When the Discovery 3 was launched in 2003, it dwarfed its competition, but the rest of the large SUV class has since caught up on size.
But irrespective of that, the expectation is that this will be just about the most spacious SUV on the road, because that’s the niche Land Rover has carved for it.
So it may come as a surprise that however generous the head room it affords its driver, it’s only averagely accommodating for maximum front leg room.
You sit high in the Discovery, but there’s only up to 1070mm of leg room behind the wheel, whereas an XC90 gives you 1140mm – something well worth noting if you’re particularly tall.
As you move backwards, though, the standard of practicality rapidly improves. The second row is split 60/40, each portion sliding fore and aft as well as folding. At their rearmost position, each middle-row seat affords enough space to beat a Q7, although here, again, the XC90 is king on leg room.
In row three, the Discovery is head and shoulders more spacious than its rivals. Our test car’s third-row seats were also heated and had their own Isofix points and USB points for charging electronic devices. So as a seven-seater for adult passengers, the Discovery remains unbeatable.
Its boot is among the class’s biggest, too. And on top of all this, the Discovery offers intelligent seat- folding technology as an option on most trim levels.
This enables all five rearmost seats to be folded out or away remotely using a smartphone app, or from the infotainment console or from the boot opening. That saves an awful lot of time and plenty of wrestling with catches and levers.
Overall, this Discovery’s cabin walks the line between functional pragmatism and premium-brand luxuriousness even more skilfully than before. Storage cubbies are hidden in places you least expect to find them – behind the ventilation controls and under sliding cupholders – and yet the car can also be equipped with the most up-to-date luxury features such as massage, climate-controlled Windsor leather seats, four-zone climate control and a chilled drinks compartment.