Our favourite large SUV of 2016 is the Land Rover Discovery Sport. In the face of stiff competition from rivals including the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Discovery Sport triumphed at the 2016 What Car? Awards, taking our Large SUV of the Year title.
The Discovery Sport is the replacement for Land Rover's ageing Freelander, but don't go thinking that this is just a premium-badged SUV - the Discovery Sport is also very capable off-road. By class standards, it's also well priced.
Here are 10 reasons why the Discovery Sport should be on your SUV shortlist.
10 reasons to buy a Land Rover Discovery Sport
10. Interior quality
As a premium SUV, the interior of the Discovery Sport is exactly as you'd expect to find it - there are plenty of plush materials on display and small touches like the brushed-metal trim give it a classy feeling.
9. Front space
Headroom for the driver and front passenger is among the best in this class, and there's plenty of leg room on offer too. Handy cubby holes like door pockets and a large glovebox give you plenty of space for belongings.
8. Big boot
As well as offering an impressive amount of space in the boot, the Discovery Sport also makes it easy to load bulky items - thanks to a boot floor that's flush with the boot lip. You also get a powered tailgate on all but entry-level cars.
For a large SUV, the Discovery Sport is fairly refined. The 2.0-litre diesel engine can send a small amount of vibration through the controls, but less so than you'll find in a BMW X3. When it comes to road and wind noise, only the Audi Q5 is quieter.
6. Good to drive
Nicely weighted steering and a comfortable ride help to make the Discovery Sport very easy to live with. It deals with speed bumps well, and rides smoothly at higher speeds - making it ideal for the motorway.
5. Smooth diesel engine
Opt for our recommended 2.0 TD4 180 engine and you'll enjoy good performance - even if you've got seven people on board. This engine also gets four-wheel drive as standard, and we'd opt for the smoooth nine-speed automatic gearbox.
4. SE Tech
SE Tech models are one up from entry-level cars, but the jump is well worth it. You get satellite navigation, automatic lights and wipers, front parking sensors and a powered tailgate. Entry-level cars still get rear parking sensors, climate and cruise control and heated front seats.
The Discovery Sport has set a new benchmark for large SUV safety - it gets five stars from Euro NCAP, and every model gets autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and a lane departure warning as standard.
2. Seven seats
Few cars of this size - and none of the Discovery Sport's premium rivals - offer seven seats as standard, so if you do find youself with more people to carry, then you won't be caught short.
1. Off-road capability
Every Discovery Sport gets Land rover's Terrain Response system, which allows drivers to select a four-wheel drive mode for different surfaces including gradd, mud and sand.
What about buying used?
The Land Rover Discovery Sport hasn't been on sale for very long, meaning it's far too new for us to have a full used car review on it. That said, if you are thinking of buying used then prices start from around £21,000.
It's also worth considering the Land Rover Freelander - the car which the Discovery Sport replaces. There's plenty of choice in the range for the Freelander 2 but we'd opt for the 2.2-litre TD4 diesel engine, which returns decent fuel economy. Look for either a well-equipped XS model or a range-topping HSE version, because more basic Freelanders just feel a bit too bare inside.
Expect prices for the Land Rover Freelander to start from around £4500 and rise to around £10,000 for a sub-50,000-mile car in XS specification.
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