Land Rover Discovery Sport Vs. Ford Explorer

discovery-sport-explorer1

A review of the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport isn’t complete without a reference to the Ford Explorer.

The two vehicles share an uncanny similarity in looks, right down to the thick C-pillar, rear spoiler, and headlight shape. Their silhouettes are nearly identical. Pricing on the two SUVs isn’t very far apart either: base prices for the Ford range between $31,000 for the base and nearly $53,000 for the Platinum trim, and the Range Rover runs from $34,400 for the base SE trim to just under $46,000 for the HSE LUX.

The Ford has a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder that makes 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is available. The Land Rover has a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder along with a nine-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. And get this: it’s an engine built by Ford.

These two vehicles might seem like they’d compete fiercely for sales, but under the skin they are vastly different animals. One is the rig to use if the highway leads to your destination, while the other is the one to use if the highway is just a speed bump to cross on your way to grander adventures.

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10 Model Lineups with Huge Price Ranges

2016 Lamborghini Aventador

Everyone’s had that moment, while looking for a new car, when they ask themselves, “What’s the least I can spend on a new Dodge Charger?” Well, you’ll find the answer is in the $30k area for your everyday Charger SE, but then you may notice that next to that SE is the $70k Charger SRT Hellcat. That’s right, you can get two basic Chargers for the price of a single Hellcat. Granted, the Hellcat engine transforms the Charger into a completely different animal, but the Charger isn’t even close to the most egregious example of price disparity within a single model’s lineup.

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Invisible Hoods Could Help on Blind Curves

Land Rover's transparent hood

There’s a blind curve on my way home that both thrills and frightens me. On adventurous days, I push my right foot down on the accelerator and take the uphill hard-right turn fast and tight while hoping there’s not a stalled car or deer or some other obstacle looming as I let my mind transport me to Laguna Seca.

On other days I approach the curve with caution, even slowing to a near crawl as intuition alone tells me to be wary.

I haven’t encountered a problem on this turn, but I know it’s quite possible that someday I will, because there are a few moments when all I can see are my hood and the sky.

Is this a curve that technology can outsmart, or will I forever be doomed to navigate those few seconds blindly?

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Jaguar SUV Doesn’t Make Sense, But You’ll Want One Anyway

Admit it, you'd want one

Admit it—you’d want one

Peer pressure isn’t just for middle schoolers. Apparently, the pressure to follow the path of others never really goes away, and the inability say “no” can lead to some questionable outcomes. All it takes is a decision from one trendsetter, and pretty soon everyone else is trying to do the same thing.

Today I’m thinking about Porsche as the trendsetter with the Cayenne SUV. Yes, it’s a superior and well-respected vehicle now, but when it was announced there were plenty of people who thought Porsche had gone off the deep end.

Nope. Instead, it spawned a new category of luxury road-going performance SUVs. And now Jaguar wants in.

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Cars Coming Soon: Smaller, Cheaper Land Rovers and the Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-Type

Tata’s been busy.

The Indian company that purchased Jaguar and Land Rover has effectively made over the entire Jaguar line and injected new life into Land Rover.

While the biggest changes came in the cars from Coventry, the Land Rover Evoque effectively changed the game for luxury crossover vehicles.

Tata’s next evolution of its British brands will include the Jaguar F-Type and, possibly, a lower-cost, smaller version of the Evoque.

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Cars Coming Soon: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover

2013 Land Rover Range Rover

Losing 700 pounds is a big deal.

Thanks to an all-aluminum body and part-aluminum chassis, the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover weighs a good 700 pounds less than the outgoing 2012 model.

Can a truck with the tough, go-anywhere reputation of a Land Rover succeed wrapped in a metal that’s easy to damage and expensive to repair?

Considering how few of these barges actually make it off road, I think it’s a good move by Land Rover. The design, though, leaves something to be desired. Anyone else see too much Ford Flex in there?

Regardless of how it looks, this newly unveiled Rover should be one impressive machine.

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Ugly Is Irrelevant: 2012 Range Rover Evoque

The new Land Rover Range Rover (why do they name their cars like this?) Evoque (pronounced “evok” or “evoke”?) was launched at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, an ugly building in itself. The Brits are going mad with the Evoque’s incipient success.

Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover PLC execs must also be dancing in whatever streets they dance in.

Apparently, LR has received over 20,000 pre-orders for the car, 6,000 from the U.S. Price will be $43,995 MSRP for the 5-door; add $1,000 for the coupe; three trim levels take you higher, to over $50K. The only engine for the U.S. is a Ford-sourced 2-liter EcoTec turbo with 240 hp. No diesel, no V6, big mistake.

I’ve written about the ugliness of this car before, but our CG readers disagreed: This piece drew lots of comments, almost all of which were in high favor of the car’s looks. The Evoque is going to be popular, not because it’s a great car, but because its looks are hot with a large segment of the public.

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