2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review: Mountain Climber With Space For Seven

by Morgan Carter

The Land Rover Discovery Sport enters the new year with refreshed styling that remains true to the rugged good looks it has always boasted. However, under the handsome sheet metal is a new chassis that gives the crossover a stiffer ride to eat up road abrasions and absorb vibrations. And not many compact luxury SUVs offer the option to install a third row of seats and accommodate up to seven passengers, although this does cost it the majority of its pretty good trunk space. Nonetheless, passenger space remains good and the interior is still well-appointed, even if it isn't nearly as luxurious as rivals like the Audi Q5 or Acura RDX. But while these luxury SUVs are particularly appealing as town cruisers, they don't have the same off-road capabilities. The new base engine is a little stronger than before, with 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, but it's the 286-hp mild hybrid engine that really impresses. The Land Rover Discovery Sport certainly performs well in the areas that it focuses, but its inherent weaknesses in other areas, like reliability, tech features, and overall comfort, might be enough to dissuade buyers who aren't all about that rugged lifestyle.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Discovery Sport?

While not much has changed on the surface for the 2020 Discovery Sport, with only a minor facelift of the front and rear bumpers and an updated grille design, it isn't the same compact SUV it used to be. The chassis has been completely overhauled and now mirrors that of the Range Rover Evoque's premium transverse architecture. This increases the overall stiffness of the body, which translates to a quieter ride with less vibration reaching the cabin. The trim lineup has also been expanded with the addition of the mild-hybrid R-Dynamic HSE. Other new features include a ten-inch touchscreen as standard across the range, along with front parking sensors, lane keeping assist, and a driver attention system.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome, rugged aesthetic
  • Available, capable hybrid powertrain
  • Seating for up to seven available
  • Spacious cabin and trunk
  • Capable off-roader
  • Lackluster base engine
  • Hybrid engine only available on most expensive trim
  • Below-average fuel economy

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Standard
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$37,800
S
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$41,500
S R-Dynamic
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$43,100
SE
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$44,600
SE R-Dynamic
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$46,150

Discovery Sport Exterior

The base-model Sport rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and comes equipped with full automatic LED headlights, as well as rear headlights. These headlights sit astride a chrome-accented grille mounted with the Discovery nameplate in bold print. The front and rear bumper, as well as the side sills, are black-accented, and the bumpers sport a metallic kick plate. The R-Dynamic models undergo a slight makeover, with the bumpers and side sill receiving body-color accenting, while the grille gets Shadow Atlas accents. A power liftgate is added on the upper trims, and a panoramic sunroof is available, as are larger 19-, 20-, or 21-inch wheels.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Front View Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Front Angle View Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Rear Angle View Land Rover
See All 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

As a compact luxury SUV, the Discovery Sport has a modest length of 181 inches, accommodating a 107.9-inch wheelbase. It stands quite tall, however, at 67.9 inches high, and has impressive girth with a width of 81.4 inches with the mirrors folded. This translates into a relatively hefty SUV that can weigh between 4,035 and 4,210 lbs. Its rugged off-road capabilities are advertised by an 8.3-inch ground clearance, with the crossover in Standard trim boasting an approach angle of 25 degrees and a departure angle of 30.2 degrees, while its ramp angle is an impressive 20.6 degrees.

  • Length 181.0 in
  • Wheelbase 107.9 in
  • Height 68.0 in
  • Max Width 75.0 in
  • Front Width 64.0 in
  • Rear Width 64.3 in

Exterior Colors

A palette of 12 colors is available across the Discovery range, with the only limiting factors being cost and compatibility with interior color choices. The standard color options comprise Fuji White or Narvik Black. For an additional $610, the basic metallic palette is unlocked, which includes Santorini Black, Yulong White, Indus Silver, Firenze Red, Byron Blue, Eiger Grey, and Portofino Blue. Dressing the SUV in the premium metallic paints will put an extra $1,325 on the invoice. These colors include Carpathian Grey, Silicon Silver, and Namib Orange.

  • Santorini Black Metallic
  • Yulong White Metallic
  • Indus Silver Metallic
  • Firenze Red Metallic
  • Byron Blue Metallic
  • Eiger Grey Metallic
  • Portofino Blue Metallic
  • Carpathian Grey Premium Metallic
  • Silicon Silver Metallic
  • Namib Orange Premium Metallic
  • Fuji White
  • Narvik Black

Discovery Sport Performance

Two possible powertrains give the Land Rover Discovery Sport varying levels of performance. The majority of the models come equipped with a turbo four-cylinder that delivers 246 hp and 269 lb-ft to all four wheels. The nine-speed automatic transmission gives it pretty smooth shifts, allowing it to make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 7.1 seconds and giving it a maximum speed of 140 mph.

Under the hood of the R-Dynamic HSE is the same engine paired with an electric motor that develops a combined 286 hp and 295 lb-ft. The initial burst of electric energy helps the SUV reach 60 mph in a quicker 6.6 seconds, and maximum speed is increased to 145 mph.

All-wheel-drive is standard across the range, supplying improved performance over rough terrain, attributing to the Disco Sport's off-roading excellence. With the correct equipment, the rugged crossover is also capable of towing up to 4,409 lbs of weight. This is on par with similar compact SUVs like the BMW X3, which tows 4,400 lbs.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Front View Driving Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Rear Angle View 1 Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Wheel Land Rover

Engine and Transmission

A single engine, in two possible configurations, is available to the Discovery Sport range. Aside from the R-Dynamic HSE, every model gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine that develops 246 hp and 269 lb-ft. The engine isn't overly powerful, but it's still more than capable of moving the SUV around in a brisk manner. It is also strong enough to lug the hefty crossover across rough terrain.

The top-tier HSE gets exclusive access to the mild hybrid electric vehicle powertrain, which combines the turbo inline-four with a 48-volt electric motor to develop a combined 286 hp and 295 lb-ft. This increased power output gives the Disco Sport the extra zip it needs to crest even the highest of peaks. Low-end torque is especially enhanced by the burst of electric power to get the SUV up to speed even quicker.

Both powertrains come mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that direct their power to all four wheels. No other drivetrains are offered, but the R-Dynamic models do receive steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles to allow for a bit more control.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    4X4

Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite its rugged nature, the Discovery Sport suffers from the same light steering as other luxury SUVs. It's responsive enough at low speeds, allowing the compact crossover to maneuver well around town or when crawling up and down rough terrain. But it doesn't give much feedback, making it sometimes difficult to know what the wheels are doing.

The Disco Sport handles well enough around town, but try taking a windy road at higher speeds and it leans into turns far too readily. It remains capable at slower speeds over pretty rough terrain, though. Multiple driving modes allow the SUV to function well through mud and over gravel, but anything rougher and the Land Rover's limits come into sight.

It rides pretty well for a vehicle with a focus on off-roading, but the larger wheels detract from ride quality. And while the new, stiffer chassis helps to deliver a more quiet ride while reducing vibrations in the cabin, it can have a similar effect to larger wheels when trailblazing.

Discovery Sport Gas Mileage

Despite relying on a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Land Rover doesn't achieve particularly impressive mileage figures. Without the electric motor bolstering it, the 246-hp powertrain can cover 19/24/21 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The hybrid powertrain, which focuses more on enhancing performance rather than efficiency, gets the same fuel economy figures, which is somewhat disappointing. This hurts the Discovery's competitiveness in its price bracket as other luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 get much better economy, achieving 24/29/26 mpg when equipped with all-wheel-drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Equipped with a 17.7-gallon fuel tank, the Disco Sport can cover up to 371 miles before needing to pull into a gas station.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    17.7 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/27 mpg
* 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Standard 4WD

Discovery Sport Interior

The interior of this luxury SUV has received some updates for the new year, with special attention paid to the quality of the materials used. Most of the hard plastics found in previous iterations have been done away with, replaced with soft-touch leather or leather-wrapped foam to give the interior a more upscale feel. The infotainment has also been updated with a larger screen to make interaction easier, although it still isn't as refined as the systems found in premium German rivals. The cabin is deceptively spacious for a compact crossover, which allows the Discovery to offer an additional two seats in the rear, but don't plan on putting adults back there. A host of available tech and comfort features can make the cabin of the SUV a comfortable place to while the time away, even when traipsing across the rugged open country.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Dashboard Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Front Seats Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Infotainment System Land Rover
See All 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Discovery Sport comes equipped with five seats as standard; however, it is possible to add an additional two seats. The top-tier R-Dynamic HSE can't support more than five seats thanks to its hybrid powertrain taking up some extra space. Due to the high customizability of the interior, up to 24 seating arrangements are possible. Eight-way manual front seats come standard, but they can be upgraded through the trim levels to up to 14-way power heated front seats with memory settings. The second-row seats can also be equipped with heating functions. Headroom is good throughout the cabin, but there are a few inches less if you're situated in the third row. And, while legroom is more than sufficient for most adults in the first two rows, the same can't be said for the third row.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 39.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.7 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base-model Discovery Sport comes upholstered in Luxtec, a fabric created from recycled polyester, and trimmed with suede cloth. While not as plush as genuine leather, it is still very comfortable and is available in Ebony with Mars Red stitching, or Light Oyster/Ebony. From the S trim upwards, grained leather seats become the standard. This upholstery is available in the same color choices as the Luxtec. Available as part of the Premium Interior Package, Windsor leather can be had in Ebony, Light Oyster, or Acorn hues. The dash and door panels can be trimmed in either Titanium Mesh, Natural Shadow Oak, Gloss Black, or Gloss Charcoal Oak. The cabin is well-built, using upscale materials worthy of a luxury sedan, and the presence of hard plastics has been diminished in favor of soft-touch surfaces that just invite you to sink your fingers in.

Discovery Sport Trunk and Cargo Space

Despite its compact size, the Discovery Sport boasts a pretty spacious trunk. In its five-seat configuration, the SUV supplies 27.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, more than enough for even heavy errands around town. A dozen grocery bags could be laid out within the cargo area, or over a dozen carry-ons stacked up to the ceiling. If you still need more space, the second-row seats can be folded down in a 40/20/40 split to free up a total of 55.6 cubic feet. A handful of large suitcases can easily be stowed within this area. If you choose to install the third-row of seats, the standard space behind the bench is only 4.1 cubic feet large. Additionally, up to 165 lbs of weight can be supported by the roof when properly equipped.

Small-item storage around the cabin is not overly generous, but you shouldn't run out before your pockets are empty. There is a standard glove compartment and a relatively generous center armrest cubby. There is a tray within the center console, and the first- and second-row door pockets are quite spacious. There are two cupholders in the front and a few extra in the second-row fold-down armrest.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Trunk Space Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Side View Land Rover
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Rear Angle View 2 Land Rover

Discovery Sport Infotainment and Features

Features

The entry-level model gets most of the basics you'd expect on a luxury SUV, but most of the truly luxury features are reserved for the upper trims. Standard features include Luxtex upholstery, an eight-way manual driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and two 12-volt power outlets. The safety suite comprises a rearview camera, forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors, a driver alertness monitor, hill start assist, and hill descent control. Standard cruise control is upgraded to adaptive cruise control on the S, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 12-way power front seats are added, and genuine leather replaces the Luxtex. Blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera, an automatic parking assistant, 14-way power front seats, and driver-seat memory are all available. A head-up display can also be added with packages or as a standalone upgrade.

Infotainment

A ten-inch touchscreen interface comes standard of every model and grants access to the AM/FM Radio and Bluetooth interactions. Sound is channeled through the standard six-speaker sound system, although a ten-speaker Meridian system is standard on the top-most trim and a 14-speaker Meridian system can be optioned. While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto need to be added to the base model at extra cost, they are standard on every other trim. Navigation is also added from the S upwards, along with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

SiriusXM and HD radio are available to every trim as standalone upgrades, along with a wireless charging pad.

Discovery Sport Problems and Reliability

The Discovery Sport has not been rated for reliability for 2020, but it received only 65 out of 100 from J.D. Power in 2019, and the stigma of poor reliability has stuck. It was recalled in 2019 for the possibility that the crankshaft pulley bolt may fracture, and in 2018 for potential leaks in the fuel compartment. The limited warranty is valid for 50,000 miles/48 months, the same period for which the powertrain and roadside assistance plans are valid.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

Discovery Sport Safety

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the Disco Sport, but this is not unusual for luxury vehicles. Still, it comes with quite a few standard and available safety features.

Key Safety Features

Basic safety features standard on every model include ABS, EBD, stability and traction control, hill start assist, hill descent control, and at least six airbags. Standard advanced safety features comprise a rearview camera, forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors, and a driver attention system. Available through trim upgrades or optional packages is traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, automatic headlight leveling, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking assist, a surround-view camera, a clear exit monitor, and ClearSight rear and ground cameras.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport a good SUV?

Few SUVs look as truly sporty and capable as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but looks aren't everything. Despite its ruggedness, the crossover can only handle mild off-roading, and it is far less luxurious and comfortable around town than other luxury SUVs like the Audi Q5.

Add to this its low reliability rating, limited standard features, and terrible fuel economy, and the Disco Sport starts to lose some of its appeal. There are certainly more suitable SUVs for those who simply need a high utility, urban family hauler. But that isn't what sells Land Rovers.

However, if you plan to go off the beaten path, then the spacious cabin, generous cargo hold, and rugged capabilities of the Sport make it the ideal SUV to take the family on a weekend camping trip. Where your priorities lie will determine the value of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, as it certainly isn't a great all-rounder, but what it does well, it does very well.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport?

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is reasonably priced for the segment, with a starting MSRP of $37,800. Upgrading to the S trim adds $3,700 the price tag, while the R-Dynamic S will cost you $43,100. The highest-tier Sport is the SE, with a starting price of $44,600, while the R-Dynamic variant will set you back $46,150. The R-Dynamic HSE is the most premium trim and comes equipped with the mild-hybrid engine, at a hefty total cost of $52,800. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and the manufacturer's $995 handling fee.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Models

Six trim levels make up the 2020 range for the Discovery Sport: Standard, S, SE, S R-Dynamic, SE R-Dynamic, and HSE R-Dynamic. The standard engine on every model, save for the top-tier HSE, is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that develops 246 hp and 269 lb-ft. Regulated by a nine-speed automatic gearbox, this power is distributed to all four wheels. Only the R-Dynamic HSE gets access to the mild-hybrid powertrain, which adds a 48-volt electric motor, helping increase the power output to 286 hp and 295 lb-ft.

The base Sport rides on 18-inch wheels and comes equipped with LED headlights and rear fog lights. Inside, the cabin is upholstered in Luxtex and the front seats can be manually adjusted in eight directions. A rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, and forward collision avoidance are all standard safety features. The infotainment suite consists of a ten-inch touchscreen, AM/FM Radio, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system.

The S adds traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control to the advanced driver assistance features. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation, and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities are added to the infotainment. The upholstery is upgraded to genuine leather and the front seats get 12-way power-adjustability.

The S R-Dynamic adds a third row of seats, as well as R-Dynamic styling elements such as a sportier front bumper, Shadow Atlas exterior accents, and branded treadplates.

The SE upgrades to 19-inch wheels, premium LED headlights, and signature daytime running lights. Blind-spot assist and automatic headlight leveling bolster the safety features.

The SE R-Dynamic, once again, gets the unique styling elements of previous R-Design models..

The HSE R-Dynamic gets 20-inch alloy wheels, 14-way power front seats, a ten-speaker Meridian sound system, and a ClearSight rearview mirror.

See All 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

As extensive as the trim levels may be, there are still multiple ways to customize your Land Rover. The Dynamic Handling Package ($1,240) adds configurable dynamics, adaptive dynamics, and red brake calipers. These dynamics work to apply force on the suspension in opposition to inertia to counter body roll. The Technology Package ($980 - $1,530 depending on trim level) adds a ClearSight interior rearview mirror, a wireless charging device, and a head-up display. The Driver Assist Package ($3,100) is the most extensive addition of advanced driver assistance features and comprises rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, an automatic parking assistant, a clear exit monitor, wade sensing, and a surround-view camera. The Smartphone Package ($300) for the base model adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Standalone add-ons include SiriusXM and HD Radio ($500), advanced tow assist ($400), and a tow hitch receiver ($650).

🚗What Land Rover Discovery Sport Model Should I Buy?

Normally, if you want good value for money, you opt for a hybrid powertrain. But that isn't the case when it comes to the Disco Sport. Sure the HSE has the best performance and gets the most features, but it also has a crazy price tag and no better fuel economy than the base engine. Thus, we suggest settling for the Sport SE. It may get the larger 19-inch wheels, but we can overlook that in favor of the premium LED headlights and enhanced safety features like blind-spot assist and automatic headlight leveling. It also enjoys a well-appointed leather interior with most of the comfort and convenience features available to the Discovery. If you really need the third row of seats, you can upgrade to the R-Dynamic SE, but we don't recommend it, as this costs the SUV most of its standard cargo space, and the third-row seats are only suitable for smaller children.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Comparisons

Land Rover Discovery Land Rover
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Land Rover
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Land Rover Discovery Sport246 hp20/27 mpg$37,800
Land Rover Discovery 340 hp16/21 mpg$52,300
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 246 hp20/27 mpg$42,650

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport vs Land Rover Discovery

The Discovery Sport is basically a miniaturized version of the Discovery, and it gets the strengths and weaknesses that come with this. It is cheaper by almost $20k, with the entry-level Discovery SE costing $54,300, and handles better thanks to its smaller size and upgraded chassis. The improved fuel economy is also a plus point. However, its big brother gets a lot more room inside, which makes installing the third row of seats more appealing. It also has oodles more power, with the base engine developing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft, while the optional diesel engine puts out 254 hp and 443 lb-ft. Add to this its impressive cargo capacity of 41.2 cubic feet, and the bigger SUV certainly looks appealing. If you have the cash to spare, the bigger Discovery is the better-appointed and more capable off-roader, with more standard features and overall comfort. But the value of the smaller Disco Sport can't be denied.

See Land Rover Discovery Review

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport vs Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

The subcompact cousin to the Disco Sport, the Range Rover Evoque shares many similarities with its relative. For a start, they both get the same base engine, developing 246 hp and 269 lb-ft. However, the Evoque gets better fuel economy out of it thanks to its smaller size and lower weight, achieving 20/27/23 mpg. This slightly offsets the fact that the base Evoque is actually more expensive than the entry-level Sport. And while the Range Rover can only haul five people and has a smaller cargo capacity of 21.5 cubic feet, it still feels better around town than its more rugged clansman. If you are willing to put up with the Discovery Sport's slightly harsher ride quality, it is the better value for money here, and it will let you go where the Evoque simply isn't equipped to.

See Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Review

Land Rover Discovery Sport Popular Comparisons

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2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Video Review

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$37,800 - $52,800
Price Range (MSRP)
Land Rover Discovery Sport