2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport

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MSRP: $37,795 - 52,895

2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is one of the lowest ranking vehicles in the luxury compact SUV class. This is due in part to its lackluster handling, fussy infotainment system, and frustrating transmission.




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Safety: N/A
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding interior
  • Plenty of standard tech features
  • Quiet, smooth ride
  • Good off-road ability for the class
  • Unimpressive handling
  • Infotainment system unresponsive at times
  • Transmission has poorly timed shifts
  • Below-average fuel economy

Is the Land Rover Discovery Sport a Good SUV?

Aside from its class leading off-road ability, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a run-of-the-mill vehicle in the luxury compact SUV class. While its name suggests that it’s a sporty vehicle, its ride and handling get mixed reviews. Some say it's agile, while others find it has too much body lean when cornering. Its engines are powerful, but a finicky transmission holds them back. The Discovery Sport has a high-end cabin with roomy, comfortable seats, but its technology isn't as easy to use as some class rivals, and this Land Rover has below-average predicted reliability.

Should I Buy the Land Rover Discovery Sport?

The only real reason why you should consider purchasing the Discovery Sport is for off-roading, and even then, there are more capable Jeeps that cost about the same (or less). Otherwise, there are many better alternatives to the Discovery Sport. The BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC are worth a look if you’re searching for a solid luxury compact SUV.

Compare the Discovery Sport, GLC, and X3 »

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

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is part of a generation that began with the vehicle’s introduction for the 2015 model year, and there have only been a few changes since its debut. Among these changes are the standard InControl Remote telematics system for cellphones for 2016, an optional 10.2-inch touch screen and available driver drowsiness monitoring and lane departure warning for 2017, and two new turbo-four engines for 2018.

Since these changes are minor, you may wish to shop for a very similar older model and save some cash. If you decide that an older model is right for you, take a look at our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport »
We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport review uses relevant research and data from the 2015 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Land Rover Discovery Sport Cost?

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport has a starting price of $37,795, which is in the middle of the pack for a luxury compact SUV. There are two higher trims, with the HSE starting in the low $40,000s and the HSE Luxury starting in the high $40,000s. Available features can really add to the price tag of this SUV, and the Discovery Sport can easily cost upward of $55,000 once you’re done adding features.

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 Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC does much better in our rankings than the Discovery Sport – and for good reason. The Mercedes delivers a smoother ride, has superior agility, and offers a more powerful group of engines. The GLC also has more available features and a nicer cabin. The Discovery Sport offers more cargo space, is a better vehicle for off-roading, and has a cheaper starting price, but the GLC is the superior choice.

Which Is Better: Land Rover Discovery Sport or BMW X3?

If you're looking for an athletic vehicle in the luxury compact SUV class, the BMW X3 might be the vehicle for you. It doesn't have the off-road ability of the Discovery Sport, but its engine lineup is more potent, and it gets better gas mileage estimates. The X3's infotainment system is easier to use than the Discovery Sport’s, and the BMW is available with Apple CarPlay, which you can't get in the Land Rover. Both cars have spacious, high-quality cabins. Go with the X3 unless your top priority is off-roading.

Compare the Discovery Sport, GLC, and X3 »

Discovery Sport Interior

How Many People Does the Discovery Sport Seat?

The base Discovery Sport seats five people, and an available third row increases seating capacity to seven. The third row is a kids-only spot because it’s small, but the other two rows are both roomy and comfortable. There’s good visibility from just about anywhere.

Discovery Sport and Car Seats

The Discovery Sport has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors are a little tough to find, but there aren’t any notable issues with the lower anchors.

Discovery Sport Interior Quality

The interior of this luxury compact SUV is built to be tough enough to stand up to your adventures and escapades. However, it also has a stylish design and uses plenty of premium materials to provide a quiet, luxurious feel.

Discovery Sport Cargo Space

The Discovery Sport has more cargo space than just about every class rival. With the rear seats up, it provides more than 34 cubic feet of space – enough room for multiple coolers, several tailgate chairs, or dozens of shopping bags. Fold the rear seats down, and you have nearly 63 cubic feet of space, which gives you room to transport some furniture.

Discovery Sport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Discovery Sport comes standard with three USB ports, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touch screen, and the InControl Remote smartphone app. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, an 11- or 16-speaker Meridian audio system, satellite radio, an upgraded 10.2-inch touch screen, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is a real knock against this Land Rover because most rivals offer those features. The infotainment interface is intuitive, and the commands are easy to master. But it’s not perfect; the screen is a long reach for some drivers, and it’s unresponsive at times.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Discovery Sport Performance

Discovery Sport Engine: 2 New-for-2018 Choices

The 2018 Discovery Sport comes with your choice of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base engine puts out 237 horsepower, while the more powerful available engine produces 286 horsepower. Both are pleasant when you’re behind the wheel and provide eager acceleration, but the more powerful engine improves the Discovery Sport's zero-to-60-mph time by nearly a full second.

Discovery Sport Gas Mileage

With the base engine, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport delivers 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which are below-average ratings in the class. With the optional, more powerful turbo-four engine, the highway rating drops by 1 mpg. The Mercedes GLC and BMW X3 get better ratings of 22/28 mpg city/highway and 22/29 mpg city/highway, respectively. You'll save around $200 in gas per year by opting for the Mercedes instead of the Land Rover and $300 by going with the BMW.

Discovery Sport Ride and Handling: The Jury Is Out

This Land Rover has a generally cushioned ride, but it doesn’t absorb every road imperfection. You’ll have to test drive it to get a feel for its handling, because opinions are split. Some say it’s nimble, while others say it lumbers around turns.

Discovery Sport Off-Road Performance

As far as luxury compact SUVs go, nothing can match this Land Rover’s capability. It can handle any terrain, and it comes with a terrain response system that lets you select your driving mode based on what kind of ground you’re traversing.

Discovery Sport Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, this Land Rover can tow more than 4,400 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Discovery Sport Reliability

Is the Land Rover Discovery Sport Reliable?

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport earns a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Warranty

The Land Rover Discovery Sport has a warranty similar to those you get with other luxury vehicles. It’s covered by a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Discovery Sport Safety

Discovery Sport Crash Test Results

The 2018 Discovery Sport has not been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Discovery Sport Safety Features

The Discovery Sport comes standard with rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Available active safety features include a head-up display, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, park assist, lane keep assist, a surround-view camera system, front parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Which Land Rover Discovery Sport Model Is Right for Me?

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is available in three trims: SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury. All three come with four-wheel drive, a 237-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The HSE is the best trim to buy because it’s available with just about every feature you can get in this Land Rover, and it still costs less than the highest trim.

Land Rover Discovery Sport SE

The Discovery Sport SE has a base price of $37,795. Standard features include partial leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touch screen, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

The Cold Climate package ($1,330) adds heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Convenience package ($1,125) adds keyless entry, a hands-free power liftgate, and more. The Audio Upgrade package ($820) includes an 11-speaker Meridian audio system, HD Radio, and satellite radio. You can add a third-row seat for $1,785, navigation for $820, a Wi-Fi hot spot for $370, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert for $510.

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE

The Discovery Sport HSE has a starting price of $42,395. In addition to the SE’s features, the HSE comes with front parking sensors, a hands-free power liftgate, a panoramic sunroof, and 12-way power-adjustable front seats.

You can upgrade to the 286-horsepower turbo-four for $7,000. The Vision Assist package ($1,940) adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view camera, and automatic high beam assist. The Head-Up Display and Park Assist package ($1,840) adds the features it’s named after.

There are two packages known as the Driver Assist Plus package. One costs $1,125 and adds lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, and navigation. The other costs $3,825 and adds all the same features, as well as an improved navigation system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 16-speaker Meridian audio system with a 10.2-inch touch screen.

There are several other packages, some of which are offered with other trims (though prices vary from one trim to another). There are also more features that can be added individually.

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury

The Discovery Sport HSE Luxury is the top trim, and it starts at $46,795. It comes standard with an 11-speaker Meridian audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, lane keep assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Adding the more powerful engine to this trim costs $6,100. You can also add many option packages and individual features to this trim, but they may not cost the same as they do in lower trims.

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

See 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport falls short of the competition in many areas. That’s not to say that everything about this SUV is bad; it's not. It’s just that the luxury compact SUV class is highly competitive, so the Discovery Sport’s good attributes are surpassed by rivals’ great ones. That’s why this Land Rover sits at the bottom of the class rankings.

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

  • "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
  • "If you're looking for something as elegant as a Jaguar F-Pace or Audi Q5, but you need it be truly off-road capable, the Land Rover Discovery Sport for 2017 effortlessly blends British pomp with British tenacity." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • The Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 all best the little Land Rover on performance, and they offer cabins with more visual interest. When it comes time to turn off the pavement, however, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is the crossover that will take you farther." -- Edmunds (2016)
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