Land Rover as a brand has been struggling for quite some time to recapture the magic, through new launches and even some unpopular decisions; as increased competition and recent technological innovations make their offerings seem outdated in the quality of their interiors, as well as stuck with the image of an analogue machine in a connected world. To address this latest identity crisis, the company has launched the 2020 Discover Sport, which seems like a whole new beast altogether.
The changes begin on the face itself, as the car gets new LED headlamps, tail lamps, a redesigned grille, and a sporty front bumper that certainly looks aerodynamic. You get different wheels on different variants, with the range moving between 18-21 inches. All these tweaks, in addition to the body-coloured panels, are enough to make the car seem fresher and meaner at the same time. The interiors tell the real tale of the transformation though, as the brand has replaced all the old hard plastics with soft-touch and plushy leather panels. The new two-layered touchscreen system blends beautifully with the dashboard, with the seamless integrated physical button adding to the premium and futuristic feel. The system has become smart as well, with six separate charging slots, in-built Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, advanced camera systems, a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, and even NFC. These technologies work in tandem to enable not only high-quality digital entertainment but also a host of safety assist features; such as forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, as well as lane-keeping assist, to unlock the potential of future self-driving. The actual ride comfort is handled by the reliable PTA platform chassis, which this model shares with the Evoque, in addition to the engines. You can choose between a regular 2.0-litre engine that produces 177BHP, or a mild-hybrid one that uses a 48V system to enable a top configuration of 335BHP power and up to 450Nm of torque. The newest version of this highly capably off-roader will cost you around ₹60 lakh.
SAME IN RANGE
- Volvo XC60
This car, even though not as popular as its competitors, still comes out as a tough contender, thanks to Volvo’s strong reputation for safety and leading technical innovations. In addition to assist systems like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-keeping Aid, Pilot Assist, Volvo’s City Safe pedestrian detection, Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Information, Distance Warning, and Road Sign Information; you also get the standard kit of 360-degree camera setup, automatic parking, ABS, ESP, Hill Start, Descent Control, and six airbags. On the security aspect alone, this vehicle earns its cost of around ₹56 lakh.
- BMW X3
One of the main competitors in the field of performance off-roading is the X3, with its somewhat underpowered 2.0-litre engine producing a decent 190BHP. It might not be as capable off-road as compared to the Sport, but sure puts up a fight when it comes to high-speed handling. The interiors while stylish, still represent the traditional layout for infotainment systems, with a 10:25-inch touchscreen jutting out on top of the dash that is mated to a lovely Harmon Kardon audio system. You can get all this and more for a similar top price of around ₹59 lakh.