Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

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The new Land Rover Discovery Sport may scream wealth and luxury from its stylish exterior, but it isn’t one of these off-road pretender SUVs that are a fashion statement for the rich.

“The Discovery Sport has a whole host of handy practical features across the range, but the mid-range SE Tech trim is where it all starts.”

Cameron Hale, Moneyshake Car Reviewer

Interior

Inside, the Discovery Sport has the added bonus of being rather simple in its layout. All controls are conveniently placed and in the right position.

For an SUV starting from £31,000, you would expect a less dated look around the cabin area. It even feels inferior to the Volvo XC60, which has a more modern and aesthetically pleasing interior. This isn’t to say the qualities of the materials in the front are to blame. It’s more to do with Land Rover not keeping up with the times. Or maybe it’s Land Rover’s way of sticking with what they know.

Seven seats are standard on all models. And access to them is as easy as sliding one of the outer middle-row of seats forward via the individual seat adjusters.  Adults in the rear two seats will face a bit of a squeeze when there are other adults in front. They would be able to do a short journey back there, but headspace and legroom is more suitable for a child.

Space in the Discovery Sport is much better utilised when you are only carrying passengers in the middle row.

Not only do the rear passenger seats slide forwards or backwards, but they also recline. Handy for when you want to take a break from an upright position on long journeys. This is standard across the entire range.

Even carrying three adults abreast is made possible thanks to a small hump in the floor and wider seats. Granted, the middle seat is rather firmer than the others, but it isn’t that noticeable. You may want to draw straws over who sits where, though!

Infotainment and tech

Conveniently, from the back of the car, you have access to two USB ports and a 12V socket on the back of both the front passenger and driver seats. This is standard on the SE Tech models and above.

Also, on the SE Tech trim as standard are all-round parking sensors, automatic wipers, part-leather heated front seats, and an infotainment system with satnav.

Unfortunately, the infotainment system and satnav are not as easy on the eye or as quick as the systems in rivals such as the Audi Q5 or BMW X5, but this isn’t the be all and end all. However, it does have exclusivity going for it, with a Land Rover InControl Remote Premium feature as standard. This allows you to lock/unlock the car, as well as preheat/precool it before getting in and even find it in a busy car park using a beep and flash system.

Practicality

Let’s take a look at the practicality of the Discovery Sport, too.

As standard, the SE Tech trim gets cupholders, ventilation controls and a 12V socket for charging a device – enough to keep the kids entertained!

Space in the boot of this upmarket SUV is limited when all seven seats are upright, with a mere 194 litres enough room to put a few shopping bags and very little else. You can upgrade this to a huge 689-litre capacity when the back two seats are folded down – enough for a big family.

The middle row of seats conveniently folds down electronically via a button from the boot. This creates a nice flat 1,698-litre load bay.

Note: you’ll have to (rather annoyingly) go around to the rear passenger area to completely flatten the middle row of seats. This is because the electronic function doesn’t make them completely flat.

On the road

The Discovery Sport is a comfy and quiet drive. Especially with the high set driving position which helps with visibility. Unfortunately, the view out of the back of the car isn’t great due to thick rear pillars and a rather small rear window. But visibility is still good for the driver at junctions.

Now this car might be a natural off-roader, but its premium status would lead you to think that it would turn up when you venture onto the road. But the standard suspension is surprisingly firm. Long distance cruising? No problem, because this isn’t a big deal at high speeds, but at low speeds it does create a rather rumbly feel throughout the car.

Speaking of the beaten track, the whole driving experience in the Discovery Sport comes together when you venture off-road. With the SE Tech trim comes a host of additional features to help you do this. One of these is Hill Descent Control, which does exactly what it says on the tin: eases you at a comfortable speed down a sharp descent.

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