The Land Rover Discovery is well-known for being one of the best off-roaders available, while also being one of the most comfortable and practical family cars on the market.
Well, Land Rover has decided to give it a complete revamp for its fifth generation, including a new design and quality technology – while maintaining its excellent off-roading capabilities and space for seven.
The looks of the new version may split opinions, but there is no doubt that the Discovery is back to reclaim its spot near the top of the SUV segment.
We get behind the wheel and see if the latest iteration of the Discovery can match up to the superb versions that came before.
Customers have the choice of three engines, two of which are diesel and the latter being a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol. The smaller diesel is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder 237bhp unit, while the larger diesel is a 3.0-litre V6 – and this was the option we tested. Even though it was carried over from the previous Discovery, it suits this new version just as well and develops 302bhp and 700Nm of torque.
The V6 unit is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive (as you would expect from a Land Rover), so with this setup the Discovery can get from 0-60mph in seven seconds flat and reach a top speed of 130mph. The throttle response is smooth and the transmission is well-suited to the relaxed driving style on the road.See Available Discovery deals
Ride & Handling
As the car has quite high sides, there is some body roll under hard cornering – but apart from that, the Discovery is very behaved on tarmac. Although we would suggest going for a smaller alloy to improve ride comfort further, the ride is excellent. Land Rover has also fitted a series of cameras and sensors to ensure that parking and manoeuvring the car is easier than you might think.
You must also consider what the Discovery can do off the beaten track, and in that aspect it is brilliant. The new Terrain Response 2 system ensures that the car is in the right mode to suit the surface underneath it, and the Discovery can go through deep mud, water and up steep inclines on road tyres without the car flinching. This car can handle any environment, making it an easy choice if you’re after a capable SUV.
Interior & Equipment
The interior of the Discovery is one of the most adaptable around, as you get space for seven and the five rearmost seats can all be folded down from the main infotainment screen or via Land Rover’s mobile application. That means the boot space ranges from 228 litres when all seats are in place, up to 2,406 litres when all the seats are folded flat – one of the best load spaces available on the market.
When all the seats are in place, passenger space is excellent – even on the two rearmost seats. Six-footers will be happy with the leg and headroom on either the second or third row chairs – which is a big improvement over the fourth generation Disco.
From the base S model, the Discovery comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking aids, rear view camera, a powered tailgate, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment setup with six-speaker sound system, air conditioning and 60/40 split rear seats. Standard safety systems include lane keep assist, driver condition monitor and cruise control with a speed limiter.
We tested the top-spec HSE Luxury, which features LED headlights, 21-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a Meridian sound system, four-zone climate control, park assist and 360-degree parking aid, rear traffic monitor, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, the intelligent seat fold system and eight-inch rear entertainment screens.
Prices for the Discovery range start from £47,405, which does make it one of the more expensive family vehicles on offer – but considering the amount of equipment available and how capable it is, the price is acceptable. With all the extras fitted to our test vehicle, it cost £75,570, which even we’ll admit is quite steep.
The Discovery with its V6 diesel has quoted fuel economy of 39.2mpg and emissions of 189g/km CO2 – which is improved over the previous generation thanks to the car’s lighter structure.
If you’re after a family car that can do everything, then the Discovery is the car for you. It goes off-road brilliantly, it has lots of storage space and can offer surprisingly efficient returns in fuel economy. Yes, it can be highly priced, but for that cost you get lots of quality equipment and off-road capabilities that is almost unmatched in the SUV segment. It is excellently behaved on tarmac, too, and comes with all the tech you will need to survive behind the wheel of a truly massive car.Enquire Now on a new Discovery