The changes made by Land Rover on Discovery Sport over the last two years are significant. This year, it brings a new engine that comes with two different power outputs and revisions to the front seat. Along with last year’s changes to the infotainment system and optional adaptive suspension, the 2018 Discovery Sport has changed slightly.
In previous models, the Discovery Sport is less favorable because of its relatively slow acceleration, below average fuel economy, overly firm seats and high prices. The optional 286-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine adds speed but extra expensive, and fuel economy remains the same. Optional adaptive suspension improves driving quality, but is a stand-alone option.
If the optional seats or traction controls that allow off-road capabilities and various weather are not top of your priority list, there are many better compact SUVs to choose from. The redesigned 2018 Volvo XC60 is modern, luxurious and capable. The Audi Q5 has a lot of technology and extraordinary driving comfort. It’s a busy segment, and Land Rover has pinned its appeal on some very specific point.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is a five-passenger compact luxury SUV offered in three trim levels: SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. An optional two-person third row raises capacity to seven.
Standard features on the SE includes 18-inch wheels, automatic headlamps and wipers, rear parking sensors, power-folding and heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, and the Land Rover Terrain Response system, which changes vehicle settings to match various terrain.
Inside, you’ll get dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, partial leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, a 60/40-split rear seat (folding, reclining, sliding), a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, four USB charging ports (two front, two rear), a 10-speaker sound system with a USB media player interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a CD player.
The SE optional Convenience package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a hands-free liftgate and proximity entry. The SE Vision Assist package adds xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and foglights. A navigation and 12-way power-adjustable front seats are available as stand-alone options.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE gets the Convenience and SE Vision packages plus front parking sensors, a fixed panoramic roof, 12-way power front seats with memory functions and full leather upholstery.
Also available for the SE and HSE is the Audio Upgrade package, which adds an 11-speaker Meridian stereo and satellite radio. Satellite radio and smartphone-connection apps are available for both as stand-alone options.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury adds fancier exterior trim, 19-inch wheels, upgraded leather upholstery, multicolor interior ambient lighting, navigation functionality and the Audio Upgrade package.
A number of optional packages are available for the HSE trims. The Vision Assist package adds automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, a surround-view camera system and blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The Driver Assist Plus package adds automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and navigation functionality.
The HUD & Park Assist package adds an automatic parking system and a head-up display. The Intelligent Dynamics Pack adds an active all-wheel-drive system and an adaptive magnetic suspension.
The Entertainment Pack adds upgraded 10-inch InControl Touch Pro touchscreen interface with a navigation system and onboard Wi-Fi and a 17-speaker Meridian sound system. The Dynamic Design package adds special exterior and trim pieces and gloss-black 20-inch wheels.
All the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport can be equipped with the Climate Comfort package, which adds a heated windshield, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats. Stand-alone options include 19 or 20-inch wheels, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, contrasting roof color choices, a cargo cover, the head-up display and onboard Wi-Fi.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 237 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. A more powerful version of this engine is available for the HSE and HSE Luxury trims and produces 286 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
All-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. Also included is an automatic engine stop-start system. The optional Active all-wheel-drive system switch between front- and all-wheel drive based on conditions to save fuel.
According to Land Rover, the 2018 Discovery Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is better than the previous models. EPA estimates fuel economy at 22 mpg combined (21 city/25 highway) and (22/20/25) for the upgrade engine. Properly equipped, the 2018 Discovery Sport can tow up to 4,409 pounds.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport also includes hill descent control, All Terrain Progress Control (a low-speed, off-road cruise control) and the driver-adjustable Terrain Response system. The late technology has four settings (general, sand, mud/ruts and grass/gravel/snow) that adjust braking/stability control systems, center differential engagement, gear selection, accelerator and steering response to optimize performance in a variety of difficult driving scenarios.
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport has a handsome interior equipped with high quality materials. The design is stylish but conservative, which makes some buyers want something with a bit more charisma. Controls and gauges are easy to see and easy to operate. The standard 8-inch touch screen mounted in the center of the dash allows input like a smartphone to control audio, navigation, climate and phone functions.
The Discovery Sport second row seats offer decent leg room with a 60/40-split bench which is reclines and slide forward and back. The seat itself is installed 2 inches higher than the front seat to provide better visibility. The optional third line is tight, which makes you better look for another vehicle if you plan to carry seven passengers on a regular basis.
For utilities, Discovery Sport has a 60 cubic foot cargo space with all the rear seats folded down. It is average for a compact luxury crossover, but its box shape makes it very easy to load large items.
Release Date and Price
The cheapest Discovery Sport SE has a base price of $38,790 (including destination charge). The HSE starts at $43,390 and the best-equipped Discovery Sport HSE Luxury at $47,790.