The cheapest and most efficient Discovery Sport comes with a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, badged E-Capability. It’s offered with a choice of two or four-wheel drive, but no automatic gearbox or seven-seat option.
Even if that combination works for you, the E-Capability’s lacklustre performance leaves a lot to be desired. We’d opt for the 178bhp version of the same engine instead. You can have this with a six-speed manual gearbox or, better still, the more fitting nine-speed automatic.
While the auto can prove a bit slow to respond off the line and during kickdown, with nine gears to the manual’s six it makes better use of the engine’s extra low and mid-range power. That makes for usable everyday performance, but it’s not quick and is certainly no match for an Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 190 or BMW X3 20d in straight-line pace.
To keep up with those, you need to move up to the 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel. This comes with the auto 'box as standard and whisks the Discovery Sport from 0-60mph in just 7.1sec, giving you a nice turn of speed and edging it just ahead of those aforementioned rivals. However, while it is much livelier, after factoring in running costs we’d still stick with the 178bhp diesel, unless that extra oomph really counts for you.
Finally, there are the two 2.0-litre petrols, with either 237bhp or 286bhp, and both are automatic. While they are unlikely to be most people’s first choice, they do offer brisk performance at the expense of pretty hefty fuel economy.
If you tow a caravan or trailer, the 178bhp and 237bhp diesels will pull 2.2 tonnes, while the vast majority of Discovery Sports will pull 2.0 tonnes.