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Car Review

Land Rover Discovery Sport review

£31,820 - £52,230
810
Published: 14 Feb 2023
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

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. Note this isn’t an option on the plug-in P300e.

What about tech?

When this car was launched it included JLR's ‘Touch Pro’ media system, but this has since been replaced by the company's Pivi system. Pivi and Pivo Pro are designed to simplify all the touchscreen menus, and over-the-air updates should lead to more improvements and features further down the line. Phew.

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Perhaps the lack of a full, new-generation overhaul is telling these days, but it feels like the ergonomics could do with simplifying: in the middle of the dash you’ve got the touchscreen, plus physical and haptic-feedback buttons to choose from, and the end result is a bit baffling.

Anyhow, the driver gets the best collection of gadgets, though, with a 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 optional rear-view mirror trickery. Just like the 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.

And when I get 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.

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Will it all work in five years?

A great question, for 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.

Oh, and the Sport also comes with a layer of artificial intelligence that will, in time, learn your music, climate control and seat massage preferences, setting the car up for you each time you drive. Spooky…

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