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2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport vs. 2015 Range Rover Evoque: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2015

Land Rover's presence in the compact-luxury-SUV segment seems to be continuously growing, as the upscale-SUV manufacturer has recently added both the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport to its lineup. For most shoppers, this poses a question: Given the similar sizing of these two SUVs and their shared Land Rover origins, are there any major differences between the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport and the 2015 Range Rover Evoque? To help you find out, we've created a close comparison of both models that will cover all the key similarities -- and differences -- between the two SUVs.

Exterior

Despite similar sizing and equipment, it's very easy to distinguish the Discovery Sport's exterior styling from the Evoque's. The Evoque offers a wider stance, a shorter window line and a boxier, more stylish design based on traditional Range Rover models. By comparison, the Discovery Sport is the exact opposite, instead touting a typical crossover look, curvier lines and styling that almost looks more like a mainstream SUV than a typical Land Rover. To help you distinguish the two models even further, the Discovery Sport has DISCOVERY spelled out in front and in back, while the Evoque is clearly labeled with RANGE ROVER -- though we think differences are substantial enough that most drivers won't need the reminder.

Interior

There are also some substantial differences between the Evoque and the Discovery Sport on the inside. We're not referring to interior styling, as the Evoque and Discovery Sport use a lot of the same materials -- from window switches and turn-signal stalks to the infotainment system, the climate-control switches and the gear selector.

Instead, we think the Evoque and Discovery Sport distinguish themselves from one another in terms of cabin feel, as the Discovery Sport's airy, open interior is a big departure from the Evoque's more cramped cabin. That's due to the Discovery Sport's larger windows, its increased headroom and its larger cargo area -- a cargo area so large it boasts available 3-row seating, compared to the Evoque's two rows.

Mechanicals

Under the skin, both the Evoque and the Discovery Sport offer the exact same powertrain: a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

The only difference comes in terms of fuel economy, where the Discovery Sport's slightly larger size puts it at a disadvantage compared to the smaller Evoque. The Discovery Sport registers only 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, compared to the Evoque's impressive 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Features and Technology

Despite stylistic differences inside and out, the Evoque and Discovery Sport share virtually all the same features and technology. In addition to offering the exact same infotainment system, both models offer the same automated parking system, the same surround-view camera system and many other modern gadgets such as heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, keyless entry and ignition and upscale multispeaker sound systems. In other words, don't expect radical differences in equipment between the Evoque and the Discovery Sport, because you won't find any.

Driving Experience

On the road, the Evoque stands out by feeling nimbler, quicker and more tossable than its Discovery Sport stablemate. In fact, the Evoque almost feels like a sporty hatchback with some extra ground clearance, as its turbocharged engine provides more than enough power for virtually all situations, and its small sizing is good for zipping through traffic and fitting into tight parking spaces.

By comparison, the Discovery Sport feels more like a traditional SUV. Though it uses the same engine as the Evoque, the Discovery Sport's larger size and extra weight mean it isn't as spry off the line or as nimble through the corners. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it's not exactly slow to accelerate or sloppy when turning -- but it doesn't have the performance-SUV feel that you get from the Evoque.

As for ride quality and stopping power, both the Discovery Sport and the Evoque seem on par, offering a smooth ride and impressive brakes. One major advantage the Discovery Sport has over the Evoque is visibility, as the Discovery Sport's larger windows give drivers a more commanding view of the road than you'll get with the Evoque's small windows -- especially in back and along the SUV's sides.

Safety

Unfortunately, neither the Evoque nor the Discovery Sport has endured full crash testing from the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But both SUVs offer a wide range of the latest safety equipment, including excellent standard features such as a backup camera, side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes. Other options include a blind spot monitoring system, a multiangle camera, rear cross-traffic alert, an automated parallel-parking system and forward-collision alert with automatic braking. Although these two models don't really have any safety-related advantages or drawbacks when compared to one another, they both rank near the top of their class in terms of features and equipment.

Conclusions

The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport and the 2015 Range Rover Evoque share a lot of key components, ranging from their sole powertrain to features, safety equipment, options, interior styling and even general dimensions. The only real difference between the two SUVs relates to their purpose: The Evoque is more of a stylish, city-friendly, sporty small luxury SUV, while the Discovery Sport is better for drivers who want more room or a traditional luxury-SUV demeanor. Regardless of your choice, we suspect you'll be impressed with either SUV.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport vs. 2015 Range Rover Evoque: What's the Difference? - Autotrader