The Discovery Sport is criminally underrated
In 1997, the Freelander was released unto the world, bringing with it a whole new market that otherwise would never have considered buying a Land Rover.
The Freelander was a best-seller, not THE best seller but a best-seller. In fact it was Europe's best selling 4x4 model until 2002. Not exactly something to be sniffed at.
After two generations and 17 years, the Freelander was discontinued and replaced by the Discovery Sport. So Land Rover fans have a lot to thank the Freelander for, and not just because it gave us the Discovery Sport.
The Discovery Sport acts as a fantastic natural successor to the Freelander 2. It's brilliantly designed. By 2014, the Freelander was starting to look a tad dated so in comes the Discovery Sport and manages to keep that crucial market interest.
While the Discovery Sport shares its platform and factory with the Range Rover Evoque, it is actually a very different car. Now, I like the Evoque, a lot more than a lot of petrol heads. But the Discovery Sport fits well into the Discovery brand. In fact the Freelander was basically a small Discovery, so from a branding perspective it made sense for Land Rover to ditch the Freelander name.
The current generation Discovery is an ugly mess of a car, but for some reason, I like the Discovery Sport. The Discovery Sport doesn't even look that different from its bigger brother, so who knows why. Perhaps the design works better on a smaller car, rather than stretched out to fit a larger car.
Some may call the Discovery Sport "bland" or "unimaginative" among other things. But unlike many of its rivals, it is designed in an interesting way. The only other rival that may be able to rival the Disco Sport would perhaps be the Porsche Macan.
To add to my points, the Discovery Sport has actually outsold the highly praised Evoque in many markets. At time of writing nearly half a million Discovery Sports have been sold worldwide in the last five years alone. Hardly a mild accomplishment.
It's understandable that perhaps this car does get somewhat forgotten about in motoring circles. Perhaps its supposed inoffensiveness is exactly what you'd expect from any Discovery. A practical car, that just sets out to do what a car is made to do.