piece of kit allows you to access all sorts of vehicle information via your smartphone. You can find your way back to the vehicle, check if the windows or doors are open, check fuel level and range, and even summon emergency assistance if required.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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