What is it?
THE legendary Land Rover Discovery has built a reputation over the last five generations for being a great all-rounder. We try the Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury to see how it maintains its role as practical family car one day, motorway mile muncher the next and all with the expected off-road capability that the Land Rover oval badge in known for.
Well, after seven years of the last one, Land Rover has reimagined the Discovery and this is the result. The sleek Range Rover-like styling and new lightweight monocoque chassis are all new, but we’re told the fundamentals of being a great all-rounder are still the same.
The new Discovery has now hit UK roads, with a smaller, more fleet-friendly 237bhp version of the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine and Business Car Manager has had an early drive to see what it is like.
- Land Rover hasn’t offered a small diesel in the Discovery for a while, but after a mix of on and off-road driving, this 237bhp version of the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel proved that it is more than up to the job. This smooth, refined four-cylinder diesel accelerates to 60mph in just 8.3 seconds, with an impressive top speed of 121mph. Lighter than the old Discovery, this off-roader still weighs 2.2-tonnes, but despite this weight and the smaller engine, it’s still capable of 43.5mpg consumption and has 171g/km emissions. Also, it has the same 3,500kg towing capacity as the torquier and more expensive V6. This engine is mated to an impressively slick eight-speed automatic gearbox, with a 36% tax band.
- The last Discovery was a tidy drive, although it was a better performer off-road rather than on it. Having been on a weight-loss diet, this is another area of noticeable improvement. The tall body equals some body roll, but the new Discovery has impressive composure and feels more car-like than before. Even the ride on the optional ‘Style 9002’ 22-inch wheels our test car was fitted with was reasonably refined.
- Head off-road, as we were lucky enough to do and the Discovery impresses by just how seemingly unstoppable it is! Highlights include new features on the Terrain Response System, including auto-steering Trailer Assist, which as the title suggests is a great help when towing. Plus, low-speed off-road cruise control and Low-Traction Launch, that definitely make greenlaning much easier for novice off-roaders!
- Gone is the distinctive, blocky styling of the third and fourth-generation versions of the Discovery, to be replaced with a sleeker, more-generic look that fits in with the rest of the modern Land Rover and Range Rover ranges. New design highlights of the new Discovery include the Range Rover Sport-like nose, including the tall front air dam, high-set headlights with their distinctive LED detail and metal-look grille. Move to the side and the stepped roof remains – although like the rest of the design it’s a much smoother look. Also at the side is the wraparound rear glass and distinct lower cut-out. The rear of the new Discovery is like a bigger Discovery Sport, but dominated by the large LED rear light units and offset rear number plate.
- Inside the new Discovery, the driving position is comfortable, multi-adjustable and all with supportive front seats. The analogue instruments are easy to read and the switchgear logically placed. Move to the second row of seats and it’s the legroom that impresses – there’s enough head and legroom for three adults to travel long distances here. The third-row of seats are really for children or smaller adults, but the wraparound rear window means it doesn’t feel claustrophobic and the two furthest seats can be heated optionally like the rest. One of the cleverest features inside, is the fact that the two rows of rear seats are all electrically folding and can even be operated remotely via an app. With all the seats down, loadspace totals a van-like 2,500 litres.
- There’s also loads of stowage throughout the Discovery’s cabin – cleverest is hidden behind the Discovery’s heating system – although we’re not quite sure what we’d get in it!
- Our Discovery was in range-topping HSE Luxury specification and it has all the kit you’d expect of car costing over £60,000. Key equipment includes, Windsor leather trim, a Meridian 14-speaker sound system, electric sunroof, 21-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, climate control, adaptive cruise control, air suspension, touchscreen infotainment system, electric windows all round and keyless entry.
- Land Rover were justifiably proud of the new discovery’s five-star Euro NCAP rating and all models get eight airbags and automatic emergency braking.
- The new Discovery’s interior feels upmarket, modern and all the interior trim feels in line with the price. However, it’s a shame Jaguar Land Rover couldn’t stretch to some new column stalks and instruments – these are modified versions of those fitted in other Jaguar and Land Rover models for at least the last 12 years!
- The touchscreen infotainment system fitted as standard is a big improvement over the old one, but sadly it’s slow to respond and the sat-nav maps are sometimes hard to read.
- Although 171g/km emissions are credible for this class a rival like the Audi Q7 3.0 TDi with its 150g/km emissions is better.
- The new Discovery is an attractive SUV, but there are some design features we’re less keen on. For example, the rear lights with their LED design are massive, yet the brake lights are tiny, we’re not sure about the off-set rear numberplate either and the one-piece boot doesn’t go as high as you’d expect – so you’ll have to watch your head on the edges.
Verdict on Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury
The Discovery has always been popular because it’s such a great-all rounder and we’re pleased to see that the latest version doesn’t change that, but instead refines all the previous models’ good points.
This Discovery generally looks great, is better to drive, even more practical than before with the power rear seats and this, most efficient 2.0-litre diesel offers enough performance. We wonder whether the sub £50,000 S and SE models might be better suited for business buyers.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the Audi Q7? Closest model to the Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury, is the 218PS Q7 3.0 TDi S-Line. The Audi is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by over £4,500.
The Land Rover might be more capable off-road, although for an SME the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Audi is stronger, with 150g/km versus 171g/km of the Discovery, the Q7’s 29% tax band is better too.
The lowdown on: Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury
|Road tax (VED) from April 2017 first year/ rate years 2-6:||£800/£450|
|Company Car Tax band 2017/2018:||36|
|Doors and body style:||5-door SUV|
|Engine/gearbox:||2.0-litre, 4cyl diesel/eight-speed automatic transmission|
Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury and company car tax
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Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury and fuel benefit tax
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