The new Land Rover Discovery Sport – the first of a range of new models to appear under the Discovery banner – has been unveiled, and will go on sale in the UK from January 2015 priced from £32,395.

The Discovery Sport offers 5+2 seating, although Land Rover says that clever packaging means the new Disco is no larger than existing 5-seat SUVs.

Some of that stems from Land Rover’s use of a new multi-link rear axle that offers less cabin intrusion than conventional strut-based set-ups, but the company goes on to claim it also allows for more engaging driving dynamics.

However, off-road capability is said to have been maintained, with the company quoting approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively.

Four-wheel-drive models feature Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, and boast the ability to wade through water up to 600mm deep.

Initially, the Discovery Sport will be offered with a 2.2-litre SD4 turbodiesel engine producing 190PS, mated to either a nine-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

A two-wheel-drive version using the eD4 turbodiesel will follow later in 2015, and is expected to boast CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km.  It will be priced under £30,000.

The cabin sees the introduction of a new eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system, while practical touches include up to four 12V power points and up to six USB sockets to allow passengers in all three seat rows to keep their devices charged.

A new service plan will be made available for £499, offering five years or 50,000 miles of servicing.

The new Discovery Sport will be produced at Land Rover’s facility at Halewood, Liverpool, and will go on sale in the UK in January 2015.