2021 BMW X1 vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the X1 and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The X1’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Discovery Sport’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Land Rover only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Discovery Sport.

There are over 88 percent more BMW dealers than there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X1’s reliability 52 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 33rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 99 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X1 xDrive28i xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).

Transmission

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The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Discovery Sport are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Discovery Sport’s standard 60 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Discovery Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer rear gas-charged shocks.

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .85 G’s, while the Discovery Sport S pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Discovery Sport S (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Discovery Sport’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.3 feet).

Chassis

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The BMW X1 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The X1 is 5.5 inches shorter than the Discovery Sport, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The X1 is 9.8 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the X1 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The design of the BMW X1 amounts to more than styling. The X1 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Discovery Sport (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X1 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The X1 has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom and .7 inches more rear headroom than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 4.1 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 55.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X1. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X1’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the X1 has a standard extendable sun visor. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

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The X1 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X1 will cost $175 less than the Discovery Sport over a five-year period.

The X1 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the X1 will retain 47.84% to 48.12% of its original price after five years, while the Discovery Sport only retains 40.04% to 43.9%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X1 will be $8366 to $17592 less than for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X1, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Discovery Sport has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The BMW X1 outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by 44% during 2019.

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