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Land Rover reveals a new and improved Discovery Sport

The compact premium crossover gets useful tech goodies

The Discovery Sport is a stylish compact crossover. PHOTO FROM LAND ROVER

Land Rover has just unveiled a revamped version of its best-selling SUV, the Discovery Sport. With almost half a million of them sold over the last three years, getting the latest iteration right is a crucial task for the carmaker, which is now trying to woo potential buyers with a slightly sportier design, more space inside, and new powertrains that include mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. Priced from £31,575 (P2.09 million) in the UK, it promises to be a roomier and more rugged sibling of the latest Range Rover Evoque, with which it shares its underpinnings via the brand’s Premium Transverse Architecture platform.

The Discovery Sport may be an urban crossover SUV, but it can also get down and dirty. PHOTOS FROM LAND ROVER

There are no experiments on the design side, with the general appearance (including the trademark clamshell hood) being largely the same except for some minor nips and tucks. In human terms, you could say the Disco Sport got some Botox, with the front bumper now looking slightly smoother and the air intake a tiny bit larger. The rear has been reshaped and now features different light units, but all in all it’s still instantly recognizable as a Land Rover. One that is still a 5+2-seater with 40:20:40 split-folding second-row seats that, according to the firm, now enable 24 possible interior configurations. There’s plenty of space for luggage: 1,179L with the rear seats up and 1,794L with them down.

No small detail has been spared inside the cabin of the new Discovery Sport. So high-tech. PHOTOS FROM LAND ROVER

A host of new features have been added to keep everyone safe and entertained. For starters, the car now comes with a smart rearview mirror that uses a camera to project a high-definition video onto the mirror’s screen if the view through the cabin is otherwise blocked. It also has ClearSight ground view fitted, a feature that projects a virtual 180° view from beneath the vehicle onto a screen in the cabin, essentially making the hood invisible and helping drivers in avoiding obstacles. Then there’s wireless charging for smartphones, a 4G hotspot and a new infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to cure boredom on long trips.

The Terrain Response 2 system will help you look good when you're driving off the road. PHOTO FROM LAND ROVER

The entry-level version comes with a 150hp diesel engine, front-wheel drive and a manual transmission, while a 200hp/48V mild hybrid petrol unit is also available from launch. A three-cylinder Ingenium plug-in hybrid will follow later this year, and all AWD models will feature Driveline Disconnect to save fuel by only powering two wheels when you’re cruising down the highway. In case you want to really go off-road, the new Terrain Response 2 system, an approach angle of 25° and a wading depth of 600mm are on hand to help. Finally, the Discovery Sport can tow up to 2,000kg and also comes with a range of driver-assistance programs to keep it shiny side up.

All in all, it’s a gentle refresh with some new electric goodies thrown in, and all signs point toward the model’s stellar sales record staying intact.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.