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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 19th August, 2016
, updated 17th July, 2020
This improved version of the second generation Range Rover Sport gets the option of clever mild hybrid diesel engine technology for the first time. And, as before, it offers amazing all-terrain capability. If you can afford one, there's now very little not to like, thinks Jonathan Crouch
Back in 2014, once again, Land Rover looked at a market that many thought was packed to bursting point and spotted a significant gap, into which it parked the Discovery Sport. What other car of this kind can seat seven, set off in the Serengeti and slot right in as easily in Sloane Square as it will in the tightest multi-storey carpark space? No other premium compact SUV from this era can do all this. You'll need to buy carefully though: the build quality and reliability of this car wasn't always what it should have been.
Find a good one though and you'll get a great family car. Discovery Sport buyers can get all the style and class of premium 5-seat mid-sized SUVs sold by Audi, BMW, Volvo and Lexus, with the additional versatility of a third seating row, a feature that'll also attract the attention of people who'd previously have had to settle for something Korean like a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Kia Sorento. You get extra off road prowess with a Discovery Sport too, though it's not quite a match for its German rivals if you want to throw your car around on-tarmac. Fortunately, most SUV buyers don't, prioritising instead the kind of supple highway ride and fast fluid responses this car is actually very good at delivering.
It all means that for once, the advertising tagline for this model works for the product it's supposed to promote. 'Above and beyond' was the objective in developing this car. In considering the end result, you'd have to say that mission's been accomplished.
How do you right a best seller? That was Land Rover's problem when in 2015 it came to improving its runaway success story, the Range Rover Evoque, a car that by then accounted for a third of the brand's total sales. It's a fashionable, yet capable proposition that fundamentally changed the premium mid-sized SUV market and when this facelifted version was introduced, rivals had to contend with an evolved design featuring a more efficient range of diesel engines, extra technology and even, uniquely in this sector, the option of a Convertible body style. Does it all add up as a used buy? If you want a fashionable used SUV of this kind, is this the one to beat?
Can the Range Rover make sense with Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric power? Does it make the most sense in this form? Jonathan Crouch decides.
Range Rover's Evoque has demolished all sales records for SUVs in this class. Jonathan Crouch reports on how the latest MK2 model aims to stay in the top spot.
The Land Rover Defender has been revitalised for the modern era. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
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