Land Rover recently launched the much-awaited Defender in India. The “Defender” name tag returned after quite some time and everyone was excited about it due to which the new Defender had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, people accepted and appreciated the new Defender whether it is the design, off-road capabilities, interior, equipment or anything. There is no doubt that the 2020 Defender has been able to capture a lot of hearts.
As of now the least expensive Land Rover that you can buy is the Evoque and then the Discovery Sport. Till now people have been buying the Discovery Sport because as per people it is a proper Land Rover. Unlike the Evoque which people consider to be a mini Land Rover because of its compact dimensions and looks. However, the new Defender has been placed above the Discovery Sport and today we find out if the Defender justifies that price hike when compared to the much cheaper Discovery Sport.
The looks of anything are a personal opinion. The Defender stays true to the boxy Land Rover design while considering off-roading in mind. There is a huge glass area, squarish front end design. The side profile retains the simple yet bulging design. At the rear, you get tall tail lamps and a spare full-size alloy wheel just like it was on the original Defender. At the front, Land Rover offers circular LED Daytime Running Lamps with LED Headlamps as a throwback to the original Defender.
When compared, the Discovery Sport is more angular in its design language. At the front, there is a flat-bonnet, grille and air dam finished in piano black and sleek LED headlamps. The side profile looks just like a conventional SUV while at the rear you get wrap-around tail lamps. In comparison, the Discovery Sport feels a bit bulky but sporty whereas the Defender feels utilitarian and off-road ready.
The utilitarian theme of the Defender continues on the inside too. The upright dashboard, exposed structural surfaces, powdered-coated accents and rubber flooring gives the Defender’s interior a very rugged look. Overall, the interior looks sleek and modern yet functional. On the other hand, Discovery Sport’s interior feels more premium and softer. The infotainment screen sits flush with the soft-touch dashboard. The climate controls sit right below the infotainment screen flush with the dashboard. The interior of the Discovery Sport feels a lot more car-like as compared to the quirky interior of the Defender.
Being more expensive than the Discovery Sport, the Defender gets a more powerful engine. Where the Discovery Sport is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 248PS of max power and a peak torque output of 365Nm, the Defender’s 2.0-litre petrol engine churns out 300PS of max power and a 400Nm of peak torque output. However, the Defender also weighs more than the Discover Sport but still, it is the Defender which is quicker to a ton and has a more powerful engine.
Practicality and space
When it comes to seating both the SUVs can seat upto 7 people. You would be surprised to know that on paper the Defender 110 is longer and taller than the Discovery Sport. However, it is the latter that has a longer wheelbase which means it ideally it should have more cabin space and legroom. The Discovery Sport also has a larger boot than the Defender.
Having said that it is the Defender which is more configurable. The Defender 90 can be optioned with a jump seat between the front seats which makes it a 6 seater. You can get the Expedition Roof Rack which can take a payload upto 132 kgs. The roof of the Defender itself can take up to 300 kgs of static load and 168 kgs of dynamic load. You can even get a rooftop tent as an accessory.
Well, there is no other way around this, we all know that the Defender was built specifically with off-roading in mind. While both the SUVs come with Land Rover’s All-Terrain Progress Control, All-wheel-drive, Torque Vectoring and Terrain Response 2, the Defender has a better approach, break-over and departure angle. It also has a low range gearbox which is important for off-roading. The Defender is offered with accessory packs for off-roading. You can get a snorkel, ladder, roof rack, winch and even a storage compartment that is mounted on the side of the SUV as an official accessory.
Land Rover claims that they have tested the Defender for 62,000 different tests and the prototype had covered more than 19 lakh kilometres during the testing. Then there are the sheer amount of technological capabilities for off-roading. For instance, Land Rover offers a “clear view” which can show you what your front wheels are going through and what is beneath your bonnet. It is more of a see-through top-down view for off-roading. This does not mean that the Discovery Sport is not a good off-roader, it is just not as capable as the Defender. The Discovery Sport is more of an Urban SUV that can go off-roading while the Defender is an off-roader
The Land Rover Discovery Sport starts from Rs. 59.9 lakhs ex-showroom whereas the Defender 90 is priced at Rs. 73.98 lakhs ex-showroom and the 110 is priced at Rs. 79.94 lakhs ex-showroom. You would have to pay quite a bit of premium over the Discovery Sport for the Defender. For most people, the Discovery Sport will be more than enough. However, if you are an off-road enthusiast then you won’t be able to ignore the Defender. If you are someone who loves and goes for off-roading quite frequently then we think that it is worth upgrading to the Defender. Having said that most people won’t be using their SUVs for off-roading as most of them are chauffer-driven. So, it makes sense to save money and opt for the Discovery Sport.