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By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist

Land Rover knows how to get the media interested in its new models. Rather than talking the talk, the company walks the walk too. In other words it bends over backwards to let motoring journalists sample its vehicles on and off road.

Recently the world’s media was made more than aware of the Discovery Sport’s capabilities. We were allowed to sample its ability to handle impossibly steep gradients. It worked too. Most journalists seemed taken aback when encouraged to manoeuvre up near-vertical ramps on Land Rover’s off road course. No need for any worries though, it was child’s play for the four-wheel-drive luxury machine to scale gradients most vehicles would roll over on.

Aesthetically, the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) has a more self-assured exterior and lavish interior than the departing Disco and (now defunct) Freelander sibling. It’s also more flexible as it now comes with the ability to transport seven people.

The cabin mixes style and sumptuousness with elegant lines, top quality materials and spoonfuls of sporting character. What’s more, the Disco Sport’s high driving position instils a sense of self-assurance and the steering feels light and direct.

The Discovery Sport is comfortable, refined and rewarding to drive on-road, while retaining the breadth of all-terrain capability for which Land Rover is world-renowned. In fact, with approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, Terrain Response® technology, and the ability to wade to 600mm, the vehicle offers class-leading capability in all conditions.

As with every new Land Rover, safety has been a key priority in the development of the new Discovery Sport, resulting in a first-in-class pedestrian airbag, autonomous emergency braking, and a state-of-the-art bodyshell featuring both ultra-high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium.

This represents a fraction of the advanced equipment available in the Disco Sport, which also includes an all-new eight-inch touch screen infotainment system, and standard tilt-and-slide row-two seating for maximum interior configurability.

From launch in the UK, the new Discovery Sport has been equipped with a powerful and refined 2.2 litre SD4 turbo-diesel engine producing 190 PS. It features stop-start technology, high-pressure direct injection, low-friction internal components and smart regenerative charging for outstanding performance and economy. Both nine-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions are available.

Later this year, a highly efficient two wheel drive eD4 turbo diesel engine will join the range with CO2 emissions from just 119g/km.

The garden-fresh Discovery Sport is bound to build upon the outstanding success of the outgoing Disco, which quickly became one of Land Rover’s most admired models. The vehicle is available in Land Rover showrooms now.

Fast facts

Max speed: 117 mph
0-62 mph: 10.4 (manual) 8.9 (auto)
Combined mpg: 46.3 (manual) 44.8 (auto)
Engine 2179 cc: four cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel
Max. power (Ps): 190
Max. torque (Nm): 420
CO2: 162 g/km (manual) 166 g/km (auto)
Priced from: £32,395

Pros and cons

Tech

Off and on road ability

Space

Comfort

Manual gearbox won’t be popular

Follow Tim on twitter @carwriteups www.carwriteups.co.uk

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