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MSRP: $37,795 - 52,895

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

The 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport is the best off-road vehicle in the luxury compact SUV class. It’s less attractive as a daily driver, however, in this highly competitive class. This Land Rover finishes in the lower half of the class, partly because of its so-so handling and ride comfort.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, comfortable second-row seats
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Superb off-road skills for the class
  • Mediocre handling and ride quality
  • Infotainment system occasionally lags
  • Below-average fuel economy

New for 2019

  • Landmark Edition joins the roster
  • Improvements to available InControl Touch Pro infotainment interface

Is the Land Rover Discovery Sport a Good SUV?

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is an OK SUV. On the upside, the Discovery Sport delivers the off-road abilities and ruggedly handsome demeanor you expect from a Land Rover. Adults will warm to its splendid second-row seats, and its substantial cargo hold provides plenty of space for your gear. You can also upgrade this from a two-row to a three-row SUV, which is unusual for this class.

On the down side, this small SUV doesn't meet brand standards in all ways. While its cabin materials, styling, and technology are certainly fitting of a luxury vehicle, the Discovery Sport on the whole isn't as lavish as its siblings. Additionally, it isn't as well-mannered as some rivals on the highway, its fuel economy rating is among the worst in the class, and it has a record of below-average predicted reliability scores.

Should I Buy the Land Rover Discovery Sport?

You should buy a Discovery Sport if you are aching to get into a new Land Rover and can't afford a midsize Discovery or Velar. However, if you are open to shopping other brands, there are some alternatives you should consider. Rivals that are similar in price to the Discovery Sport but place much higher in our luxury compact SUV rankings include the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Jaguar F-Pace. All three are fun to drive, with sporty performance. None of these, however, are good for off-pavement adventuring.

Compare the Discovery Sport, RDX, and Q5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Land Rover Discovery Sport?

With the exception of the all-new Landmark Edition, there is little difference between a used and new Discovery Sport. You can choose from any model within this generation, which includes the 2015 through 2019 model years, and you can likely save money by purchasing an older model. There are a few updates to be aware of when shopping for a used Discovery Sport. Land Rover enhanced some optional tech features for 2017. The most noteworthy change relates to 2018 and newer models, which come with better engines than the older editions.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 and 2018 Discovery Sport reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Discovery Sport »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Land Rover Discovery Sport in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 21 professional Land Rover Discovery Sport reviews.

This 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to provide readers with up-to-date information on some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Land Rover Discovery Sport Cost?

Prices for the Land Rover Discovery Sport are below average for a luxury compact SUV. Its MSRP ranges from about $37,800 for a new 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport SE to about $46,800 for the range-topping 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury. That makes it the least expensive SUV within the brand, with prices that undercut the Land Rover Velar's and Land Rover Discovery's. For more details on pricing and trim level, see our section below: Which Land Rover Discovery Sport Model Is Right for Me?

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Land Rover dealer.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Land Rover Discovery Sport or Land Rover Range Rover Evoque?

Since the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport are built on the same platform, they share many of the same genetics, and both have stellar off-road skills. Each has a distinct personality, however. The Evoque has a sportier flair, as evidenced by its raked roof and athletic handling. The Discovery Sport is more utility than sport, with a substantial amount of cargo space and a larger back seat that even adults will revel in. Select the one that best fits your lifestyle.

Which Is Better: Land Rover Discovery Sport or Mercedes-Benz GLC?

Unless you plan to regularly explore off-road trails, need gobs of cargo space, or want a third row for occasional use, you should buy a Mercedes-Benz GLC instead of a Discovery Sport. The GLC provides a silkier ride and comes with an appealing list of tech features, including an infotainment system that's easier to use than the Discovery Sports’. The GLC also gives you a broader choice of powertrains, all of which are compelling. Lastly, the GLC has a much healthier track record when it comes to expected reliability.

Compare the Discovery Sport, Evoque, and GLC »

Discovery Sport Interior

How Many People Does the Discovery Sport Seat?

In its standard configuration, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a two-row SUV with seating for five people. Adding the optional third-row seat – which increases your total capacity to seven – also supplements this rearmost zone with cooling vents and a USB port. Leather upholstery is standard across the lineup, with upper trim levels gaining higher grades of leather.

The power-adjustable front seats are enjoyable, but it's the second-row seats that earn the most praise. These stadium-style seats have more legroom than most luxury compact SUVs, and they can recline and slide. The optional third-row seat is a rarity for this class. It's convenient for occasionally carrying an extra kid or two, but it isn't easily accessible or large enough to use every day.

Discovery Sport and Car Seats

The second-row seats in the Discovery Sport have two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors for child safety seats.

Discovery Sport Interior Quality

The Discovery Sport is certainly a well-appointed SUV. The interior sports high-end elements like leather upholstery and lots of tech features. The overall effect falls a little short in comparison to some of its Land Rover stablemates, though, and some shoppers may yearn for a higher dose of luxury than this SUV supplies.

Discovery Sport Cargo Space

The Discovery Sport is an excellent vehicle if you like the petite footprint of a compact SUV but need a lot of storage space. Its cargo area – measuring 34.6 cubic feet with the second-row seats in place and 62.8 cubic feet with all rear seats folded – is one of the largest in the class. For extra convenience, opt for the hands-free power tailgate, which makes it a breeze to access the cargo area when your hands are full.

Discovery Sport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The standard InControl infotainment system doesn't take a Ph.D. to use, as its menu layout is straightforward, and the touch screen uses many of the same gestures that smartphone users are already familiar with. Reaching the screen is a stretch for some, though, and it can occasionally lag after you make your selection. Among the tech upgrades are a navigation system, a 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Read more about interior »

Discovery Sport Performance

Discovery Sport Engine: 2 Energetic Choices

All editions in this lineup come standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This 237-horsepower engine is potent enough to quickly move this small SUV, and it’s a satisfying choice for most shoppers. If you're looking for more power, consider the other option: Land Rover offers a 286-horsepower engine in its HSE and HSE Luxury trims that raises top speed to 137 mph. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is almost a second quicker than the base engine’s zero-to-60 time. The nine-speed automatic transmission pleases most reviewers, though a few note that the transmission can be slow to shift.

Discovery Sport Gas Mileage: Not Great

The Discovery Sport's base engine gets 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. These are among the lowest fuel economy ratings in the segment. Swapping to the optional engine bears almost no change to your annual fuel costs, with only the city rating decreasing by 1 mpg.

Discovery Sport Ride and Handling: Not as Refined as Other Land Rovers

Reports on how well the Discovery Sport handles on pavement are mixed. It gets a tentative thumbs up overall because it maintains a reasonable level of composure. Don't expect the buttery smooth ride of its larger kin, though, and be ready for a certain amount of body lean on twisty roads.

Discovery Sport Off-Road Performance

When it comes to tackling rough terrain, the Discovery Sport excels, just as any SUV bearing a Land Rover badge should. All models come with four-wheel drive. The standard Terrain Response system has four settings: General Driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, and Sand. This adapts elements like the engine and differentials to maximize your grip. Its All Terrain Progress Control, also standard, acts as a low-speed cruise control to artfully traverse challenging landscapes.

Discovery Sport Towing Capacity

A properly equipped Land Rover Discovery Sport can tow up to 4,409 pounds. That's above average for an SUV this size.

Read more about performance »

Discovery Sport Reliability

Is the Land Rover Discovery Sport Reliable?

The 2019 Discovery Sport belongs to a generation that typically earns below-average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Warranty

Land Rover covers its vehicles with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Discovery Sport Safety

Discovery Sport Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the 2019 Discovery Sport. This is normal for the brand. 

Discovery Sport Safety Features

Standard safety features in the Discovery Sport include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, cruise control with speed limiter (this prevents you from exceeding a manually adjusted speed limit), emergency brake assist, and trailer stability assist. Some models can also be equipped with automatic high beams, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitor, traffic sign recognition, front parking sensors, park assist for parallel parking, a surround-view camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a head-up display.

Read more about safety »

Which Land Rover Discovery Sport Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Discover Sport comes in four trim levels: SE, HSE, HSE Luxury, and the new-for-2019 Landmark Edition. Each step up the trim ladder brings styling changes, swanky in-car treats, and new options to further customize your SUV. The standard powertrain in all models is a 237-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard across the lineup. For the HSE and HSE Luxury, a 286-horsepower engine is available for an extra $6,000 to $7,000, depending on the trim.

Rather than embellishing the upper trim levels with a wealth of amenities, Land Rover offers the bulk of its upgrades in option packages. For example, the Cold Climate package bundles together heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats (select trims only), a heated steering wheel, and a heated front windshield. Advanced driver assistance features – such as a surround-view camera, autonomous emergency braking, and traffic sign recognition – are available in several different packages. You can also add a third-row seat to any edition powered by the standard engine.

We recommend taking a close look at the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE because its price and an appealing collection of features makes it a good value. Extras such as the panoramic sunroof and perforated leather seats help it feel much more opulent than the base model. Plus, many will appreciate the convenience of its keyless entry, a hands-free power liftgate, and front parking sensors.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SE

The Land Rover Discovery Sport SE starts things off with partial grained leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and driver assistance features such as rain-sensing windshield wipers and rear parking sensors. Its base infotainment system includes an 8-inch touch screen and a 10-speaker audio system. The MSRP for a new 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport SE is $37,795.

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE

Notable features in the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE ($42,395) are its perforated grained leather seats, a hands-free power liftgate, and a fixed panoramic sunroof. This midlevel edition also comes with keyless entry, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, and front parking sensors.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Landmark Edition

The newest trim level for this SUV is the Landmark Edition ($44,795). Its distinctive styling cues start with a Carpathian Gray contrast roof instead of the standard paint scheme of a matching body and roof. Other design elements include a dark satin brushed aluminum trim and 19-inch split-spoke wheels in a gloss dark grey finish. Most of the remaining standard features match that of the HSE trim.

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury

Land Rover outfits its top-of-the-line HSE Luxury edition with perforated Windsor leather seats, configurable ambient lighting, an 11-speaker Meridian audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and an SD navigation system. Prices for the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury start at $46,795.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Land Rover dealer.

See 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport specs and trims »

The Final Call                  

If this is your first foray into owning a luxury SUV or a Land Rover, you'll find a lot to love about the Discovery Sport. Its price is below average for the luxury compact SUV class, and it comes standard with goodies not always included in luxury vehicles, such as leather seats. The Discovery Sport’s spacious second row and cargo areas also make this an ideal SUV for busy households.

There are several more-captivating competitors, however. If you are dedicated to the Land Rover brand and can spend a little more, we recommend considering a Velar, which is a better SUV overall. Stray outside this brand and you'll discover a number of rivals that do well in our rankings and cost about the same as the Discovery Sport. These include the Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Combining timeless British luxury with a capable off-road attitude, the 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport opens the door to first-time buyers on a budget. As Land Rover's most affordable SUV, the Discovery Sport SE is less expensive than the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, and its advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) system makes it much more adventurous than its car-based rivals. Unlike the BMW X3 and Lexus NX, the Discovery Sport offers the option of a small, but still functional 3rd-row seat. However, driver-assist systems standard on most competitors are still optional on the Discovery Sport. Powered by a choice of turbocharged 2.0-liter engines, the Discovery Sport isn't hurting for power, but its fuel economy is wanting and there is no hybrid or diesel option." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Not as large as the Range Rover Sport, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport expands the storied British SUV builder's line by creating a smaller luxury SUV on par with the Mercedes GLE, BMW X5 and Lexus RX. Though not as roomy as the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60, the Discovery Sport is still a capable compact luxury crossover, offering impressive levels of sophistication wrapped in a ruggedly handsome shell steeped in Land Rover DNA. Land Rover's Terrain Response system ensures that the Discovery Sport can keep up with its better-known siblings, granting it accesses to places where many luxury competitors dare not tread. Then again, Land Rover knows that the majority of Discovery Sport owners will rarely venture far from the paved path, which is why the British automaker has endowed the Discovery Sport with a smooth ride, two powerful yet fuel-efficient engine choices and impressive cornering and handling abilities." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The Discovery Sport's few advantages aren't enough to lift it out of the cellar. There are many better compact luxury SUVs out there." -- Consumer Reports (2018)

Buying

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