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Used test: Honda CR-V vs Kia Sorento vs Land Rover Discovery Sport interiors

Buy any of these hybrid SUVs at three years old and you can save yourself a tidy sum on the cost of a new one. But which should you choose?...

Honda CR-V 2021 interior dashboard


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

Each of these cars provides a good basic driving position, but if you’re looking for the model with the best driver’s seat, we reckon it’s the Honda CR-V. It’s soft and wide, but still provides enough side support. It’s just a pity the lever that alters the backrest angle is fiddly to use.

The problem with the Kia Sorento is that it misses out on lumbar adjustment – something both its rivals have. That means lower back support is somewhat lacking, but the seat is well bolstered to keep you upright through corners.

Kia Sorento 2021 dashboard

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is the only one with electric seat adjustment. It's great for fine-tuning, but offers the least side support. If you’re really tall, you might find that your left leg presses against the centre console, which isn’t an issue in the other cars.

The Discovery Sport’s analogue instrument dials seem rather old-fashioned next to the fully digital displays in the other two. Still, they’re clear enough and are supplemented by a large information screen, so you're not missing anything of value. Plus, neither of the other two is all that configurable. The Discovery Sport’s menus are the fiddliest to scroll through, making you feel like you’re in the Crystal Maze.

On the other hand, we can't fault the CR-V’s full complement of proper dashboard buttons and knobs to adjust its air-conditioning system. The other two have a mix of physical controls for the temperature and touch-sensitive areas of the dash for the other features, which are more distracting to use while driving.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2021 dashboard

If you’re intimidated by these cars’ size, you needn’t be. The Discovery Sport has the fattest windscreen pillars, but the view ahead is still good, and all three cars have small side windows behind the rear doors to enhance visibility while reversing. In addition, they all come with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, which in the Discovery Sport offers a surround view. Bright LED headlights were also standard across the board when new.

There are large SUVs that have more upmarket interiors, but the Sorento and Discovery Sport are matched pretty evenly against each other. They both have dense, squidgy materials on the upper surfaces of their dashboards and feel pretty sturdy. The CR-V also feels well made inside, but there’s a definite lack of plushness compared with the other two. There’s more hard plastic dotted about, not to mention naff fake wood inserts.

Although the Discovery Sport has less head and leg room up front than our other contenders and isn’t as broad, all three are airy and offer more than enough space for six-footers to sit comfortably.

Honda CR-V 2021 interior rear seats

Likewise, in the second row, none of them is remotely poky. The Discovery Sport is more on equal terms here, although it still has slightly less leg room than its rivals. The CR-V and Sorento are broadly similar on that point. In short, they’ll all carry a couple of six-footers with centimetres of leg and head room going spare. Even a middle rear passenger won’t feel squished; all three have a slightly raised middle seat, but there’s still copious space beneath the roofline.

Of course, the Sorento and Discovery Sport have the ability to seat two more people in a third row. Indeed, ‘people’ means six-footers in the Sorento, because even without sliding the second-row seats all the way forward (something you can do in the Discovery Sport too), there’s enough leg room for them and just about enough head room.

The Discovery Sport’s third-row seats are for smaller people: those up to about 5ft 8in tall. The CR-V’s second row seats don’t slide but, as in the other two, can be reclined.

Kia Sorento 2021 2021 boot

The two seven-seaters leave you with some luggage space with their third-row seats deployed: a few shopping bags in the Discovery Sport and a few more in the Sorento. In five-seat mode, the Kia Sorento has the biggest boot, taking a magnificent 10 carry-on suitcases below its load cover. The Honda CR-V is only one behind, followed by eight cases for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Underfloor storage is minimal across the board, so for extra room it’s a case of dropping the second-row seats, by pulling handy levers on the sides of the CR-V’s boot or pressing buttons on the side of the Sorento’s. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer such convenience, but its 40/20/40 seat split is more useful than the others’ 60/40 arrangement.