I’ve long maintained that the Land Rover Freelander 2 was all the SUV you’d ever need, and ever since it was replaced by the Discovery Sport, I’ve been meaning to find out if it can take on the mantle. Now that the Discovery Sport has been thoroughly updated, it’s the perfect time to find out.
Outside, the Discovery Sport now gets new LED headlights that bear a resemblance to the larger Discovery, reprofiled bumpers with smaller air intakes, and as always, a skid plate. From the sides, you’ll be hardpressed to notice differences from the outgoing model. The wheels are new and are wrapped in tall-aspect ratio 18-inch tires. Moving to the rear of the vehicle, the Discovery Sport gets new LED tail-lamps and new bumpers as well. Overall, the new design is much cleaner and more mature than the outgoing model. However, although it might look like a minor facelift, it’s an all-new model; it is made around a different platform altogether. The Discovery Sport now sits on Land Rover’s Premium Transverse Architecture that also underpins the new Range Rover Evoque. The main advantage of the platform change is that it now supports mild electrification, but we won’t be seeing these hybrid powertrains in India just yet.
Inside, the differences are much more readily apparent. The R Dynamic SE variant I drove had open-pore wood trim which felt great as did the soft-touch dashboard. The combination of leather, metal, and wood does well to spruce up the interior. This version also gets a digital gauge cluster that offers plenty of customization, and a new infotainment interface that is much easier to use as well. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, of course. The rotary gear knob is also gone, making way for a more traditional joystick.
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