IT'S A thoroughly agreeable car, with plenty of pep and tonnes of space inside, but the main question for me after spending some time with land Rover's new Discovery Sport, was ...

did it feel like a Land Rover?

The answer was probably a qualified maybe''. The Disco Sport - which is a replacement for the Freelander - in some ways feels more like an upmarket Asian version of a Land Rover, rather than the genuine thing.

It does look the part, but take away the badges and, especially the Evoque-like front grille, and you'd be hard pushed to distinguish its silhouette from some of the Far Eastern brands, such as Honda's CRV, Hyundai's new Santa Fe or Kia's Sorento.

Inside, it is as bland as the rest of the opposition and, let's face it, it is more expensive than say the Audi Q5 and on par with BMW's X3. Land Rover, however, argue, that because it is Land Rover badged, this differentiates it from the luxury Range Rover branded products.

So what does it have going for it? Well, first off, there is more room in this model than just about any others in the Land Rover/Range Rover stable and it also has the benefit of being able to convert to a seven seater, thanks to pop-up seats in the back, make no mistake, though, these are the preserve of children and not a full grown adult.

It's been likened to a pepped up Evoque and you can clearly see front-end styling cues taken from that, though to me it is not as radical, but probably more practical in shape and space.

The engine department is also pretty well stacked, with the tested 2.2 turbo diesel rated at 190hp and this will do the timed 0-62mph run in well under 10 seconds, which is fairly commendable for this sector. You can also expend to get 45+ mpg from it and that's largely down to the excellent nine-speed - yes NINE - automatic gearbox.

It's a seamless gearbox change and the only niggle came when in one of those damned average speed camera areas with a 50mph limit. At that speed the gearbox struggled a bit to keep itself and the cruise control happy. But, in all other respects, this is a fine unit and way better than the manual version, according to some of my colleagues.

However, another engine is on the horizon and due out this autumn. The new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel UK-built Ingenium engines which will come in this autumn, will have two power levels of 148bhp and 178bhp. Replacing the current diesel, these will significantly improve economy and emissions and offer combined cycle fuel consumption figures of up to 57.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 129g/km - even the more powerful variant returns 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km - there's also a saving on annual road tax because of that.

Land Rover people will be familiar with all the controls in the Disco Sport - they're pretty much generic - but it has a great 'infotainment' system, with a large screen and the model tested, the SE Tech (which is the first up from the bottom rung) gets satnav and a few frilly bits to go with it, including part leather seats.

This spec' also gets climate and cruise control, heated front seats, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and DAB radio, auto lights and wipers, front parking sensors and a power tailgate

Move up to the HSE and HSE Luxury and you get a pretty comprehensive package, including a panoramic roof and the full leather works, but, as always, at a price. Bottom end versions start at just above £30k - the model tested was just above £35,000 - but the range crosses over into the realms of 'big' Disco territory with a whopping £40k price tag at the top end.

The big selling point for me was the seven seat option, a five-year fixed-price servicing deal and plenty of interior space, which is something previous Disco versions struggled with. But did it feel like a Land Rover? ....