The world’s most versatile all-terrain vehicle
No matter what marque of premium Sports Utility Vehicle you drive you probably owe Land Rover a debt of gratitude. For throughout the past 70 years, the brand has been at the heart of transforming the original off-road workhorse into something stylish, comfortable and above all, desirable.
The evolution continues and with its latest model and the fifth incarnation of the Discovery, Land Rover has built a classy but rugged family SUV aimed at those who need space, practicality and go-anywhere ability, combined with a splash of style.
Inside the New Discovery
Like its predecessor, the all-new Discovery is a large seven-seat vehicle that, price and size-wise sits above the smaller Discovery Sport and below the flagship Range Rover.
Inside, the cockpit fascia is dominated by the new infotainment screen and the multi-function steering wheel. Throughout the spacious and comfortable cabin there are nine USB ports, along with four charging points. Interior storage includes a hidden cubby behind the air-con controls, a centre console bin that can easily accommodate four iPads, as well as a very handy flush-fitting curry hook designed to keep bags upright and secure.
For convenience the five rear seats can be raised and lowered electronically, either by pushing buttons in the boot or via the touchscreen on the dashboard. You can even do it remotely using a special Land Rover app on your phone. The boot itself is a cavernous 2,406 litres with the back five seats stowed flat, 1,137 litres in the five-seat configuration and an impressive 258 litres with all seven seats upright.
The Drive: On-road and off
The Discovery leads the way with many new safety-focused technologies that meet and exceed global safety standards contributing to its five-star Euro NCAP rating.
The new stiffer, lighter aluminium body significantly contributes to the improvement in the vehicle’s economy, performance and handling, while its silky, powerful and high torque V6 3.0 HSE Si6 supercharged engine is coupled to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission that together delivers 340bhp and propels the Discovery to 100kph in 7.1 seconds.
The new Discovery draws upon Land Rover’s off-road heritage starting with its ability to traverse water up to 900mm deep. There is also a variety of vehicle control settings to allow drivers to tackle even the most rugged terrain. The All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) feature can be programmed to automatically adjust speed, meaning the driver can concentrate fully on steering without the need to step on the accelerator or brake.
Add to this such features as Hill Descent Control (HDC), Gradient Release Control (GRC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Roll Stability Control (RSC) and Wade Sensing and the new Discovery is a capable yet comfortable premium SUV.
For city drivers, the almost penthouse elevation is a real boon, giving excellent all-around vision no matter what the driving conditions. In fact, with excellent suspension, electronic parking assistance and a high degree of comfort, the New Discovery is just as home on a mountainside as it is heading to the mall.