Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque are already very popular in their respective classes, but that hasn’t held the British automaker back from making them even more competitive.
In fact, both models received all-new Ingenium engines for 2018, the 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder now designed and built totally in-house. Along with similarly powered base engines to their predecessors, the two SUVs also get the option of a much more powerful variant.
Entry-level models receive similar output numbers to their forebears at 237 horsepower compared to 240, and 251 lb-ft of torque instead of 250, while a class-leading adaptive shift program enhanced nine-speed automatic aids both performance and efficiency.
Speaking of performance, top-tier Discovery Sport and Evoque trims can be had with a 286 horsepower version of the same engine making 295 lb-ft of torque, allowing the Evoque to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 6.4 seconds, which is 1.2 seconds quicker to 100km/h than the outgoing Evoque, plus 4 km/h faster overall at 221 km/h (132 mph). Also impressive, the base Evoque shaves 0.3 seconds from the old model, completing its zero to 100km/h run in just 7.3 seconds.
The larger Discovery Sport is much quicker with its upgraded engine too, zipping from zero to 100km/h in only 6.7 seconds and topping out at 221 km/h (132 mph) just like the faster Evoque, while the new base model achieves the feat in just 7.6 seconds compared to 8.2 seconds in the outgoing SUV (the seven-passenger Disco Sport hits 100km/h in 7.9 seconds), and once again manages a terminal velocity of 200 km/h (124 mph).
The innovative Evoque Convertible doesn’t feature a high-output version yet, but the new base engine nevertheless increases zero to 100km/h performance from 8.6 seconds to 8.1, while its top track-speed grows from 180 km/h (112 mph) to 217 km/h (135 mph), which is now the same as the outgoing and current five-door base Evoque’s top speed.
The new engine features a higher-pressure fuel injection system with upgraded injectors, while the exhaust manifold is now integrated within the cylinder head for quicker warm-up and more immediate turbo response. The high-output variant also includes an upgraded turbocharger with unique bearings resulting in more power, quicker response and better overall efficiency.
If you want the more potent engine in the Discovery Sport you’ll first need to step up to HSE or HSE Luxury trim, which sport Dynamic exterior and interior styling plus equipment upgrades. Both trims get exterior modifications including a sportier front fascia design with deeper air intakes and other unique trim details all around the SUV, plus HID headlights with LED signatures, fog lamps, auto-dimming side mirrors with memory, and a fixed panoramic sunroof, while the cabins get a heatable sport steering wheel as well as driver’s seat memory, perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats, front parking sensors, a garage door opener, etcetera.
Specific HSE Luxury features also include unique exterior trim, proximity keyless entry, illuminated aluminum treadplates, upgraded interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, 380-watt Meridian audio, higher grade perforated Windsor leather upholstery with contrast stitching and piping, a powered gesture liftgate, and more.
Of note, the Discovery Sport is impressively equipped in base trim with features like off-road capable four-wheel drive boasting Terrain Response and All Terrain Progress Control, trailer stability assist, auto on/off headlamps, power-folding heatable side mirrors with approach lamps, an electromechanical parking brake, pushbutton ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone auto climate control, rear parking sensors, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, a rearview camera, partial leather upholstery, 10-speaker audio, three USB ports with charging, Bluetooth phone connectivity with streaming audio, ambient interior lighting, and more.
With the Evoque, the zestier engine comes in HSE Dynamic and Autobiography trims, and like the Disco Sport this sportier Evoque gets a reworked front fascia, 20-inch alloys, bright square exhaust pipes, adaptive and configurable dynamics, auto high beams, a sport steering wheel, bright metal sport pedals, Windsor leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, a Homelink universal garage door opener, 10-inch infotainment, upgraded navigation, WiFi, plus other exterior and interior enhancements, while the Autobiography adds unique exterior trim, adaptive HID headlamps with LED signatures, upgraded interior finishings, 14-way powered front seats with forced ventilation and memory, specially embossed Windsor leather upholstery, 16-speaker 825-watt Meridian audio, and more.
At the other end of the Evoque spectrum, a new value-focused five-door Landmark Edition combines the less formidable engine with unique dark grey gloss finished 19-inch seven-split-spoke alloy wheels, a choice of three exterior colours including Yulong White, Corris Grey and exclusive Moraine Blue, plus a standard Carpathian Grey contrast roof, Graphite grey and gloss black exterior trim, an Ebony black interior with Lunar stitching and dark satin brushed aluminum inlays. Additional Landmark Edition features include fog lamps, auto-dimming side mirrors, proximity keyless access, a powered gesture rear liftgate, and a more powerful eight-speaker audio system.
It should be noted the base Evoque is already a very well equipped SUV, with standard features that include off-road capable four-wheel drive with Terrain Response and All Terrain Progress Control, handling-enhancing torque vectoring, power-folding side mirrors with approach and puddle lights, an electromechanical parking brake, pushbutton ignition, a heatable leather-wrapped steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a colour TFT multi-information display within the primary gauge cluster, dual-zone auto climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front and rear parking sensors, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a rearview camera, navigation, heatable 12-way powered front seats, leather upholstery, and much more.
The new 2018 Evoque Landmark Edition starts at $54,000, which is just $4,100 more than the $49,900 base SE model, while the more powerful engine in HSE Dynamic trim can be had from $64,500, and the Evoque Convertible can be had from $66,000.
Despite being larger the Discovery Sport remains Land Rover’s entry-level SUV and one of the more attractively priced vehicles in its class at just $43,500 plus freight and fees, while the quickest Discovery Sport variant is available from $53,300.