Nine months with a Disco Sport, we find out the deal.
We’ve crossed the 10,000km mark in our Land Rover Discovery Sport, and it's time to report back on the car’s progress.
If you haven’t read our initial owner review click here, but to quickly recap, two identical Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury diesels were purchased in August last year to be part of the CarAdvice owner fleet. One has done 21,000km and the other has just ticked over 10,000km and as such have had plenty of time on the road to be run in.
Our Brisbane-based Discovery Sport had an initial run of electrical gremlins that were nearly all sorted, except for the main infotainment screen which made two visits (so far) back to the dealer for rectification. It needs to go back again for the reversing camera to be replaced to see if that will solve the intermittent display issue which is basically impossible to replicate when required.
The black side plastic door claddings continue to be an issue, either coming loose or being ripped off when even remotely touching tall grass or dirt. The left-hand side was previously replaced entirely, and it has come loose again, while the right-hand side was replaced recently and is still holding in place, just.
These are of course very minor problems, for what has otherwise been a very great SUV to own and drive. My wife is thoroughly happy with it, which, ultimately, is all I care about.
We decided to do the unthinkable and take the Disco Sport off-road, as part of Land Rover’s experience package that comes for free when you buy the car. Having spent countless hours doing similar things, this was a day entirely for my wife to get used to the idea that the Disco can do more than just take the kids to kindy and fit the week’s groceries.
Even so, we brought the kids, who thought the idea of going off-road in the Land Rover was so foreign that they wanted to see the car roll down the mountain, as my four-year-old put it.
Of course, if there’s one thing you can’t take away from a Land Rover, it’s off-road credentials. Sure, the Disco Sport doesn’t have low-range gearing, and the 212mm ground clearance really is the limiting factor, but on the bits that it can go, it goes rather well.
Going through all the modes of the Disco Sport and crossing creeks and climbing up hills was a good day out and a showcase of what the car is capable of in case the road to kindy is closed and a new route needs to be found.
On the road the Disco Sport has settled in nicely. We worked out that the initial turbo lag that comes from the engine on take off is partially due to the engine and mostly due to the nine-speed ZF transmission that starts the car in second gear.
If you switch it to 'S' mode and force it down to first, it actually takes of from a standstill almost immediately without much hesitation. First gear feels very short and it makes sense why the car starts in second, however for those occasions when you need to get in front of the guy next to you from a red light to make a merge work, this proved to be an excellent solution.
Other than that, the fuel economy has settled around 8.0 litres of diesel per 100km, though we drive it hard and without much care for economy. Most of the time short trips are less than 3km in total so the engine doesn’t necessarily get much of a chance to warm up.
The interior has held up surprisingly well, at least the back seats, which I thought would be trashed and destroyed by now. The decision to go for the HSE Lux over the standard HSE just for the Windsor leather was worth it as every occasion behind the wheel is a nice experience, feeling the super-soft leather.
The downside is of course the infotainment system, which is old, slow and continues to be a pain in the backside. It will be good when the HSE Lux gets the new infotainment system. Our own, which is running the previous-generation system in order to deal with the 19-speaker Meridian sound system, occasionally refuses to respond to the actual navigation button on the right side of the screen, forcing repetitive presses, each one harder than the next.
Speaking of the audio system, it’s imperative to point out that the top-spec Meridian system remains one of the best in any car I’ve yet to experience. It has been tuned so exceptionally well that I’ve found myself going into the Disco Sport late at night just to listen to a new track. If you love your music, it’s a must.
Overall our love for the Disco Sport has not faded. It’s by no means the most advanced or smoothest car on the block, but it does what is asked of it well and still turns plenty of heads wherever it goes in this Corris Grey with black pack combination.
If you have two small kids and don’t want to get into a car the class above, this really is the best option. Plenty of competitor cars have come and gone through the Brisbane garage and none can offer the seven-seater solution that we need in this class, let alone the second row width that is required to fit a person between two child seats.
In saying all that, we are thinking we may upgrade to an SUV a size up.
Our MY15 Land Rover is the top-spec Discovery Sport HSE Luxury with the SD4 2.2-litre diesel engine coupled to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. You can get into one from $69,990 (plus on-roads), though with the list of options we ended up ticking, it brought the retail price of ours to the $84,747 drive away. That option list is at the end of this review.
Nine-speed auto – $2500
Metallic paint – $1300
Seven seats – $1990
Panoramic roof – $1800
Privacy glass - $600
19-inch black pack – $2100