Land Rover Discovery 5 vs Range Rover sport

Trying to figure out which of these cars to buy? We compare the difference and similarities between the Mercedes Ml vs Range Rover Sport, range rover sport vs discovery 4 and range rover sport vs discovery 2019 to make an informed buying decision as to which car to buy in 2020. This comparison has been carried out on the basis of prices, engine specifications, mileage, and features of these cars.

Land Rover Discovery 5 vs Range Rover sport

Land Rover Discovery

£46,110 – £68,890

Overview

What is it?

Land Rover’s biggest, most off-road capable machine – as much a flagship in usefulness as the Range Rover is in luxury.

Except, the Discovery is none too workmanlike this time around: it looks far sleeker than it ever has before, the cabin is nigh on indistinguishable from a Rangie’s, apart from the seven seat configuration, and it’s by far and away the best-mannered Discovery ever on the road. This is an extremely complete car, appropriate for every occasion, a jack of all trades and a master of most of them. 

range rover sport vs discovery 4

Compared to the old Disco 3 (and the Disco 4, which was really just a mild facelift), the fifth-gen car is a very different animal. No longer does a unibody chassis live on a separate frame, resulting in an obese kerbweight and predictably agricultural dynamics. The new Discovery is based on an all-aluminium platform it shares with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which, Land Rover claims, means it’s up to 480kg lighter than the obscenely heavy outgoing model.

So much so, for the first time you can actually get a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder model, which helpfully lowers the entry price to £43,995. That said, the V6 diesel remains the far more appealing and appropriate choice, despite its entry sticker falling on the wrong side of £50k. Trust us, the Disco is now a fully luxury item, and works best draped in money. If you’re after a less opulent offering, you’re now left looking at the likes of the Mitsubishi Shogun and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Deleting weight with the chassis has allowed Land Rover to ‘invest’ it elsewhere, so the new Disco is 141mm longer than before, and a tad narrower and lower, though it neither looks nor feels it from the lofty captain’s chair.

You can also have all seven seats motorised and foldable via a remote smart phone app. Toys like that, plus the latest JLR touchscreen and minimalist cabin button count, are what amp up the sense this is a Range Rover in wellies, rather than a Toyota Land Cruiser that went to a posher finishing school.

Meanwhile, the Discovery is happier on the road than any of its ancestors. It rides beautifully, cossetting occupants like a luxury SUV, isolating them from the road just as adeptly as it’ll smooth out the worst of Death Valley or the Amazon, should you happen to find yourself particularly off the beaten track. It responds more keenly to the throttle too – it’s no sporting 4×4, but 7.7 seconds to 62mph for the mid-range, heartland diesel is not to be sniffed at. It’ll also consistently do thirty-something to the gallon, which is a superpower the old Discovery was not often blessed with…

In fact, it’s so rounded and unfazed by modern life, it’s just a pity the Disco has become so massive. Driving one through a built-up area if a fraught experience. Parking it, despite many assistance systems, is simply too gnarly. And we ought to address the image too. The old one was a square-jawed minimalist masterpiece, but are we alone in wondering if the new Discovery has become too streamlined and smoothed out for its own good? There’s been some identity loss for sure, and around the back, where that slab-sided form, barely stepped roof and huge C-pillar meet, the car does look a tad lardy. And visibility is poor too. The less said about the offset numberplate, the better…

Yes, those are nitpicking faults. And the reason we’re getting finicky is because on the whole, this is a spectacular machine. The off-road ability – the effortlessness of it – has to be experienced to be believed. And though few will, that’s okay, because the Disco 5’s talents have also grown in every other department.

Driving

What is it like on the road?

Land Rover Discovery front quarter

Imperious. That’s the new Disco, in its comfort zone, steadfastly cruising down a motorway or flowing A-road, master of all it surveys. But we are talking about the V6 turbodiesels here. First off, let’s dispel the myth that now the disco’s shed mass, you can get away with the four-cylinder diesel. This is still a 2.1-tonne car before it’s had options applied, and the 2.0-litre engine is too strained to make that kind of work feel effortless, even before you’ve filled each of the seven seats with occupants or dreamt of hitching up a trailer to take advantage of the class-leading 3500kg towing capacity.

The V6 is far more appropriate for the Disco’s more luxurious bent these days. It develops 258bhp and 443lb ft, returns mid-30s to the gallon in real-world driving and builds momentum smoothly, working superbly with the eight-speed automatic gearbox in all situations except for very quick getaways, there the drivetrain needs a second or two to show its working before you’re propelled forward with a distant thrum.

The Discovery rides tremendously well, expertly controlling its huge wheels and tyres as they deal with pot-holes. There’s nothing about the driving experience that’d every convince you it’s a car to press on in – this is no wannabe Porsche Cayenne – but the pay-off is truly regal open road transport. Like we said, imperious.

Things are less blissful in town, where the Disco’s sheer size and poor visibility make it an intimidating car to use. If yours is going to live an urban life, maybe consider the far wieldier (not to mention cheaper) Discovery Sport, which will also seat seven, at a pinch.

Off road, there’s quite simply no better car around today. It’s the effortlessness that’s so compelling. The Discovery will monitor what surface it’s trekking over and adjust its differentials, traction control, ride height, throttle response, gearbox mode and more to best deal with the given terrain.

Sure, you can still pick specific modes like rock crawl or desert mode, but why would you, when the Terrain Response software is so spectacularly clever? No car on sale today will make novices look more expert in the rough. Take the wading depth as one example. The reason it’s limited to 900mm is that going any deeper would cause this giant leviathan to actually float. 

And for those with the muddiest welly boots and deepest pockets, a small number of Discoverys are getting Land Rover’s ‘Special Vehicle Operations’ treatment, under the banner ‘SVX’. You’ll spot these versions via an altitude sickness-spec ride height, knobbly tyres, orange bodywork and the small matter of a 520bhp supercharged V8 under the bonnet. School runs in the Cotswolds and certain parts of Surrey might never be the same again

Owning

Running costs and reliabilityLand Rover Discovery front quarter

The V6 will do 450 miles on one tank, so that, at just over £51,000, is where we’d start looking. If you need cheaper, the four-cylinder Discovery S gets plenty of kit a standard: an eight-speed automatic gearbox, air suspension, 19in alloys and a proper spare wheel slung underneath, a powered tailgate, seven seats, cruise control and a heated windscreen plus lane departure warning and anti-crash braking. No sat nav, mind.

Leather seats come in at SE grade, with handsome LED headlights and mood lighting inside. HSE grade brings (still tiny-looking) 20in wheels, a very helpful blind-spot monitor, 3G on-board internet (where’s the 4G, Land Rover?) keyless entry and a 380W Meridian hi-fi. Step up to HSE Lux for 21in rims,  a better sound system, four-zone climate control, a glass roof and the ultimate Terrain Response 2 gadget. 

For the first year of the Disco 5’s life, there’s a three to four month waiting list, which will boost early residuals. Whether or not it’s free of the reliability gremlins that plagued, well, all Discoverys of one form or another, remains to be seen. Top Gear is running a Discovery as a long-term test car from late 2017 to early 2018, so we’ll be reporting in the magazine soon.

Owning

Running costs and reliabilityLand Rover Discovery front quarter

The V6 will do 450 miles on one tank, so that, at just over £51,000, is where we’d start looking. If you need cheaper, the four-cylinder Discovery S gets plenty of kit a standard: an eight-speed automatic gearbox, air suspension, 19in alloys and a proper spare wheel slung underneath, a powered tailgate, seven seats, cruise control and a heated windscreen plus lane departure warning and anti-crash braking. No sat nav, mind.

Leather seats come in at SE grade, with handsome LED headlights and mood lighting inside. HSE grade brings (still tiny-looking) 20in wheels, a very helpful blind-spot monitor, 3G on-board internet (where’s the 4G, Land Rover?) keyless entry and a 380W Meridian hi-fi. Step up to HSE Lux for 21in rims,  a better sound system, four-zone climate control, a glass roof and the ultimate Terrain Response 2 gadget. 

For the first year of the Disco 5’s life, there’s a three to four month waiting list, which will boost early residuals. Whether or not it’s free of the reliability gremlins that plagued, well, all Discoverys of one form or another, remains to be seen. Top Gear is running a Discovery as a long-term test car from late 2017 to early 2018, so we’ll be reporting in the magazine soon.

What’s New for 2020?

This year the Range Rover Sport features an expanded lineup of engines. A new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model called the P400e is available. Its powertrain combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a small electric motor and a battery pack. Mild hybrid-, gas-, and diesel-powered engines are still offered. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are now standard on all models, and Land Rover now offers a new 22-inch split five-spoke gloss-black wheel design. There are also two new available colors, Portofino Blue and Eiger Grey.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • SE: $69,945
  • HSE: $75,545
  • HSE P400e: $80,295
  • HST: $84,245
  • Autobiography P400e: $90,285

Land Rover offers the Range Rover Sport in a wide variety of trim levels for 2020. All offer an impressive mix of luxury and performance. There isn’t a dud in the bunch. However, our favorite combination is the HST, which is powered by the brand’s mild-hybrid turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six gas engine tuned to produce 395 horsepower. We also appreciate the HST’s sporty visual touches, such as its black roof and its interior upgrades, which include a faux-suede-wrapped steering wheel and seat trim. The HSE is the best value, however. It’s much better equipped than the SE and costs about $10,000 less than the HST. Its 355-h version of the six-cylinder is plenty strong.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Every 2020 Range Rover Sport comes with Land Rover’s excellent all-wheel-drive system and an exceptional eight-speed automatic transmission. Land Rover does, however, offer the SUV with four different engines, including a diesel, plug-in hybrid, and a mild hybrid. All offer impressive performance; however, our favorite is the stronger 395-hp version of the brand’s mild-hybrid turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder gas engine found in the HST model. It’s exceptionally smooth and packs plenty of muscle. SE and HSE models get a 355-hp version of this engine, which is also excellent. The diesel-powered variants of the SE and HSE get better fuel mileage, but they aren’t as quick as the mild hybrid or the plug-in hybrid models. Those looking for more performance should check out the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged/SVR variants. We review them separately.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport rear

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

Range Rover Sports powered by the mild-hybrid inline-six never have to be plugged in or charged, but the P400e models, which feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, do have to be plugged in frequently to take advantage of their gas-saving technology. The P400e is powered by a 13.1-kWh battery pack located under the rear cargo floor. It can charge fully on a 120-volt outlet, but it takes up to 14 hours. A 240-volt outlet or trips to a public charging station can charge the SUV more rapidly. Land Rover says it delivers up to 31 miles of electric driving range per charge.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

With so many different available engines, the 2020 Range Rover Sport’s EPA estimated fuel economy is a bit spotty, as the numbers are still being updated. Diesel-powered models are rated at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Fuel-economy estimates for the Range Rover Sport PHEV still haven’t been released, but it’s the only model that can be driven solely on electricity for short periods.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Inside, the 2020 Range Rover Sport has about the same dimensions as the full-size Range Rover model. Both SUVs share the same 115-inch wheelbase, which gives the Range Rover Sport more rear seat space than you’ll find in many of its competitors. Unlike the Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport is also available with a small kid-friendly third-row seat, which takes its seating capacity from five to seven. However, the third row is not offered in the plug-in hybrid models. Its front seats are firm and supportive, especially on long drives, and rear-seat air-conditioning vents and controls are standard. Heated rear seats are available. Build quality is superior, with soft surfaces and controls that look and feel expensive. Behind the Range Rover Sport’s second row is a generous 28 cubic feet of cargo space. PHEV models offer 3.0 cubic feet less because their battery pack is stored beneath the cargo area, raising the SUV’s cargo floor by two inches. The Rover’s reclining second row easily folds flat, expanding the space to 59.0 cubic feet of space, which is about average for the midsize luxury SUV class.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport interior

LAND ROVER

Infotainment and Connectivity

Significantly redesigned just a couple of years ago, the 2020 Range Rover Sport’s climate and infotainment systems are controlled by two large 10.0-inch touchscreens. The design is undeniably modern and attractive. It’s also user-friendly with intuitive menus and clean graphics, but the infotainment system is a bit slow to respond to user inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard, and there’s another 12.3-inch screen in front of the driver that shows a fully configurable digital gauge cluster.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Range Rover Sport has never been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, so its crash performance is undocumented. Land Rover does offer many desirable driver-assistance technology systems, but many such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are optional, which is disappointing considering the SUV’s lofty price. Key safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Range Rover Sport’s warranty coverage is about average for its class, but it doesn’t include complimentary scheduled maintenance. The purchase price of three of its key competitors—the BMW X5 and X7 and Volvo XC90—include three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

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