Baby Land Rover Discovery Sport Needs Help from Granddad Defender in Iceland

The Land Rover Discovery Sport may be pitched as an SUV that’s not afraid of going off-road, but drivers should be careful how far they’re willing to go in a baby Disco.

It’s not that the Discovery Sport is not capable, but it can never compare to the rugged Defender. Nick Rufford from The Sunday Times found that out when he drove the baby Land Rover in Iceland, a country that offers breathtaking scenery and plenty of challenging terrain for off-road enthusiasts.

Land Rover says the Discovery Sport can scale gradients of up to 45 degrees, but Rufford found a gradient in Iceland that the baby Disco couldn’t manage, so he had to give up. He then took it to a sandy and snowy beach where he played around for a while until the Discovery Sport got stuck. Luckily, a good old Defender was around to help.

In the baby Land Rover’s defense, it has to be said that it does not feature low-range mode. I guess the moral of this story is you can’t go quite everywhere in the Discovery Sport – better avoid Iceland.


  • mb4design

    Get real; SUVs are image vehicles.

    • jh

      also true.

    • Bo Hanan

      And everyone that passes you while you’re stuck in the snow is now justified.
      Very lame comment…

  • Chuck_Knut

    “The Discovery Sport can scale gradients of up to 45 degrees, but Rufford found a gradient in Iceland that the baby Disco couldn’t manage” – This has to do with the engine being able to work on a 45 degrees gradients not with being able to climb any 45 gradient there is.
    “In the baby Land Rover’s defense, it has to be said that it does not feature low-range mode.” – This is also not the cause, the problem are the tires not the low range, check the tires on the Defender, for some reason Land Rover took a Defender with such tires to Iceland as a rescue car.

    • jh

      yep… very poor and uninformed review.

  • jh

    someone watched too much topgear….

  • Norman

    It is not original Land Rover any more.
    Real Land Rovers were produced years ago.
    What is the name of this car?
    Discovery Sport.
    How a 4X4 can be sport?
    Sports cars are for the asphalt roads.
    A 4X4 can not be sport.
    Range Rover Sport or Discovery Sport.
    These are not tough and durable vehicles any more.
    These are luxury toys for the rich snobs.

    • Chuck_Knut

      Have you ever seen…I don’t know…the WRC or the Dakar?

    • James

      C’mon get real.

      These aren’t luxury toys for snobs.

      The luxury toys are top end Range Rovers.

  • It’s a lifted wagon that can fit 7 in a pinch. If you want to criticize it for all the things it’s not then you will have a field day.

  • Miknik

    If all 4 wheels sink in soft sand, no manual select box/low range/tires will save you….

    • James

      Finally a valid point!

  • Benedikt

    Shame on Land Rover and The Sunday Times!
    All off-road driving and driving outside of marked tracks is prohibited by law. Icelandic nature is delicate and tire tracks from off-road driving can cause substantial damage to the vegetation and leave marks that will last for decades.

  • Ari Arnorsson

    Least of our worries is the low journalistic quality of this hyped
    presentation of a family car. It contains a string of highly exaggerated to
    plain wrong comments, not up to the standards of a journalist worth his salt.
    But we’re used to that in tabloids. What enrages me and most Icelanders is the
    blatantly shown illegal mistreatment of nature. Luckily, this material is a
    sound base for prosecution against the driver. He should not be too hard to
    find, unlike those that lately have been turning Iceland’s pristine, untouched
    nature into a mess of tyre tracks. Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland, for
    valid reasons. What would you like to see here, unspoilt natural expanses or
    squiggles of vehicular graffiti? If you still don´t get it, I’ll come and do
    doughnuts on your lawn in my hyped-up 4×4 car. I’ll spin it stuck in your
    flowerbed. I’ll have a cup of tea, then, and read the Sunday Times, while you
    extract my machine. At least your garden can be fixed again. Are you going to
    fix the nature you messed up, Mr. Rufford?

  • Karl Birkir

    Off-road enthusiast? What is that for a euphemism? Do you mean someone is enthusiastic about ruining and destroying nature? Did you come here to leave scars in the fragile soil of this barren, volcanic island? You should rather call that what it is, nature destruction enthusiast. You should be ashamed of yourseld.

  • Jon Heidar Thorsteinsson

    Hello – this sort of off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. Hope you get a huge fine and feel ashamed of yourself.

  • Gunnar Gunnarsson

    At the end he writes: “I guess the moral of this story is you can’t go quite everywhere in the Discovery Sport – better avoid Iceland.” Just for your knowledge, off road driving is not allowed in Iceland. This video and other similar are now part of a investigation done by both the Police and The Environment Agency of Iceland. Well done Land Rover, you know how to improve your brand image!

  • PedJun

    Well, I’ve been in Iceland in that same car (with a different group of journalists, though), and in defence of Land Rover (as I see some people pointing the finger at them), I must say they didn’t put anyone offroad in the true sense of the matter (basically it’s hard to do it where it is forbidden by law). In fact, their press support programme even mentioned the fact that driving off-road was absolutely forbidden in Iceland.
    The case here, I believe, is that the journalist in question tried to be funny or tried to do something different where he shouldn’t. He failed… Besides, the Discovery Sport is a well-accomplished SUV but to each their own: the DS is not a Defender because the Defender is one in a kind! And sometimes that’s the problem with the automotive press – the failure in adjusting expectations: I mean, when they say that a smat fortwo can’t corner amazingly, they probably are comparing it with a Porsche 911 or a Golf GTI. It shouldn’t be that way.
    But that’s just me: a guy that likes to look at the big picture with some honesty.

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