Even very tall drivers will be able to get comfortable in the Discovery Sport. There's plenty of leg room and head room is among the best in the class – provided you don’t add the optional panoramic glass roof, which has the effect of lowering the ceiling slightly.
A deep central cubby houses the USB socket and is the ideal place to keep your phone out of sight, while the two cupholders placed behind the gear selector can hold large takeaway mugs securely. The door pockets are each sizeable enough to take a 750ml bottle, while the glovebox is big enough to store a few small items, such as a windscreen scraper, as well as the car’s handbook.
When the second row of seats is slid back as far as possible, anyone sitting on them is treated to masses of leg room. If you slide the seats all the way forward to make room for the third row, or for more luggage, taller adults will find their knees pressed against the front seatbacks.
By contrast, in versions with seven seats (available on all Discovery Sports but those powered by the D150 engine), the rearmost row is distinctly cramped and best suited to small children or particularly petite adults – our most compact tester, at 5ft 3in tall, still felt cramped. Leg room is tight and access isn't great as the wheel arch juts into the gap passengers have to squeeze through to get in or out.
Seat folding and flexibility
The second row of seats is split 40/20/40 and you can slide and recline each of the three seats independently. You can also fold each seatback flat into the boot floor; there’s a variety of layout configurations to suit the number of passengers or volume of cargo you need to carry.
Pull a lever low down on the side of the outer middle-row seats and they spring forward to give access to the third row (if fitted). However, they don’t return to their original position automatically; instead, they remain set further forward to free up leg space behind.
The third-row seats can be folded away into the boot floor fully when they aren’t needed so they don’t get in the way of luggage loading.
A boot lip that sits flush with the boot floor makes it easy to lug heavy items into the back of the Discovery Sport. In five-seat versions, or with the third row folded down, the boot is larger than those of many rivals; exceptions include the Santa Fe, Q5 and 5008.
The load area is a useful shape and big enough to take enough luggage for most families’ needs. To give you an idea of the space on offer, we were able to fit eight carry-on suitcases into the Discovery Sport, compared with nine in the Audi Q5. An electric tailgate is standard on SE trim and above.
On the downside, there’s no underfloor storage and nowhere to stow the tonneau cover if you need to remove it – something you’ll need to do before using the sixth and seventh seats.