2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport First Look
- Adds 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain option with 286 horsepower
- ClearSight Ground View front camera, ClearSight Rear View camera-mirror added
- Non-leather Luxtux upholstery option
- Larger 10” touchscreen
- Pricing unannounced, 2019 model ranges from $37,990 to $53,200
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport, the smallest and least expensive member of the Land Rover family, adopts features and technology from its revamped sibling on the fancier side of the house, the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. Highlights include a new optional powertrain that incorporates a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, new rearview camera-mirror and new forward-camera technology, a larger touchscreen with additional functionality, newly standard driver aids, and additional available luxury features.
Visually, there’s not much to distinguish the 2020 Discovery Sport from its 2019 predecessor. The model is just three years old, so this is more of an update than a full-on redesign. There are new larger wheels up to 21 inches in diameter, and the design of the grille and bumpers has been tweaked. The 107.9-inch wheelbase is unchanged, and the overall length remains 181 inches, which means the Discovery Sport competes against vehicles such as the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3.
How much will the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport cost?
Pricing for the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport won’t be released until closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date this summer. We don’t expect the figures to stray too far from those of the 2019 Discovery Sport, which ranges from $37,990 to $53,200 (+ $995 destination) before options.
Discovery Sport powertrains: a new hybrid option
Under the skin, the most noteworthy mechanical change is the arrival of a new 48-volt mild hybrid system that works with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder to deliver a total of 286 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The system allows the engine to shut off under braking once vehicle speed dips below 11 mph, and when accelerating, the electric motor assists the engine. The hybrid powertrain replaces the previous non-hyrbrid 286-hp 2.0-liter turbo as the step-up engine and is exclusive to the R Dynamic HSE.
Land Rover’s Ingenium turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four returns as the standard offering but adds 9 more horsepower, for a new total of 246 horses, along with 269 lb-ft of torque (up from 251). Both the hybrid and the standard engine are paired with a revised 9-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive remains standard and includes Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, which adapts to various different on- or off-road driving conditions. Combine that with the vehicle’s 8.3 inches of ground clearance and the Discovery Sport should retain its impressive off-road ability.
Performance and towing
EPA estimates are not yet available, so we don’t know if the new Discovery Sport improves on the mediocre fuel economy of its predecessor (21 mpg city/24 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined). Land Rover is willing to post acceleration times, however: The standard engine sends the Discovery Sport from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds (0.2 second quicker than before) while the hybrid sprints to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (versus 6.5 previously). Both powertrains are rated to tow a maximum of 4,409 pounds, a figure unchanged from the 2019 model, but a new Advanced Tow Assist makes backing up with a trailer easier by letting the driver aim where he or she wants to go using the central controller knob while the vehicle steers for you.
Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View front camera system, which made its debut on the Range Rover Evoque, uses a series of cameras to stitch together and project onto the infotainment screen a view of what’s immediately in front of the vehicle, as if the hood and front body structure were see-through—a useful feature when attempting to precisely place the front tires during difficult off-roading or when trying to avoid scraping the nose against high parking curbs. Land Rover’s ClearSight Rear View employs additional camera trickery with an available rear-view mirror that can switch between conventional function and displaying a feed from a wide-angle camera—the latter offering the benefit of a wider field of view as well as one that’s not blocked by rear-seat passengers or bulky cargo.
Two key driver aids move from the options list to standard spec: automatic emergency braking (with cyclist and pedestrian detection) and lane-keep assist. They’re joined by a new driver-drowsiness monitor. Adaptive cruise control with lane centering, blind-spot monitoring, automated parking, and a 360-degree-view camera are again available, as is a new rear-exit monitor that prevents the rear door from opening if a vehicle is approaching from behind on that side of the car.
Larger touchscreen and animal-free upholstery
As before, the Discovery Sport offers a 2-person third row but it’s strictly for kids. (Note that there’s no back row with the hybrid powertrain because the battery pack is located under the rear floor.) The front seats add an available massaging function. Jaguar Land Rover has begun offering more leather-alternative interior options—for those customers who either want to avoid animal products or just want a new alternative—and the Discovery Sport now adds Luxtex, a manmade microfiber material that is paired with a suede-like steering-wheel covering. A new 10-inch central touchscreen infotainment system—up from 8 inches previously—adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality (finally!). A redesigned center console incorporates wireless device charging, and the charging-port count increases to the six USBs and three 12-volt outlets, now distributed among all three rows of seating.
Can't wait for the 2020 model? See what's available right now at a dealer near you.