Land Rover Discovery Sport Petrol Test Drive Review

Land Rover Discovery Sport range is priced from INR 49.5 lakh, ex-showroom, New Delhi.

A few months ago, I drove the astonishingly frugal Land Rover Discovery Sport in its diesel avatar during my Himalayan odyssey and I found it to be a brilliant package, also it was an amazing tool for going off road. And then a few weeks down the line I took delivery of the not so frugal Range Rover Sport SVR with a 5,000cc mill under the hood, but it was mad fast. Probably the fastest car I have ever driven that can also take me, my family and our luggage and then go do some serious off roading too. I’ve been highly impressed by the cars coming out of the factory in Coventry, but now I am yearning for the best of both worlds and I have informed the chaps at Land Rover India that I have been left wanting for more. A few weeks later I get a call and voila they have the solution.

The new entrant to my garage is quintessentially a Land Rover for the young hearts. It is for the ones who want to play around and go fast on the weekends but also sedate and efficient through the weekdays and it will still be astonishing at doing things normal cars cannot. Welcome the Land Rover Discovery Sport Si4. It is parked under the sun shining its majestic Firenze Red shade complimented by its huge glass roof. The Discovery Sport Si4 is powered by a 1999cc, 4-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that cooks 237 bhp and 340 Nm of torque, channelized through a 9 speed ZF gearbox to all the four wheels.

Enough of the number game recitation, let’s see how the petrol power Discovery Sport deals with the real world situations. Land Rover specifies the use of 93RON and above fuel grades for their Si4 engine in the Discovery Sport which meant that I wouldn’t have to use google to figure nearby premium fuel pumps. After a quick tank-up we headed towards the highway and the first thing to notice is the instant response of the throttle when kicked down.

The steering on the other hand is pretty light at slow speeds, which is a boon for daily city driving. Increase the pace and the steering feedback delights you with its weight and direct feedback. It is like someone has put in an old school hydraulic steering system which feels more sports car like but, it is installed in an SUV!

Also, the suspension is less stiffer than its diesel sibling due to the lesser weight. This lower weight also translates to a couple of more goodies like the 100 kmph from standstill comes at a low 8.6 seconds which is a whole 3 seconds quicker than the diesel. Also, the climb to the top speed of 190 kmph is quite easy unlike the diesel sibling which is indeed a tad straining. After pottering the car through the city conditions, it was time for us to take the Discovery Sport to the real deal, off road.

The torque from the Si4 engine is available at a very low 1700 rpm which meant crawling through slippery surfaces wouldn’t be a hassle and it wasn’t indeed. The discovery sport glides over any surface with utter ease and as we drove over the thick sand patch at our disposal we really felt that there isn’t a substitute to the immense capability of the Land Rover pedigree.

We were able to do a few jumps over the sand dunes and unlike other cars we’ve driven before over this surface it did not break the car into innumerable pieces. The sand mode makes sure that the torque is available all the time and the wheels don’t stall, hence preventing getting beached.

Climb inside and you’ll be greeted by Coventry’s brilliant interior work. With superior quality materials and nice little touches like the full leather masked dashboard, it pleases you for being an absolutely high class cabin. And the seats are one of the best in the business with immense lower and upper back support and good amount of adjustability options at hand.

The rear seats however are the best. I have had a few cars in the past that rival the Discovery Sport but none have been as spacious as the Discovery Sport with oodles of leg room and wingspan wide shoulder room that pleases every size of passenger. The Si4 comes in the much loaded HSE variant which loses out a few tricks from the HSE Luxury that is available with the diesel engine.

The interior scheme is a fixed beige and black with aluminium finish inserts here and there. I do miss the brilliantly acoustic Meridian surround sound system but that’s the sacrifice I am willing to make with an engine that sounds more sports car like than an SUV’s. The HSE also gets smaller tires with thicker profile which in my opinion are better in terms of comfort over thinner profiles on larger wheels, which look great indeed.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport Si4 makes a brilliant case for itself if you are not a diesel fan and need of a sporty petrol powered luxury car that is also frugal. We managed a healthy 10.3 kmpl on our overall fuel efficiency calculation and were astounded by the credentials the Discovery Sport Si4 has and at a starting price of INR 49.5 lakh ex-showroom Delhi it makes perfect sense to the young heart.


Images – The Modern Shutter