Performance against the stopwatch has traditionally been an abstract concern for Land Rover, but models such as the Discovery Sport must today offer reasonable speed and good drivability to fulfil the expectations of owners migrating from more conventional cars.
It’s an area in which the old model at first rather fell on its face, using a Ford-derived diesel that would, as we wrote at the time, “shadow everything the car does with the clatter and gunsmoke odour of yesteryear”. Matters improved somewhat with the introduction of JLR’s downsized Ingenium diesel part-way through the model cycle, but even these EU6-compliant engines were no match for their smoother rival counterparts, generally of German origin.
Only the most wistful thinker would expect the addition of mild-hybrid technology to have a transformative effect on the Ingenium’s performance, and in the world of 2.0-litre turbodiesel premium off-roaders, the Discovery Sport remains the sauntering sort. With four-wheel drive, never does it struggle for traction, even on damp roads, but against a kerb weight flirting with two tonnes, the D180’s 0-60mph time still slips to the wrong side of the 10-second mark.