Land Rover Discovery SUV - Interior & comfort
Build quality is excellent in the Land Rover Discovery and it’s very comfortable; we just wish leather seats were standard
Passengers will relish cruising in the Discovery, thanks to its remarkable quietness. For a car as tall as this, there’s remarkably little noise from the wind, while there’s not much din from those big wheels and tyres, either. The ride is generally very smooth, too, although certain surfaces can cause things to get jittery.
Comfort is ensured thanks to soft seats and a good driving position is easily found. It’s unfortunate, though, that leather upholstery has been omitted on entry-level models. The Discovery S does comfortably undercut the Volvo XC90, BMW X5 and Audi Q7 on price, but you need the rather more expensive SE trim level in order to have hide upholstery. Although this removes the price advantage, SE is still our favourite trim level.
Land Rover Discovery dashboard
The Discovery’s dashboard is like the car itself: luxurious, but also inherently practical. Some of the materials in the Discovery have been downgraded slightly, however, with a smaller gear selector and Terrain Response knob leaving more room for cheaper plastics. Straight edges and a rational layout speak of the car’s everyday usability, while leather, wood and high-quality trim lift the overall ambience, reminding you that you’re in a premium product.
Land Rover has a slight balancing act on its hands with the Discovery and new Defender, as they can’t be quite as plush as Range Rover products, but must be appointed in a fashion commensurate with their prices; the Discovery’s dashboard is spot-on in that respect and less utilitarian than the Defender’s. Every trim now has a clever digital instrument display that used to come with the HSE trim, and it feels far from old-fashioned – a slick and intuitive infotainment system with a clear 11.4-inch touchscreen sees to that.
The Discovery range is split into four trims: S, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE. S includes cloth seats (heated in the front), an 11.4-inch infotainment system, cruise control, 20-inch alloy wheels, a powered bootlid, lane-departure warning system and autonomous emergency braking. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a recent addition to the Discovery and are standard across the range.
That’s a fair amount of kit but R-Dynamic S also brings a black styling pack, fog lights, and dark grey alloy wheels. R-Dynamic SE adds Premium LED headlights, twin panoramic roofs, 21-inch wheels, an electrically adjustable steering wheel, 18-way front seats and a Meridian sound system.
The range-topping R-Dynamic HSE trim adds Matrix LED headlights, a gesture-powered tailgate, 22-inch wheels, rear heated seats, electric third row seats, 20-way heated and cooled front seats and an even more potent 14-speaker stereo system.
Many of the Discovery’s options are bundled into packs. The ‘Hot Climate Pack’ includes a heat reflecting windscreen, a cooler in the centre console, four-zone climate control and an air purifier. An ‘Advanced Off-Road Capability Pack’ adds a low-range transfer box, All Terrain Progress Control - which is rather like cruise control for off-roading - and Land Rover's Configurable Terrain Response system.
If you aren't planning on venturing into the wilderness or desert, the Family Pack could be just as useful. This brings an opening front sunroof (and fixed rear panoramic roof), manually adjustable third row seats, privacy glass, four-zone climate control and a partition for the boot.