Yamaha

Yamaha

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SPORT: HELLO GORGEOUS

Every so often we get to remind ourselves why we love our job, and this was one of them. To commemorate our 5th year Anniversary, the good folks at Kishore Gears offered us a chance to take the Land Rover Discovery Sport for a test drive. Now, to justify our heightened level of excitement, we confess that we consider the Discovery Sport the Angelina Jolie of motor vehicles in Nepal. It is beautiful, elegant and poised, and when put to the task it can kick some serious butt. A combination hard to beat, the Land Rover Discovery Sport fills the space of the departing Freelander.

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We hope you understand why we were so giddy about this opportunity; who would let up a chance to go on a date with Lara Croft wearing a hot red dress? So, we put on our dancing shoes and readied to get our groove on with the Baby Disco.

EXTERIORS

Saying it’s a head turner wouldn’t quite do the Land Rover Discovery Sport justice. There is a considerable amount of Range Roveryness to it since the Discovery is based on the Range Rover Evoque. The seven seater has a larger stance, and though not as flashy as the Range Rover, has a significant pizzazz to its styling.

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The front features two slim slated honey combed grille in classic Land Rover fashion which is flanked by a gorgeous set of projector headlights with circular daytime running lights. The headlights are split at four points to represent a compass(reference to “discovery” we reckon). And the Discovery lettering runs across the front of the clamshell bonnet.

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Move on to the side and you will notice that although it resembles the Evoque in many ways, it has refrained from adapting the aggressively sloping roofline of the Range Rover. This provides greater headroom to the Disco as well as visibility. The clean sides feature a shoulder line that runs from the fender motif to the tail lamp and takes your attention to the prominent C pillars.

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The rear reflects the styling cues of the front design with the Discovery name running across the bootlid and a similar smoked tail lamp split at four points.

INTERIORS AND FEATURE

It is a spacious and feature filled affair inside the Discovery Sport, with many things borrowed from its Range Rover cousins. One of these includes the uber cool pop out circular gear selector that sits in the centre console and has only been seen in Range Rover models till now.

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Quality has been prioritized and the climate controls, dash and switchgear are all taken from the Evoque. A high level of equipment is standard, including heated seats, part-leather upholstery, climate control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth connection and a DAB radio. On the HSE trim that we were driving, you get full leather upholstery, electrically adjustable seats, a reversing camera, a panoramic sunroof and keyless entry.

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Discovery’s eight inch high resolution screen has a user-friendly interface, with clear labels and a responsive touchscreen, The standard 10-speaker sound system includes Bluetooth audio streaming and good sound quality.The steering wheel is well sized and feels good on your hands. The instrument cluster displays two analog dials for the speedometer and rpm meter along with other telltale lights and information.

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The large seats are comfortable and supportive and there’s plenty of room for all passengers and provides impressive kneeroom in the rear. To live up to its 5+2 seater claim there is the optional additional seat for two which is basically a split bench that’s placed in the boot. However, seating two full grown adults in it is a big ask.

PERFORMANCE

The stunningly good looks of the Discovery Sport belies its feisty nature and abilities. Don’t take it for a prissy diva; the Discovery Sport is not a reluctant performer. The 2.2 liter diesel engine has a lot of grunt and produces 150PS/190PS of maximum power while peak torque is 400Nm/420Nm upwards of 1750rpm.

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Its engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF which utilizes a torque converter instead of a dual clutch system. The power delivery is linear and brings a smile to your face with its smooth responsiveness. There’s a firm edge to the suspension at low speed, but the new multi-link rear axle comes into play at higher speeds smoothing out most bumps and potholes.

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On twists and turns the baby Disco displays its agility. With its sharp steering the bulky frame dives through bends eagerly. The electronically controlled permanent four-wheel drive provides decent traction even in slippery conditions.

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You also get a choice of Normal, Mud, Sand, Rocks and Snow modes in terms of the terrain response system. Combine that with the variable hill descent control feature, an impressive wading depth of 600mm, plenty of ground clearance, excellent approach and departure angles and you get a mean machine ready to take on anything that lies ahead of its path.

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VERDICT

Although not as flashy and decked out as Range Rovers, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is one of the most premium vehicles you will see in the Nepali roads. The plethora of features, striking good looks, and impressive driving capabilities provides a combination that few other products can boast of. And when we say striking good looks, we mean it.

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