Land Rover Discovery Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Car Review

Land Rover Discovery review

£46,110 - £71,865
Published: 18 Mar 2021


What is it like on the inside?

Climb aboard the Disco, lean back out to close its enormous barn door and it really does feel like you’re wearing your dad’s giant coat and massive wellington boots. The commanding driving position is classic posh SUV, but the rear window seems to be in a different postcode and combined with the thickness of the pillars, visibility is pinched. You’ll be relying on the fleet of on-board cameras to avoid kerbing those rims.

So what’s new? Well, the gear selector is a big improvement. The clunky old rotary dial has been binned at last, and now there’s a push-pull selector that looks like the sort of thrust controller you’d find in a posh speedboat. As opposed to a naff, Lidl-own brand speedboat. Also fresh are the decluttered Terrain Response controls, and the Defender steering wheel, which doesn’t really look upmarket enough for the rest of this cockpit, oddly.

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Up front you’ll notice sharp digital dials, and the new ‘Pivi Pro’ touchscreen interface as seen on the new Defender and the latest Jags. Its sheer size makes jabbing the icons you’re aiming at easier than before, and it renders menus snappily. Graphics are sharp and, as a native interface, it’s a definite improvement.

Smartphone connectivity still seems a tad haphazard though. All versions of the new Disco get the 11.4-inch display, while underneath the climate controls have had a spruce up, but feel less tactile than before. They still fold away to reveal a hidden stowage cubby – which seems like overkill when you could lose children under the armrests and there are two gloveboxes to put, well, each of your gloves in.

If you’re brave enough to go for the lighter upholstery and lashings of unpolished wood it’s an opulent surrounding, but we loved the old Disco’s big, chunky touch switchgear and bleak-but-bulletproof ambience.

The new one feels almost inappropriate, like the car wants you to remove your muddy shoes before climbing aboard and put the wet, smelly dogs in a trailer rather than sully the boot’s luxuriant carpet.

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Okay, let’s assume you like the Disco 5’s upmarket sweep. You’ll not want for space, with all seven seats capable of seating adults. Open the giant doors (careful in narrow spots, folks) and you’ll find the middle row sports 954mm of legroom and easily enough space for three adults abreast.

The folding mechanisms, though electrically assisted, aren’t as intuitive as Volvo’s easy-going XC90, but once you’ve motored and hauled them about you’ll find there’s 851mm of legroom in the far rear, and enough gap for real adults. It’s also versatile; you can individually fold each rearmost seat, and the second row has a 60/40 split, recline and load-through facility.

Boot capacity is 258 litres in seven-seat configuration, and a gargantuan 2,406 litres with all the rear seats stowed. But to access any of that, you have to electrically lower the fold-down carpeted shelf that pretends to be as versatile as the classic old split tailgate. Land Rover says it’ll take a 300kg load before failing, but it looks awfully flimsy. Oh, and watch your head on the tailgate’s sharp edges when it’s raised, if you’re lanky.

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