At present, the Discovery Sport starts at about £10k less than our top-spec test car, and that’s a good thing.
Truth be told, at £45k – more than the starting price of a full-size Discovery – the car doesn’t feel like especially good value, not because it isn’t very well kitted out (it is) but because the smaller yet more stylish Evoque and the much quicker BMW X3 xDrive30d are both available for less.
The fact that the BMW, despite being 68bhp superior in output and two cylinders to the good in size, also trumps the Sport on quoted economy and emissions highlights just how badly this new model needs its Ingenium engine.
Later, a more frugal two-wheel-drive model will prop up the range. For now, though, buyers will have to make do with 44.8mpg combined – pruned to just 33.9mpg when we subjected it to True MPG analysis – and 166g/km of CO2, a full 49g/km more than the two-wheel-drive Volvo XC60 D4, which is the class leader on running costs. However, the Sport has excellent resale values and trumps the BMW X3 and XC60 in this area, being able to hold its retained value stronger over a three year period.
Nevertheless, in SE auto spec, the Sport is decently equipped and generally well priced compared with its mostly German rivals, even if some of the things you really want – sat-nav, a powered tailgate, front foglights – are the preserve of the aptly named SE Tech trim and above.
We'd avoid the manual gearbox and the top spec HSE Luxury trims level. Our pick would be the nine-speed automatic transmission with the mid-level SE Tech trim and all the optional USB sockets.