REVIEW | We drive the Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 HSE

Land Rover launched the updated Discovery Sport earlier this year.

It features updated styling, the latest Terrain Response program and tech updates.

On test is the top of the range diesel-powered model: D180 AWD R-Dynamic HSE.


A brief test of the newest Discovery Sport model over a weekend was the perfect opportunity to stretch the D180's legs. 

It is of course Land Rover's updated Discovery Sport model and the smallest SUV the brand offers. 

Driving towards the Huguenot tunnel via the N1 and out the other end into the glorious sunshine, gave me a good indication of the SUV's cruising ability and how well the 2.0-litre turbodiesel performs on the open road. 

It has a healthy 132kW and 400Nm and pulls strongly from low down in the rev range to offer a more than adequate shove. The engine is frugal and the added benefit of 65-litre fuel tank, 20% larger than before, is a big boon for a long trip. It's those types of changes that show Land Rover is intent on making the lives of their customers easier. Another nifty gadget that is the rear-view camera that's streamed via the rear-view mirror. It offers a precise feed of what's going on behind you. 

discovery sport

Image: Wheels24

Note the HSE badge on the boot lid, and you'll know it's the top of the range, full-house model. There's the adaptive cruise control that users a radar to 'latch' onto the speed the car ahead and maintains a safe following distance. This model's sound system was put to the test and passed with aplomb. It offers crystal clear sound, and that's always good on a drive. The fascia is devoid of thousands of buttons with a less is more approach taken.

There's the Terrain Response button that allows the driver to choose which setting is best for the vehicle to perform in. There are several settings to choose from, including rock, sand and gravel. Eco and Auto modes were best suited for the drive and could be activated via the rotary controller. 

There are also buttons to engage the hill descent control and the stop/start system. The climate control system uses buttons and a left-placed rotary dial. The infotainment system is LR's 'digital touch pro' that has all the cool things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless mobile charging unit, and a 4G hotspot. I quickly synced my iPhone and sorted myself out with music via the Spotify music app. 

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Image: Land Rover

There are enough storage binnacles littered around the cabin for everything you might need. While styling is subjective, I reckon the latest model is bang on how a small Landie should look. It's rugged with a sense of panache, particularly in the midnight blue hue the Wheels24 test car was covered in. 

A special mention is for the seats, they offered brilliant support, and I felt like freshly squeezed orange juice after the trek to Rawsonville for brunch. 

If you're thinking of buying a premium, highly capable SUV that doesn't have the bulkiness of and price tag of a bigger off-roader then it's hard to ignore the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport. With a wading depth of 600mm and all-wheel drive it'll do what most city slickers want from an SUV and a whole lot more too.

Price: R897 800