Business Car Leasing
We recently test drove Land Rovers latest hybrid vehicle – the Discovery Sport P300e AWD Automatic PHEV. In this article we will provide an honest and unbiased review on the car.
The Discovery Sport has been at the more affordable end of Land Rovers line-up and has proved to be a popular car; especially for families. The option to spec it as a 7-seater separates it from many of its competitors. Being a mid-size SUV, it’s technically classed as a 5+2 seat car as the back seats are more suited to children or shorter journey if you’re bigger. Please note – the hybrid is only available in a 5-seater due to batteries being stored under the boot!
Since its launch, the car has been available with several variations on Land Rovers petrol and diesel engines. Like all car manufacturers, there was a need to be looking at alternative fuels; those being hybrid or full electric.
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The P300e uses an Ingenium 1.5 Litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine combined with electric motors to produce a healthy 309hp. Automatic transmission and All Wheel Drive move the car along.
So, what is the engine like to drive?
Press the ‘start button’ and you will instantly realise this isn’t a normal engine due to the lack of noise. The electric motors have come alive and as you take off you do so in near-silence.
Driving on electric-only mode can be a very pleasant way to cruise about. The smooth and effortless manner in which the car takes off makes for a very comfortable journey in and around town or sitting bumper to bumper in traffic.
Put your foot down from low speeds and you will feel the car accelerate quite swiftly due to the higher torque of the electric motors.
Land Rover quote a 0-60mph acceleration time of 6.2 seconds. I’m not sure it felt just as quick as that but not far off. The smoothness of the engine kind of hides how fast you’re going in many new cars so I don’t doubt with 309hp this is possible, even in a heavier jeep. Top speed listed as 130mph.
On our drive, we took the car on to the motorway to see how it coped up the speeds. Leaving the exit-road it pulled well and glided up to 70mph with ease.
Land Rover have done a great job of producing an engine which can alternate from petrol to electric without the car sounding like anything’s changed. Only if you kicked down hard on the accelerator would you hear the petrol engine kick in and rev hard. The rest of the time it all blends in silently which makes for a nice drive.
What about the electric range and all the other stats that make a hybrid a hybrid?
The P300e has an electric only range of ‘up to’ 34 miles on a full charge. We all know these manufacturers quoted figures can be hard to achieve but I do believe they are getting better!
The battery range will depend largely on how the car is driven but other factors can affect the batteries, such as the temperature outside.
The official fuel consumption (as tested under new WLTP testing) is ‘up to’ 143.1mpg. We didn’t officially test the mpg’s of the car so cannot comment on what it will actually do; but we’d hazard a guess you’d be doing extremely well to get remotely close to that figure. Same story with pretty much every hybrid on the road!
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Nice smooth engine about town and on the motorway. Plenty of power for most drivers and a pleasure to drive. Range is fairly standard for this type of vehicle and MPG figures seem to be optimistic as per all hybrids. Better drive than the petrol or diesel cars.
Benefit In Kind Tax (BIK)
The P300e will appeal to company car drivers; especially drivers with young families or those who have a desire to drive a jeep.
Government incentives have made hybrid and electric vehicles a more attractive option for those driving company vehicles. Full electric cars incur Zero BIK tax in the 2020/21 tax year and only 1% in 21/22 and 2% the year after that.
Hybrid vehicles will cost you more but will be substantially cheaper than a diesel equivalent. The various tiers of BIK will depend on the Co2 emissions and electric only range of the car.
With the car only emitting 44g/km of Co2 and 34 miles range, it’s in an attractive tax bracket.
BIK - Diesel Vs. Hybrid
Below we have shown the difference of two similarly spec’d cars, one diesel, one hybrid.
|Tax year 2020/21||P300e R-Dynamic S Auto||D165 MHEV R-Dynamic S Plus Auto|
|Benefit in Kind||£4,695||£13,942|
|Tax payable at 20%||£939||£2,788|
|Tax payable at 40%||£1,878||£5,577|
So, what this tells us is that a 20% income tax earner can expect to pay £939/ year in BIK tax on the hybrid compared to £2,788/ year in the diesel. To break that down in to a monthly figure, it equates to £78.25/m Vs. £232.33/m. Twice this for someone in the 40% bracket.
WOW – BIG SAVINGS to be had by the driver then!
What’s more, the Benefit in Kind charge of £13,942 is likely to push you in the 40% bracket anyway so those figures may increase further.
Our tagline is #DriveSmart and doing so can save you (and your business) a lot of money by choosing the correct company car. It may seem confusing but we’re here to help advise you on what options are available and what is best suited to your needs.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. This is a No-Brainer for a company car driver; providing your company is happy to pay a premium on rentals over the equivalent diesel. BIK is such a big factor in choosing a company car, let us help you find the right one. If it’s a family SUV you need, this could be the one!
Like any Land Rover, you will have a multitude of options and packs to customise your car exactly how you want it.
All cars come in R-Dynamic trim and the range starts with the ‘S’ model.
Key features include…
- 18” Gloss sparkle silver alloys
- LED headlights
- Rear animated directional indicators
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- Power folding door mirrors, heated and with approach lights and auto dimming on the driver’s side
- Power tailgate
- Ebony grained leather/ Mars red stitching
- 12-way heated electric seats with 2-way manual headrests
- Perforated leather steering wheel
- 10” central touchscreen
- Emergency braking
- 3d Surround camera
- Cruise control and speed limiter
- Lane keep assist
- Traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter
SE adds the following over the S…
- 20” Satin grey alloy wheels
- Premium LED headlights with signature DRL
- Auto high beam assist
- Automatic headlight levelling
- Memory driver’s seat
- Interactive driver display
- Blind spot assist pack
HSE adds the following over the SE…
- 20” Gloss dark grey alloys
- ClearSight interior rear-view mirror
- Keyless entry
- Ebony Windsor leather seats/ Mars red stitching
- 14-way heated electric seats with 2-way manual headrests
- Meridian sound system
- Adaptive cruise control
- Driver assist pack
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Plenty of choice here but budgets will restrict how many goodies you can get. The cars are well spec’d to start but as always, you can add more. The base (if you can call it that) ‘S’ model really has enough for most people and you wouldn’t feel you had scrimped in any way. If you can afford more, it’s worth a look!
After selecting your desired spec, you can then progress to adding individual options and colours.
On the outside, there are a good choice of metallic and premium metallic paints as well as the popular solid Fuji white.
Styling can be further enhanced with the addition on privacy glass, a black contrast roof or a full range of alloy wheel upgrades.
Several headlight upgrades are available to bring the lower models in line with the higher spec HSE.
*We’d always advise talking to us about what you would like in your car. Quite often on lease it can be cheaper to go for a higher spec HSE rather than spec’ing up an S model.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. The ‘S’ wasn’t overly special on the outside. Sure, it looks nice, it just doesn’t stand out, especially when he saw an HSE sitting next to it. SE and HSE definitely add a sportier look, at a cost.
On the inside you have a choice of Ebony (black) leather or an Ebony/ light oyster colour combination. There are quite a few upgrades you can make to the seats by way of extra functions in the electrics or premium leather coverings. The headlining colours come in Ebony or Light Oyster.
Further combinations can be configured for the finisher trims and steering wheel and for the ‘techie’ people amongst you, a head-up display and upgraded sound systems are other nice features.
As mentioned before, a lot of these cost-options come as standard on higher spec cars. Leasing a car works a bit differently than when purchasing. Quite often a more expensive vehicle can work out cheaper or much the same as a lesser spec’d car due to a stronger residual value (RV).
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. The car is well finished on the inside. Nice quality of leather, plastics and materials are used throughout the cabin. The car we were in was spec’d with a panoramic roof which is a popular extra. Like all modern cars the technology has moved on greatly in recent years and you will find plenty of this packed in to the Disco Sport.
Options & Accessories
The options list continues with more exterior and interior features. Additions to the infotainment system, safety & security systems as well as dynamic and convenience type bells and whistles.
If you want to tow with the car you can choose from a detachable or electrically deployable towbar with an additional ‘Advanced Tow Assist’ option.
Tow bars are approved for a trailer load up to 2,500kg.
Land Rover also have an extensive accessories catalogue for all those bits and pieces you’d like to add but maybe don’t necessarily need. Expect the price of your car to climb quickly if you get carried away with these!
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Towing capacity is good for a hybrid and will appeal to people with caravans and horse boxes. As for the accessories, it’s nice to have a list of toys but do you really need them? Many tend to be over-priced so consider whether they’re actually worth it!
One thing we like about the P300e is that it looks like a regular Discovery Sport. Quite often manufacturers go a bit futuristic on the styling front for their hybrid and electric vehicles. Really this comes down to personal choice. Some people like the styling and others just want a ‘normal’ looking car.
Inside and out, you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference. However, when you start to drive the car you will immediately notice how much quieter and smoother it is than the combustion engines. At low speeds or on the motorway it drives very well and feels like a well put together car. My only niggle would be that I’d have preferred the seat to be a bit lower down. I’m 6ft tall for reference. Saying that, the armrests etc. were all perfectly placed and I have put this down to the fact I’m more used to driving a lower down car. This was a minor issue.
Our biggest talking point for the P300e has to be the BIK tax for company car drivers. This makes a lot of sense if you want a mid-size SUV and lower your BIK. There aren’t many jeeps that can do this at present so it’s definitely worth considering.
All in all, this seems to be a decent offering from Land Rover if you’re looking for a hybrid SUV. We expect it to be a popular choice with our customers.
CARMERCIAL Leasing can source and fund any make and model of car or light commercial vehicle. We use a wide range of finance house and dealerships to find you the best deals in the market.
We pride ourselves in being able to offer clear and concise advice on what is going to work best for YOU and YOUR business.
Please get in touch, we’d be happy to help.
#DriveSmart with a CARMERCIAL Lease