Blame it on the NCR ban on the registration of cars with diesel engines larger than 2,000cc (which is now thankfully lifted) for expanding the Land Rover Discovery Sport portfolio. Whatever the reason, this SUV now comes with a 2-litre petrol engine – the same as the Jaguar XE. Even though both have an identical power out put of 237bhp and 340 Nm of torque, it’s the transmission that makes all the difference – the Discovery Sport is mated to a lazy 9-speed gearbox, while the XE comes with a flawless 8-speed. That apart, the Disco Sport now definitely feels a lot more spirited thanks to the additional ponies – it just keeps pulling all the way to its redline. All said and done, this engine is a huge improvement over the diesel motor that’s been the sole option in the Discovery Sport thus far. This SUV can easily tackle the daily demands of urban traffic, and, at the same time, cruise comfortably on the highway. But, of course, those road trips will require you to stop for fuel more often and also cost more.
Nevertheless, the Discovery Sport remains the most capable SUV in its segment when it comes to tackling the actual jungle and warding of off-roading challenges. Armed with the Terrain Response System, it can take on any driving condition without compromising in passenger comfort thanks to its multi-link rear suspension. The ride, like its diesel sibling, continues to be sublime and the body control remains quite impressive for an SUV – even at the BIC.
The cabin layout is simple, yet classy, and gets solid build quality as well. We still can’t get over the way the gear knob rises from the centre console – it’s a cool feature that still brings out the little kid in us. As far as practicality is concerned, the Discovery Sport offers the option of third row seats. This petrol variant retains all the positive features of its diesel sibling, but now it comes with more power – though at the cost of watching the digital fuel bar in the instrument cluster shrink quite quickly.
All said and done, the Disco Sport is now just as comfortable in the urban jungle as it is in the actual jungle!