Styling changes on the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport include a new grille, LED lights, and new bumpers. (Manufacturer photo)

Styling changes on the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport include a new grille, LED lights, and new bumpers. (Manufacturer photo)

Land Rover Discovery Sport gets a makeover for 2020

There’s a new 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain, and an advanced infotainment system is standard.

Land Rover’s Discovery Sport premium compact SUV gets a substantial makeover for 2020. Signature exterior features including a clamshell hood, rising beltline, and tapered roof go untouched, but the grille, LED lights, and both bumpers are new.

A new frame makes the 2020 Discovery Sport 13-percent stiffer than the previous version, resulting in a smoother ride and quieter cabin. ClearSight camera systems providing 180-degree front and rear views are available, and there’s a sustainable interior option of non-leather Luxtex material made of a recycled polyester microfiber.

Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system is now standard, and it includes a 10-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, wireless charging, and 4G Wi-Fi hotspots.

A new 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) powertrain is available, producing 286 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine’s output is increased to 246 horsepower.

There are six 2020 Discovery Sport trim levels: base, S, R-Dynamic S, SE, R-Dynamic SE, and R-Dynamic HSE. Pricing with a $995 destination charge starts at $38,795. The R-Dynamic models add sportier appearance characteristics and other upgrades, and the HSE trim has the MHEV powertrain.

I drove the R-Dynamic SE model, priced at $47,145 with destination included.

The InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen is standard on all 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport models. (Manufacturer photo)

The InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen is standard on all 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport models. (Manufacturer photo)

The turbo engine and its running mate, a nine-speed automatic transmission, provide adequate power, but fuel economy isn’t great: 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Performance-wise, Discovery Sport’s expertise is off-road ability, the Land Rover heritage.

The Discovery Sport has seating for five with the option of a third row providing two more seating positions. In five-passenger layout, there’s lots of room for everyone, even second-row passengers, and the second row seats slide and recline. Head room is exceedingly generous. The rear cargo area is big and wide, and has a broad opening that enables large items to be carried. The floor is flat, and nearly even with the rear bumper so items can be easily slid in or out.

In typical Land Rover fashion, the Discovery Sport’s interior design is high-class and replete with quality materials. The infotainment system isn’t difficult to comprehend, but the touchscreen is too picky about the amount of pressure it’s willing to respond to, often requiring two or three presses before it reacts. The screen is also a longer reach for the driver than with most other compact SUVs.

The gearshift lever seemed to have a similar affliction and didn’t always readily go into, or stay in, the driver’s intended gear. It didn’t pop out of gear on the fly, mind you. The behavior occurred only with the vehicle at a standstill, as when shifting into Drive or Reverse.

To be fair, I’ve been disoriented and distracted like everyone else isolating themselves and their families to stop the spread of COVID-19, and that probably contributed to the unfortunate gearshift episodes. On the other hand, for seasoned drivers, gear shifting is intuitive, automatic. And so the Discovery Sport has to accept at least some of the blame.

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport has seating for five and the option of a third row with two additional seats. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport has seating for five and the option of a third row with two additional seats. (Manufacturer photo)


Base price, including destination charge: $47,145

Price as driven: $54,035

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2013 file photo, Elvin Bishop performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee, Wis. Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall and the Memphis Jug Band were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Invision/AP, File)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Elvin Bishop will join fellow bluesman Charlie Musselwhite on stage in Edmonds on May 25.

789_speller: Olive Ostrovsky (played Abby Price) concentrates on her spelling word while her competitors, played by (from left) Amanda Petrowski, Alexa Soriano, Haylie Conchelos, and (back row) Jackson Zimmerman try to distract her in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” running May 26-June 11 at Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.(Kenny Randall)
‘Spelling Bee’ wraps up Marysville theater’s 2022-23 season

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will run May 26-June 11 at Red Curtain Arts Center.

Just outside Kraków, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is filled with salt sculptures – and tourists.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Kraków weaves a vibrant cultural tapestry

It’s Poland’s cultural and intellectual center, and easily the nation’s best destination.

Do I express my feelings or keep them to myself?

It might be difficult, but communicating uneasy feelings is an important part of taking care of yourself.

American Queen Voyages takes five months to process refund

May Youngclaus has been waiting months for a refund from American Queen Voyages. Is her money lost at sea?

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Thousands walk the streets of downtown Everett with cameras in hand for return of Cruzin’ to Colby Monday afternoon in Everett, Washington on May 28, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett’s Cruzin’ to Colby car show is ‘place to play on Memorial Day’

And it’s free! Last year’s event drew 50,000 people downtown to see hundreds of gleaming hot rods and cool cars.

“The Tree Frame Cabin” at the site of the Index Cabins, also known as The Pietsch Pit, in Index, Washington on Friday, March 31, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Index Cabins showcase Sky Valley beauty — and millions of years of history

Nick and Nassim Pietsch’s property offers six ways to see your surroundings in a new light.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

The delicate pink flowers of Soapwort are just one part of the tapestry of blooming ground covers in Steve Smith’s garden right now. (Getty Images)
Lament slow growth no longer: Our gardens they are a-changin’

What a difference a few weeks can make! A late-spring surge never fails to keep things interesting.

Eagles are a powerful symbol in American designs from the Great Seal to everyday decorative arts. A carved eagle holds up this table’s faux marble top.
Colonial Revival pieces celebrate American history with classic symbols

Stars and stripes, Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty and, of course, eagles often appear in works from this period.

Home Garden Briefly: Mill Creek Garden Tour & Artisan Market

Mill Creek Garden Tour & Artisan Market returns For the seventh time,… Continue reading