When is a Freelander not a Freelander? When it's a Discovery Sport. From now on, the Freelander is dead. Instead it's replaced by the Discovery Sport as Land Rover changes the structure of its range, creating a series of sub-brands. So from now on, Discovery Sport is to Discovery, as Range Rover Sport is to Range Rover.

It's the latest move from a company that's got clear - and justified - confidence at the moment. Through the strength of its image and the quality of its product, the Land Rover (and Range Rover) brands are pushing further upmarket.

Part of that approach is to grow the Discovery sub-brand from one single model to a three-model range (at the least), which starts with this new Discovery Sport. This Disco model is set to be the smallest and cheapest, despite the fact that it's still got seven seats. Still keeping up at the back?

Slightly confusing branding and model naming apart (it'll take hold over time), the new car seems like a smart move and we bet it will become a big seller. The entry price of £32,395 might come as a shock to current Freelander buyers, but given the company still can't build the Evoque fast enough - and the fact this has seven seats - we suspect it'll sell despite what you might describe as "confident" pricing.

What is a surprise is that despite the all new look and name, this is essentially still the old Freelander (or Evoque, if you prefer) underneath. Yes, the platform is heavily modified, but it's not an advanced, lightweight aluminium effort like the new Range Rovers, or the Jag XE.

And the Discovery Sport also goes without JLR's new four-cylinder petrol and diesel turbo engines - for now at least. Which is a disappointment. At launch the one engine in Europe is the 187bhp, SD4 2.2 diesel, which is good for 46mpg average and kicks out 157g/km of CO2. Figures that don't look pretty next to something like a BMW X3. Wait for later in the model cycle for models such as an eD4, which is likely to get closer to the magic 100g/km CO2 figure and mpg that pushes into the 60s (at least in theory).

While we're on the subject of disappointments, jumping into the new Discovery Sport left us underwhelmed. The most notable let-down is the infotainment system which appears to be the same one JLR's been using, well, forever. Sure, there's a new tiled menu home screen, but underneath it's the same clunky old tech. However, another magazine reported that the model they've played with at the launch out in the field features the same new system from the Jaguar XE - so there's a possibility that, given the cars on the Paris show stand were pre-production models, the car will indeed net the new system. We're trying to get clarification from Land Rover - fingers crossed it's the far superior edition as seen in the XE.

READ: Jaguar XE hands-on

Elsewhere, the Discovery cabin manages to impressively package those seven seats into a space that takes up little more road space than the old Freelander. The two rear-most seats are very much a kids-only affair, but then we suspect that's all most users actually want and need. Drop the two rear-most pews and the boot's massive, too.

You get the usual Land Rover setup too - there's a large-radius chunky-ness to the design, with a fairly natural palette of materials, and options such as the excellent Meridian stereo system. But whereas we've come to expect the Discovery to have a sub-Range Rover level of appointment, the Discovery Sport's much closer to the old Freelander, with some surprisingly brittle and hard plastics for a car costing this much. Let's hope it wears well.

We've left the most contentious aspect until last. It's hard to ignore that the looks of this car are a major departure for the brand. This model loses all the square, blocky qualities of the old Freelander, but it also does without the unique chiselled style of the current, larger Discovery. With each new generation of Discovery that Land Rover has introduced, there has been a major design step-change - the company is not Audi, after all - so this was to be expected. And with each new Discovery, people tended to be outraged the design had changed at first, before coming to accept it as the best thing since sliced bread.

Will that happen with this new car? We need to wait to see it on the road and for it to soak in to truly tell. But on the show stand, it's clear the car has adopted a much more conventional crossover format than before. It's therefore less distinctly Land Rover. It's lost the hard edges and thus has a squint and an almost Ford-like look to it.

But all of this correlates with a brand that's the most fast-changing in the automotive world, and has a confidence to do things that at first won't make sense or be loved by everyone. And while purists might moan that the new Discovery Sport moves Land Rover further away from its historic roots, it does look to be extremely well positioned for the modern, upwardly mobile family of the twenty-teens.

We quibble with parts of the execution, but the Land Rover Discovery Sport ticks lots of boxes - not least the seven seats - which you can't have in a BMW X3 or Audi Q5. So bet on seeing lots of them. And while we're in the mood for betting, we'll wager that some things will remain unchanged: compared to anything else in this class, the Discovery Sport will remain that Land Rover hallmark of being imperious off the road, alongside being very good on it.