SUV of the Year
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport
Ever-tightening Federal fuel economy standards don’t mean Americans have lost any love for the SUV. And, delightfully, vehicles like the Land Rover Discovery Sport prove they don’t have to. This machine represents the compromise-free future of SUVs. We fell for the Disco Sport’s concept-car styling, it’s midsize stature, efficient and peppy turbocharged four-cylinder, plethora of tech, and stylish and versatile interior.
Many modern crossovers manage to banish the heavy 4×4 components and fuel-thirsty engines of their truck-based SUV forebears, but they also lose off-road capability in the process. With the smart use of tech, Land Rover’s Discovery Sport sheds the weight of its predecessors without losing its river-fording abilities.
On the road, the Disco Sport proves as comfortable as it is off-road capable. The 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine and the nine-speed automatic transmission pleasantly surprised us both in terms of acceleration and efficiency, which was aided by the auto start-stop system and plenty of cruising gears.
Like all Land Rover products, the Discovery Sport impresses with attention to detail, in terms of design, fit, and finish. The tested HSE LUX model even included a drool-worthy panoramic moon roof, which ran the entire length of the vehicle.
Tech adds to this refinement, too. A standard 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center dash features the latest iteration of Land Rover’s InControl infotainment. With it, occupants can control any number of features, including nav, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspots, and monitor one of the many cameras embedded in the exterior of the Disco Sport. Heck, even the steering benefits from digital brains – the Disco Sport will steer itself into parallel parking spots.
In the end, we loved every aspect of riding in the well-packaged Discovery Sport. Even though we never used it for off-roading during our testing, we loved feeling that, at the drop of a hat, with the Land Rover, we could go just about anywhere.
2015 Honda CR-V
Good-looking, well-constructed, and comfortable to ride in, the Honda CR-V came very close to overshadowing the Disco Sport. Every time we got out of it, though, we had a hard time remembering the drive itself. We admit; a forgettable ride is perfect for most buyers. For us, though, we wanted something a bit more memorable to take the SUV crown.
2015 GMC Yukon Denali
If buyers want a big, luxurious truck that is unapologetically American and bossy, there’s nothing else on the road quite like the Yukon – not to mention one loaded to the gills with cutting-edge tech.