While the full-size Land Rover Discovery is as capable off road as it is comfortable and practical on it, it’s always been a pricey purchase. The smaller Discovery Sport, then, is designed to bring similar qualities to a wider audience.
Even though it’s cheaper than the bigger Discovery, the Sport still fits into the premium sector, competing with similarly upmarket models such as the five-seat only Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
The Discovery Sport deals with speed bumps well and rides smoothly at higher speeds, especially on the motorway. Clever adaptive dampers (called Adaptive Dynamics) are available as an option, but there’s really no need to bother spending the extra.
Things can get a touch bumpy around town, though. Expansion joints and worn surfaces unsettle the suspension a little – a problem that is exacerbated by fitting alloys larger than the 18in rims that come as standard with SE and SE Tech trims. The 20in wheels are certainly best avoided.
For the best comfort in this class, we’d suggest looking at the Q5 with optional air suspension fitted or, at the cheaper end of the spectrum, the Peugeot 5008 smooths away bumps pretty well, too.
The broad driver’s seat is, in the main, extremely comfortable, although it’s worth adding adjustable lumbar support on the cheaper trims – without this, there’s a shortage of lower back provision. High-end Discovery Sports come with adjustable lumbar support and electrically adjustable seats as standard.
All versions of the Discovery Sport come with an 8.0in colour touchscreen as standard, but you can’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The straightforward home menu makes it easy to jump between key functions, which include sat-nav on all but entry-level Pure and SE trims, although it’s a shame that the screen doesn’t respond a little more promptly when you press it.
Even very tall drivers will be able to get comfortable in the Discovery Sport. There’s plenty of leg room and head room is among the best in the class – provided you don’t add the panoramic glass roof that zaps this slightly.
A deep central cubby houses the USB socket, so is the perfect place to store your phone out of sight. Two cupholders placed behind the gear selector can hold large takeaway mugs securely. The door pockets are sizeable enough to take a 750ml bottle, while the glovebox is big enough to store a few small items, as well as the handbook.
Overall,the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a cleverly packaged SUV that’s practical, comfortable and good to drive.
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