Forget the Freelander, if you want a mid-sized 4×4 with a Land Rover badge there’s now this, the Discovery Sport.

It picks up where the Freelander left off with very impressive towing ability. At speed the Land Rover Discovery Sport felt a little more susceptible to crosswinds than the BMW X3, but we certainly had no nervous moments. The Al-Ko ATC sensors on the caravan showed how little the caravan moved around when slowing from high speeds.

The Discovery Sport performed superbly in the lane-change test. The caravan only began to slide during the third and fastest run, and the Land Rover was very definitely in charge of the caravan throughout.

Under the bonnet – for now at least – the Discovery Sport is powered by the ageing SD4 engine. There’s no arguing with its performance, as the 30-60mph time of 11.6 seconds shows, but the engine is noisier than the 2.0-litre diesel in the BMW X3 and X4.

From September 2015, the SD4 will be replaced by the new ‘Ingenium’ diesel engine. That should improve refinement as well as emissions and economy, areas in which the Discovery Sport currently falls short of the X3.

However, there are strong reasons for choosing the Land Rover over the BMW. For one thing, it has space for seven rather than five. With the third row folded into the floor there’s lots of boot space (our practicality testers found room for every item of holiday luggage). The Discovery Sport earns more marks for its trailer stability system and the useful reversing camera.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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