This Discovery Sport has been the best filming car we've ever had
Plenty space and nearly 500 miles to a tank has made the Landy a great addition to the production team
Starting off as a writer at DriveTribe, my job has changed quite a bit since I joined as a fresh-faced 23-year-old in 2017. I've been the Head of Video for around two years now, and in that time I've predominantly used my own car – the trusty Mondeo – to get kit and crew to and from shoots. But since November 2020, our filming car game massively stepped up thanks to a brand new Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Over the last five months it has been used in a whole load of shoots, covering everything from a marathon day of filming with James May, to a full track test of a fully-working 1989 Batmobile. My time with the Disco Sport is coming to an end, so it's time to spread the word as to just how good a workhorse the Landy has been.
We never came close to running out of space
I'll start by saying the boot shape in the Discovery Sport is pretty odd, mostly down to the roofline. To make it look as good as it does from the side, the designers have sloped the roofline down at the back, thus making the boot aperture weirdly constricted.
Saying that, the rear seats shunt forward a further six inches if you want them to, allowing a sizeable amount of filming equipment to be thrown into the back. Huge hard cases, monstrous tripods and countless rucksacks full of lenses and sound equipment have been stacked high in the Discovery Sport's boot, and we've never had to worry about running out of space, however big the shoot.
It had an unplanned cameo in a DriveTribe smash hit
One of the first shoots of 2021 was with James May in the south of England. You may have seen his 'Fakeaway' FoodTribe video and an update about his Toyota Mirai on DriveTribe.
Now, you'll need to look closely, but in the background you'll see a familiar roofline. Yes, I forgot to move the Land Rover out of shot, so our film car unexpectedly sat in the background for the whole damn Mirai video. Sorry Mr May, it won't happen again.
It helped everyone get in the zone for a shoot
The kit-swallowing talents of this car mean you can easily fill it with cameramen and soundies, all with plenty of legroom, headroom and storage space for all of their snacks (Wispa Golds are a particular DriveTribe crew favourite, just FYI).
Couple the space with very soft suspension and solid build quality to keep the road noise out, and you have a car that is perfect for the crew and I to talk about the day's shoot, as well as giving me the headspace to run over my lines if I haven't learned them at 10pm the night before...
It couldn't be easier to drive, especially on snack runs
It's fairly common during a shoot that one member of the crew nips off to get snacks (we really get through those Wispa Golds) for everyone else. When we used my personal car as a production vehicle, that meant I was always the guy to head off in search of a Greggs.
With the Land Rover, I've made sure to have the relevant parties insured on the car before we head off, meaning anyone can take the company card and go to town in any respective chocolate and crisp aisle. And that has shown another string to the car's bow – its ease of use.
Complete SUV novices have settled into the driving seat almost immediately, with our usual director Tom even saying: "This is the easiest car I've ever driven, it does everything for you".
As long as you have your postcode set in the sat nav, you can spend the rest of the drive nestling into your heated seat (the seats are cloth in this car, a big win in a British winter), and utilising the incredibly light steering while your phone charges below in the charging dock. It's not the most talented of machines once you reach a bendy country road, and the engine is thrashy and weak (not helped by a sluggish gearbox), but for piling on the mileage up a motorway to the location for the day, it's about as simplistic and comfortable as it gets.
We'll be sad to see it go
Depending on exactly when the Discovery Sport goes back to Land Rover, our latest shoot (with the 1989 Batmobile from the Tim Burton movies) could be this SUV's last as part of the DriveTribe team.
The intro to an upcoming Batmobile video on the DriveTribe YouTube channel features the Discovery Sport from the get-go
It's not clear what will replace it just yet, but whatever it is will need to be properly spacious, comfortable and effortless at the usual early morning motorway slog. I'm thinking a Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake would be perfect... here's hoping.