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Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7
  • Comfortable seats with lots of adjustment
  • New infotainment system a big improvement
  • Ugly climate control panel not easy to use

The Discovery Sport’s interior is typically Land Rover, with strong horizontal lines drawing the eye towards an upgraded infotainment system in the centre console.

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport driving position

It’s the latest Land Rover InControl unit, and works well – a big improvement on the system that was fitted before. It’s slick and easy to use, though its extremely widescreen aspect ratio feels a little restrictive in relation to a portrait screen when using the car’s sat-nav - it’s not as easy to see upcoming instructions, which would be useful as the sat-nav can still voice slightly confusing commands.

The interior quality has taken a step up from the previous car and every surface the driver touches regularly feels well-built and pleasant. Step just outside these areas though and there are some suspect plastics – the surroundings of the gear selector, for example, feel particularly hollow and plasticky.

The same criticism can be levelled at the new climate control panel. When the car’s turned off, it could pass for a second infotainment screen, but it’s actually an array of touch-sensitive buttons applied onto a shiny, piano-black surface.

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport climate control

It certainly looks far neater than it used to, but because the controls double-up to function both the climate control and drive mode systems, it might take a while to learn where they all are, especially if you frequently switch between them.

We’re also not the biggest fans of touch-sensitive buttons as they tend to give the worst of both worlds – they don’t provide the feedback of a regular switch or the configurability of a touchscreen. Worse still, the shiny surface in the Discovery Sport collects fingerprints like billy-o, bringing the whole car’s ambiance down with it.

Until 2019, all automatic Discovery Sports came with a pop-up drive selector that twists to select Park, Reverse, Drive and Sport modes. This has been replaced by a more traditional-looking transmission selector found within other Jaguar Land Rover cars. Behind that is a cubby area and an armrest that lifts up to reveal another deep storage hole.

Smartphones (both Android and Apple) can also be connected via USB to access Land Rover’s In Control apps, and it is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Otherwise smartphones and other audio players can be connected via Bluetooth, with wireless charging available for the first time.

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport infotainment

High-spec models also come with a digital instrument screen for the driver, while lower-spec models come with a hybrid mix of traditional dials and a smaller digital screen in the middle.

The dials are large, clear and easy to read, but the screen used on the latter could be clearer in terms of contrast, especially since the darker background areas show up as a grey colour, rather than black.

Comfort

  • Spacious front seats with lots of adjustment
  • Spectacularly good ride even on large alloy wheels
  • Very refined

The Land Rover Discovery Sport excels at ride comfort. We were very impressed by how well it dealt with pockmarked tarmac, even on the largest, 21-inch alloy wheels and we suspect Land Rover has managed to overcome this by stiffening up the Discovery Sport’s architecture by 10%.

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport front seats

The ride quality is more absorbing and isolating than it used to be prior to the 2019 facelift.

While top-spec models with larger wheels used to feel like they were being battered about by larger bumps, the facelifted Discovery Sport now shrugs off rough roads with ease.

It’s only dappled roads that transmit through to the cabin – something easily remedied with wheels of a sensible size, which look set to improve matters even further. It’s deeply impressive that Land Rover’s managed to engineer so much comfort out of its entry-level model.

Just like the latest Evoque, that comfortable ride is aided by wide, soft seats with lots of adjustment. Front seat passengers benefit from the usual lumbar support, but even back seat passengers can adjust the angle of their backrest for a little more of a reclining position. They now also benefit from heater controls in conjunction with the air vents in between the front seats.

Refinement is also a Discovery Sport plus point. There’s little wind noise around the front windscreen, with only a bit of road noise from the wider tyres; the 2019 update managed to quell much of the tyre roar from the larger wheels that used to intrude into the cabin.

The petrol engines are quiet all of the time, with very little vibration transmitted into the cabin. While the diesels can’t quite match it, they’re a small compromise in engine refinement and settle down nicely at a cruise.