SUVs are highly desirable in today’s car market and although relatively few people take theirs off-road, many motorists are reassured and proud to drive a model bearing the iconic Land Rover badge. The Discovery Sport is one of their most popular models, and sits before the more luxurious Evoque and Velar in the range. Britain’s other mainstream premium marque, Jaguar, brings the E-Pace to the market; a vehicle that opens up Jaguar SUV thrills to a wider audience thanks to its compact dimensions and excellent price. Let's see how both of these fantastic model compare...
While both of these vehicles are certainly SUVs in both dimensions and appearance, their design approach to the vehicle class is starkly different. The Discovery Sport is far more traditional in appearance but with the high-quality touches you’d expect from a Land Rover. Indeed, features such as the striking headlights and angular grilles highlight the attention to detail that runs throughout the vehicle. The E-PACE however takes a different approach resulting in a vehicle that is decidedly ‘Jaguar’ in appearance. Sweeping arches, slim lights and coupe-like features reminiscent of the F-TYPE create an unusually sleek SUV.
Conclusion: The E-Pace is sleeker and slightly more stylish, whereas the Land Rover is more of a rugged, traditional SUV with a contemporary flair.
Both the Discovery Sport and the E-PACE both fall into the compact SUV segment but there are certainly differences in space. The Discovery Sport is defined by its incredible levels of capability for a relatively small SUV. With the option for 7 seats, the Discovery Sport is ideal for large groups. Furthermore, with the back seats down a class leading storage capacity of 1,794 litres is achievable, enough for even the largest amount of luggage.
While the Discovery Sport shows off a deeply impressive amount of space, the E-PACE is also extremely roomy in its own right. Four adults can easily fit in the E-PACE with room to spare, and only the very tallest will struggle for headroom. Boot space is also very healthy, with a class-competitive 577 litres of boot space available. With the seats down the E-PACE sports a decent 1,234 litres of storage.
Conclusion: Although both provide ample space, the Discovery Sport has a slight edge when it comes to capacity and flexibility.
Handily, both vehicles have a wide variety of petrol and diesel engines. On the Discovery Sport all but the entry-level diesel engines are available with an innovative mild hybrid (MHEV) system that will assist the vehicle at lower speeds. There are two turbocharged petrol options available in either 197 or 247 BHP variations, with the more powerful option powering the Discovery Sport from 0-60 in 7.3 seconds.
The E-PACE boasts a slightly wider selection of petrol engines, ideal for a vehicle that presents itself as a more sporty SUV option. The top of the range petrol has 296bhp and allows the E-PACE a notable 0-60 figure of just 6.5 seconds. Diesel options are also aplenty, all offering highly competitive economy statistics while retaining the levels of refinement you’d expect from a Jaguar vehicle.
Conclusion: Both vehicles offer impressive power, however if you're after a sportier performance and extra speed, the E-PACE is the way to go.
Interior & Technology
With the latest version of the Discovery Sport, Land Rover has seen fit to design a dashboard that is far closer to the sophisticated Range Rover models. The dashboard now features more modern touch operated buttons offering less cluttered surroundings. The vehicle features 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Make no mistake however; the interior feels no less robust than preceding models, rather these modern touches have expanded the feeling of space in the cabin. Technologies such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now feature on the interior, with exterior features including modern LED headlamps as standard while options such as a 360-degree camera can be added.
The E-PACE takes a rather different approach, and has an interior that, like its exterior, draws from the F-TYPE sports car. A sporty sloped dash with grab handle create an altogether more performance feel, unusual in the compact SUV segment and something that certainly sets the E-PACE apart from its competitors. The technology on display is also impressive. Even entry-level models come with dual-zone climate control, parking sensors and a heated windscreen to name a few.
Conclusion: These two cars are fairly evenly matched as they both features high levels of technology and attractive trims. One of the more obvious differences is, like the exterior design, the E-PACE does feel sportier inside the cabin.
With SUVs, it is common to assume that the added practicality will cause the performance and driving experience of the car to suffer. However, this is far from the truth with these two vehicles, with the Discovery Sport truly offering the best of both worlds. With quick to react steering and a high up driving position, the Discovery Sport is both a dynamic and easy drive. The four-wheel drive system is really the star of the show, providing plenty of benefits on both smooth and rugged surfaces.
The E-PACE once again takes a different approach, one that aligns with its sports car design cues. Clever technologies such as an advanced four-wheel drive system that allows more direct cornering make the E-PACE one of the most engaging drives in the segment. Available to all trims is the JaguarDrive Control system, giving the driver control over settings such as gearing, steering response and acceleration. This all combines to create a vehicle that not only has coupe like style, but also the handling to match it.
Conclusion: It really comes down to what sort of driving experience that you're looking for. If you're more focused on off-road driving, the Discovery Sport may be the better option, but for a more sporty drive, the E-PACE may be the one.
In terms of cost, both vehicles have a similar price range. The E-PACE starts from £29,080 and comes in at £49,395 for the top of the range trim/engine. The Discovery Sport starts from £31,575 and ranges up to £49,675.
Conclusion: As they are fairly closely matched in terms of price, you may have to spend more time considering their differences in other areas..
Hopefully this article should have highlighted the key differences between these two great SUVs. To summarise, these are the key differences prospective buyers will need to take into account when deciding between these two excellent vehicles.
The Discovery Sport:
- Offers greater flexibility and practicality
- Has greater capacity for more seats and storage
- Has unprecedented off-road capabilities
- Offers a driving experience fitting of the Jaguar name
- Has extensive and impressive features that you’d expect from an SUV
- Feels sportier inside and out