The updated SUV could pave the way for the next-generation model’s arrival.

Land Rover is already working on a next-generation Discovery Sport, but with the model still a few years away from arriving, a facelifted version of the current Discovery Sport is making test rounds. The prototype is wrapped in heavy camouflage, but the overall shape of the SUV suggests that there could be a lot of changes made to the updated Discovery Sport ahead of the next-generation model’s arrival in a few years.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Exterior

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
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Off the bat, you can make out a new grille and front fascia from the Land Rover Discovery Sport test mule. It’s hard to tell exactly how those elements will end up looking when the wraps are taken out, but the lighting fixture, in particular, has two horizontal LEDs sitting at the bottom. The current Discovery Sport doesn’t have those.

The grille, for its part, looks more upright, but that could be the wraps playing tricks on us.

Even the lower intakes look different, too. That could be the case, but it could also be the case of the body wrap, once again, doing its best job at misdirecting us.

The SUV’s profile looks similar to the current model. That’s expected considering that we’re only dealing with an updated look here. The rear section is interesting, though, because there are no cutouts. We do see what looks to be a pair of exhaust outlets on one side, but it’s really hard to tell given the angles from which some of the photos were taken.

Our resourceful spy sleuths did tell us that the test prototype is a hybrid mode, and that would explain the lack of cutouts in the rear. How’d they figure that out, you ask? Apparently, the Discovery Sport test mule had “hybrid” written on a yellow sticker on the windshield. Go figure.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Interior

2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport High Resolution Interior
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If there are any updates to the Discovery Sport’s interior, they’ll probably be minimal at best.

As it stands, the current Discovery Sport has one of the cleanest-looking cabins in its segment.

It’s defined by its luxury touches, a lot of which can be had as optional add-ons like the twin-needle-stitched leather, genuine metal interior trim, configurable mood lighting, and multi-zone climate control, among others.

The dashboard layout offers a nice blend of refinement and functionality, but I wouldn’t be opposed to Land Rover getting rid of the some of the knobs, buttons, and switches in favor of a more streamlined unit. Perhaps another digital display that can house all these functions?

Space shouldn’t be an issue on the facelifted Discovery Sport. As it stands, the facelifted model will sit on a heavily updated version of Land Rover’s D8 platform. Not only does this platform provide better ride comfort, but it also creates more space in the back, more cargo room, and enough room underneath for those lithium-ion batteries that the hybrid version will at its disposal.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Drivetrain

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
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Arguably the most important update in the facelifted Discovery Sport is the availability of a plug-in hybrid version. Details are still unclear on how much power the hybrid version of the Discovery Sport will carry, but it will be using the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium engine that Land Rover began using on the model in 2015.

The Ingenium engine is a range of modular four-cylinder turbocharged engines with the same 2.0-liter capacity.

The engine comes in gas and diesel variants and can be reconfigured to accommodate three-, five, and six-cylinder options. Given its versatility, it’s not a surprise that the Ingenium engine is used across the Discovery Sport’s model lineup. It can produce as little as 150 horsepower and as much as 240 horsepower.

The updated figures won’t be released until the facelifted SUV makes its debut. That said, expect minimal bumps in power across the range. The Discovery Sport Hybrid should also ascend to the top of the entire lineup where it will serve as the range-topping version of the Discovery Sport.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Prices

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
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The current Land Rover Discovery Sport has a starting price of $37,795, putting it in the middle of the pack as far as how luxury compact SUV prices go. That amount goes up, too, depending on the trim. There are two higher trims available: the Discovery Sport HSE that’s priced a little over $40,000 and the top-of-the-line Discovery Sport HSE Luxury that has its own base price of more than $40,000.

Knowing what we think we know, the updated Land Rover Discovery Sport will also get updated price tags. It’s too early to tell how much the price changes, but this early, you’re going to have to acknowledge that price bumps are going to happen. The hybrid version of the Discovery Sport will take the place of the HSE Luxury as the model’s range-topper. As such, it’s going to be the most expensive of the family, as well it should be.

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Competition

Jaguar F-Pace

2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace Exterior
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The Jaguar F-Pace is the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s sister from another mother. But even with the family ties, the two SUVs are considered rivals. The F-Pace has become a popular SUV in its own right. It carries Jag’s unmistakable style, boasts a premium interior, and has an engine lineup that includes a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine and the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium engine powering the Discovery Sport. The Jag SUV has more power variety, though. It has versions that produce as little as 180 horsepower and as high as 380 horsepower for the F-Pace S. Fortunately for the Discovery Sport, the F-Pace is a little tougher to buy on account of its higher price tag. Pricing for the Jag starts at $42,100 and goes all the way up to $56,700 for the range-topping S variant.

Read our full review on the 2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace.

Mercedes GLC-Class

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Mercedes GLC-Class is due for its own facelift. Photos of a wrapped-up SUV are rampant in the wild, fueling speculation that the updated model will pack plenty of new goodies. The new GLC will feature a few design changes here and there, but it’s still recognizable as the GLC-Class. The interior of the SUV is where the big changes are expected, particularly to reflect the same upgrades received by the facelifted C-Class. On the engine front, the GLC is still poised to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A slight bump in power is almost certain, possibly from 240 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque to around 260 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The new GLC will also arrive with a plug-in hybrid version, designated as the GLC 350e. Pricing for the SUV could start at around $42,000 to $44,000.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes GLC-Class.

Conclusion

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
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Land Rover’s plan for the Discovery Sport is taking shape. Some people might dismiss the mode to unveil a facelifted version just as the development of the next-gen unit starts, but I think it’s a smart idea. The facelifted Discovery Sport keeps the model fresh, preventing customers from having to settle on the current version of the SUV as it adds years to its life. I don’t expect big changes from the updated model, but there should be enough of them to establish the model’s place in the segment. A hybrid version is a plus, too.

  • Leave it
    • Timetable could be misinterpreted
    • Why buy when the next-gen model is around the corner?
    • Lots of rivals to deal with

Further reading

2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

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