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Both the Discovery Sport and Atlas have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Atlas’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Atlas.
The Discovery Sport’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Atlas doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 more horsepower (246 vs. 235) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 10 more horsepower (286 vs. 276) and 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Atlas doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Atlas.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Atlas:
The Discovery Sport has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The Discovery Sport has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Discovery Sport flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Atlas SEL 4Motion pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Atlas (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot, 5.3 inches shorter than the Atlas, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Atlas doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (4409 vs. 2000 pounds).
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Atlas doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Discovery Sport has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Atlas doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The Atlas’ optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
The Discovery Sport offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Discovery Sport has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Land Rover Discovery Sport offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Atlas doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Discovery Sport will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Discovery Sport will retain 42.13% to 42.27% of its original price after five years, while the Atlas only retains 39.77% to 41.75%.
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