Rebecca Chaplin has collected a new Land Rover Discovery Sport long term test car. First impressions?
I've gone from one SUV to another, but this one has a few more bells and whistles – that's for sure.
My last car was a much-loved Lexus NX 300h, a hybrid 4x4. Well, now I'm in the latest Land Rover Discovery Sport, which is proportionally larger but sitting in the shade next to the brand's latest release of the new Discovery.
The Discovery Sport is already winning my heart though, with seven seats it's really practical and it's got a few tricks that definitely make life easier.
I went to Guy Salmon Land Rover Portsmouth to pick up my new car and was given a full run down of the car. It's come kitted out with a rear mounted bike rack which will accommodate two bicycles, and I think it'll have to stay on the car now I've learnt how to fit it. It might be light, but I am still weak.
Handy for weaklings like me, though, there's a sensor below the valance to open the boot by waving your foot under it. About 70 per cent of the time I can get this to work. There's also keyless entry on all of the doors. Opening works 100 per cent of the time, but closing them it doesn't work about 80 per cent of the time. Annoying? Very.
The boot itself is great for lifting things in and out of, because there's no lip. Converting the boot into two seats is really easy and if you want to use the whole rear space, flattening the second row is just as easy.
Inside, it's light and airy thanks to the huge panoramic sunroof. Everyone will be kept entertained as there are USB points throughout the car – so no complaining. There's air conditioning for every passenger, even the third row!
As it should be, the driver gets all of the toys. There's head-up display showing the speed, giving you less reason to take your eyes off the road. Controls on the steering wheel for volume, track, cruise control and voice control are all really easy to find and use.
The latest TouchPro sat-nav features in the Discovery Sport, not the much hyped new infotainment system that the Discovery has been given. When it comes to personalisation and ease of use there are some still some great features though.
Something that even Google can't seem to get quite right is being able to plan routes at home and transfer them to your car, but with the InControl apps you can do just that. With your own internet signal in the car too, it makes it a lot simpler to search for locations, call where you're going and let your favourite contacts know if you're going to be late.
There's only one thing that's really annoying me so far and that's the engine and gearbox. For something with the word Sport in the name, it's definitely not sporty. Gearchanges always seem to wait until the most embarrassing moment and trying to pull away is always a trial as the Disco switches into life.
There will be plenty to test over the next six months, let's hope it all lives up to expectations.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: Getting to grips with what the Discovery Sport can do.
MODEL: Discovery Sport
ENGINE: 2.0-litre TD4 Diesel
MAX SPEED: 117mph
0-60MPH : 8.4 seconds
MPG (COMBINED): 53.3mpg
MILEAGE (TO DATE): 830