With its fantastic off-road capabilities, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a seven-seater family car that you’ll find difficult to get stuck. A clever four-wheel-drive system and a spacious interior make it an all-round excellent SUV. However, the fact it costs between £30,000 and £46,000 means it sits in a market segment with lots of competing cars.
To see how they compare to the Discovery Sport, we’ve found 10 alternatives to the ubiquitous Land Rover. Not all of them can offer the same all-out off-road performance, nor the seven seats, but they’re worth consideration nonetheless. Remember that whichever you choose, our car configurator can help save you money.
For the price of a basic Discovery Sport you could have a top-of-the-range Nissan X-Trail. It has seven seats as standard, but, unlike the Land Rover’s offerings, the rear-most two are best reserved for children only. With the rear seats in place, you do get some boot space left over to compensate – the Land Rover is left with hardy any luggage capacity in seven-seat mode.
All models are well-equipped and the dashboard is sensibily laid out, but it doesn’t have the same premium feel you get in some rivals. The diesel engines provide enough torque to take an off-road detour and although the four-wheel-drive system isn’t in the same class as the Land Rover’s, it’ll give you more confidence on wet and slippery roads.
If you’re a keen driver in need of an SUV, look no further than the BMW X3. The latest models are leaps and bounds ahead of previous generations and the interior is a truly nice place to while away the miles. You’ll find it’s full of kit too – the driver-orientated dashboard is distinctly un-SUV-like.
That changes when you look out the windscreen – the driving position is superb, and, while other SUVs can feel wallowy, the X3 makes you feel as if you’re in a smaller car. You don’t get seven seats, but this means you get 550 litres of boot space – plenty for most family excursions. You can only get diesel engines, and all perform flawlessly. The popular choice is the 2.0-litre model – you’ll get a 0-60mph time of 8.1 seconds and fuel consumption of 54mpg.
For more information, check out our BMW X3 review and deals page.
Range Rover Evoque
Like the X3, the Range Rover Evoque isn’t too practical, but if you want a little opulence in place of versatility, it’s a great alternative to its seven-seat cousin. Price-wise, it’s about the same price as the Discovery Sport, but behind the raked body lies a sumptuous interior that takes cues from the bigger Range Rover.
The interior materials are top-notch and even the cheapest version comes with leather seats, a touchscreen interface and rear parking sensors but, unless you opt for a pricer version, you don’t get the four-wheel-drive system. Engines are as quiet and refined as you’d expect, but it isn’t that practical – while the Discovery Sport will swallow up seven people, even the rear passengers in the Evoque are left a little short of room.
For the best price on this luxurious SUV, use our Range Rover Evoque configurator to receive offers from Range Rover dealers nationwide.
The Kia Sorento certainly offers the practicality of the Discovery Sport – seven seats are standard fitment. At £28,000, it’s significantly cheaper too. While it can’t compete with the Land Rover’s materials inside, it certainly feels like a premium product. Soft-touch plastics and a healthy standard kit list remind you how far Kia has come over the last few years.
It does fall down when it comes to engines though – there’s only a 2.2-litre diesel available. That said, it drives well and produces enough power for the standard four-wheel-drive system to come in useful. While it isn’t too happy off-road, there’s ample overtaking power for most situations. It’s not quite as efficient as the Land Rover, being capable of around 47mpg.
For the best price on this reasonably priced Kia, our Kia Sorento configurator will hunt out the best deals on offer.
The Volvo XC60 is the safe and stylish Swede that takes on the Discovery Sport. It doesn’t have seven seats, but as to be expected from Volvo, it’s fantastically well-made and is the safest car in its class. The interior has a premium feel to it – the innovative dashboard design includes only the best plastics.
While some rivals offer a more involved drive, the XC60 comes into its own as a cruiser – all passengers are treated to oodles of space and, for the most part, the engine is almost inaudible. It’s only available with a diesel engine, but you’ll find the choice of engines to be fast and frugal. Four-wheel-drive isn’t standard but, if you do opt for it, it’ll give you more confidence on wet and slippery roads, but won’t be that good off the tarmac.
Just like the Discovery Sport, the Audi Q5 delivers a fantastically well-made interior and is just as great to drive. You don’t get seven seats though – for that you’ll want the Q7. The lack of extra seats means the boot is just as capacious as the rest of the interior – 540 litres is more than enough for a family of five’s luggage.
The drive is as impressive as the rest of the car – you’ll find a spectrum of engines to choose from. A powerful V6 diesel makes the Q5 an ideal tow car. For the majority, the 2.0-litre diesel should suffice – it’ll return 50mpg while sprinting from 0-60mph from rest in 8.4 seconds. The one complaint is that the ride is rather firm but, for the most part, this doesn’t affect the comfort of occupants too much.
To see savings, use our Audi Q5 configurator to get the best deals from Audi dealers across the UK.
The interior of the Mercedes GLC is just as beautiful as the exterior. Taking cues from the C-Class, inside is just as classy as the Q5 but, unlike the other German-made cars on this list, it performs impeccably off-road. A clever driving-aid is available as an option – you can put the car in different modes depending on the terrain.
Most owners are unlikely to venture off the tarmac regularly, but it’s nice to know that this is a car that’s on par with the Discovery Sport. You don’t have the wide engine choice offered by its British counterpart though – only one diesel engine is on offer and it’ll be mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Don’t let this put you off – the 2.1-litre unit is as sophisticated as you’d expect and the gearbox works flawlessly.
If you fancy this rugged-yet-luxurious off-roader, our Mercedes GLC configurator will find you the best deals on a new one.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Like the Sorento, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a budget substitute to the Land Rover – while it can’t compete in the mud, it’s a viable alternative thanks to its attractive price and optional extra seats. All trim-levels are well-equipped, and although it’s no Audi, the interior is a pleasant place to sit and is awash with premium-feeling plastic.
The Santa Fe comes with the same engine as the Kia – a 2.2-litre diesel that delivers plenty of torque and will get the same economy as the Sorento. While it’s fine for quick overtakes or steep hills, it just doesn’t have the go-anywhere ability of the Land Rover. If you’re unlikely to go off the beaten-track however, it’s a sensible and affordable alternative.
Our Hyundai Santa Fe configurator will get you the best deals from the best Hyundai dealers in the UK.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an imposing vehicle – it’s the American company’s flagship vehicle thanks to its huge size and genuine off-road ability. The latest version has seen a healthy leap in the quality stakes – it isn’t on par with the German offerings but the interior feels sturdy. That said, you’ll still find cheaper plastics where other manufacturers use higher quality alternatives.
Thanks to its humungous bulk, you’re best off with the powerful 250hp turbodiesel engine, but if you’re in need of some American muscle, there’s a thirsty V8 petrol available too. While the front overhang and the overall size of the thing somewhat limits progress, the Grand Cherokee is an admirable off-roader – it’s not as agile as the Land Rover but it’ll hold its own off the tarmac.
To save money, use our Jeep Grand Cherokee configurator to see the best savings on a new one.
Land Rover Discovery
For the price of a mid-range Discovery Sport, you could have its bigger brother – the Land Rover Discovery. It’s a born-and-bred off-roader that’s known for its capabilities when the going gets tough. Just like the Sport, you’ll get seven seats as standard, but the bigger car means the rear passengers have more room – and there’ll still be room for the shopping.
With a bigger car comes bigger running costs though – the turbodiesel V6 is the only engine on offer, and although it’ll provide excellent torque for towing or going off the beaten-track, it only returns 37mpg. That isn’t too terrible, but significantly less than most on this list.
For the best deals, our Land Rover Discovery configurator will find you the best prices, straight from trusted UK dealers.
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