Both the Discovery Sport and X5 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 X5’s 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 X5.
To help make backing safer, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Discovery Sport and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
On the EPA test cycle the Discovery Sport gets better fuel mileage than the X5 s/xDrive35i (20 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).
For better maneuverability, the Discovery Sport’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.1 feet vs. 41.7 feet).
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 1050 pounds less than the BMW X5.
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot shorter than the X5, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Discovery Sport has 1.6 inches more front legroom and 2.7 inches more rear legroom than the X5.
The Discovery Sport has a much larger cargo area than the X5 with its rear seat up (34.6 vs. 22.9 cubic feet).
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 X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.
The Discovery Sport has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury has standard 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.
Insurance will cost less for the Discovery Sport owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Discovery Sport will cost $1420 to $2770 less than the X5 over a five-year period.
Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Land Rover Discovery Sport will be $9832 to $25567 less than for the BMW X5.
Both the Land Rover Discovery Sport and BMW X5 won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.