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Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Top Gear car review: Land Rover Discovery Sport
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Seven seats is rare in a car this size, and as you’d expect, there’s minimal room for luggage with the rear two deployed. And they’ll only fit adults or fully-sprouted teenagers over shorter distances. But there are dozens of formations available as you flip and fold each chair, with almost 1,800 litres of storage space on offer.
JLR’s latest ‘Touch Pro’ media system is a vast, vast improvement on older setups and it now comes with proper smartphone link up. Phew. There’s wireless charging and 4G hotspots on offer, too.
The driver gets the best collection of gadgets, though, with a new 12in TFT dial display ahead. It’s much like the Virtual Cockpit pioneered by Audi all those years ago, and works in a similar fashion with the ability to stretch the map over the entire width of the screen if you find that more informative than an old-fashioned rev counter.
There’s a head-up display on offer, too, though it lacks the clarity of rivals’ equivalents. More of a USP is its rear-view mirror. Just like the new Evoque’s, it flips to a widescreen camera view of the road behind at the flick of a switch. It takes a little while to get used to, and is a little disorientating after years of adjusting your view behind by shifting your head around.
But once accustomed to it you’ll revel in just how much of the road behind you can see. Because the camera lens is fixed, there’s no need to adjust the mirror position when drivers of different heights use the car, which might just shave another few seconds off getting the car packed and off the driveway every day. It also means you can stack the boot right up and not have your rearward vision suffer. Helpful if you’ve stuffed taller people into those back seats, too.
The one caveat to all this excitement is our past experience of JLR products – including the previous-gen Discovery Sport we ran at Top Gear – which all suffered screen-based maladies at one point or another. So while we hope and trust all of these systems will work throughout the life of the car, we’ll reserve a little caution when bigging them up.