Discovery 3 vs range rover sport

It’s no question that the Land Rover brand has been synonymous with capable luxury SUVs since its inception. That principle remains true to this day thanks to a comprehensive model lineup of premium SUVs. Two of the most popular models in this lineup are the Land Rover Discovery and its larger Range Rover sibling. If you’re having trouble deciding which one of these great SUVs is the right choice for your lifestyle, We are here to help. We’ve assembled this in-depth comparison where we’ll take a look at both the Discovery and Range Rover side-by-side to reveal the key differences and advantages for each. Let’s look at the Discovery 3 vs range rover sport below

Discovery 3 vs range rover sport

Land Rover Discovery Mk3

Model tested:Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6
Engine:2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel
Gearbox: Six-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power/torque: 188bhp/440Nm
0-60mph11.7 seconds
Top speed112mph

The Discovery 3 was a departure from the norm for the famous nameplate. In 2004 Land Rover wanted to crack America, so its design team went big and bold, with a slabbier, more solid look and square, chiselled proportions.Advertisement

Retaining some of the car’s visual trademarks, like the little glass panels in the rear of the stepped roof, vertical tail-light blocks and asymmetric rear glass with an offset number plate, the third-generation model is clearly a Discovery, only reimagined for the new millennium.

Underneath, the body is still mounted on a ladder frame chassis, but there’s independent suspension and an even more sophisticated air set-up that improves the Discovery’s ride and refinement even further.60

Climbing out of the Mk2 and into this Discovery 3, it’s like moving from black and white to colour the step really is that great. Not one part was carried over from second to third-generation models, and it shows.

Thumb the Discovery’s starter button and the 188bhp 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel that was new for this model purrs away with a muted but subtly muscular vibe. It’s certainly more subtle than our test car’s bright orange paintwork, winch, extra bodywork protection and huge snorkel to help the engine breathe when you’re wading through a river. That’s because, as the stickers suggest, this Discovery was originally equipped for Land Rover’s G4 Challenge – the follow-on to the Camel Trophy global rally event.

To match the bolder styling the Disco 3 features even more off-road-focused tech, and evolving from later versions of the Mk2, it’s all controlled electronically through Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, with different modes to choose from depending on the surface.Advertisement

The dials and knobs on the transmission tunnel mean you can tailor the car’s set-up at the touch of a button, and while the V6 doesn’t exactly make this 2.5-tonne-plus SUV fast, 440Nm of torque and the smooth auto box at least mean off-road progress isn’t in doubt.

On the road the Discovery rides beautifully. While that mass means the handling isn’t what you’d call sharp, it does float over rough tarmac with plenty of composure.

It’s helped by the transmission. A six-speed manual was standard, but on the second-hand market these are a rarity because the six-speed auto is much better suited to the car’s character. On top of this, the Disco’s final row of seats is actually usable for more than a short hop.

In comparison with the non-existent infotainment system in the outgoing Mk2, when the Discovery 3 arrived in 2004 the sat-nav unit brought the car into the modern era where in-car technology was concerned, even if the set-up is a little dated by today’s standards. 

the Land Rover Range Rover Sport?

There’s certainly a lot to like about the Ranger Rover Sport, but it’s hard to recommend this Land Rover instead of many other SUVs in the class. Aside from its off-road ability, the Range Rover Sport doesn’t offer much that you can’t get in most rivals, many of which are less expensive. That makes the Range Rover Sport a questionable value proposition.

Other intriguing choices in the class include another Land Rover – the Range Rover Velar – and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Should I Buy a New or Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport?

The Range Rover Sport sees some notable updates for 2020, but since a used model could save you quite a bit of money, we recommend skipping the new model.

There’s an updated trim lineup for 2020, with the HST model making its debut and Land Rover dropping the Supercharged Dynamic. Land Rover adds two mild-hybrid turbocharged six-cylinder engines to the powertrain lineup, and it drops the outgoing model’s 340-horsepower supercharged V6. New standard features for 2020 include a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The current Range Rover Sport generation debuted for the 2014 model year, and Land Rover has rolled out updates each year since then. Satellite radio and HD Radio became standard for 2015, and the performance-oriented SVR model launched that year. The 2016 model gained a turbodiesel engine option.

The Range Rover Sport gained more standard amenities for 2017, including a 10.2-inch touch screen and safety features such as front parking sensors and lane departure warning. Models from 2018 offer revised exterior and interior styling and a slightly stronger V8 engine. The only major change for 2019 was a shuffling of features between trims.

If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Range Rover Sport, 2018 Range Rover Sport, and 2019 Range Rover Sport reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 37 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 Range Rover Sport review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2014.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Cost?

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport has a base MSRP of $68,650, which is one of the highest starting prices in the luxury midsize SUV class. There are several upper trims with progressively higher prices. The all-new Range Rover Sport HST starts at $82,950, while the Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic starts at $86,500. The most expensive trim is the Range Rover Sport SVR, which carries a starting price of $114,500. Few class rivals have top trims that cost this much.

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