The Land Rover Discovery isn’t the biggest seller in the British brand’s range but it has always been, and remains, immensely popular; and immense. As would be expected, it masters the rough stuff in typical Land Rover style but the bonus is that the new and superbly engineered Discovery can be surprisingly economical for its size and is great on the tarmac too.
As can be seen from the images, the Discovery of old is now completely restyled. Some classic design features do remain, including the clamshell bonnet, the stepped roof and the highly visible C-pillar but this latest model is sleeker and city-smart, in keeping with the rest of the range, even if it’s too big for the city.
Inside, the Discovery benefits from enhanced design to highlight the premium position and craftsmanship of its full-size seven-seat layout. The spacious cabin incorporates Land Rover’s ‘Pivi Pro’ infotainment and the completely redesignedcentre console houses a larger 11.4” full HD, faster and more intuitive touchscreen, bringing the on-board technology bang up to date.
The menu structure is simplified, providing immediate responses to input, which makes a refreshing change. Updates are provided over-the-air. A built-in back-up battery means navigation initialisation takes just seconds, while the logical menus allow the most commonly used functions, like streaming media, to be accessed directly from the customisable home screen, thus reducing driver distraction. An important and topical issue.
With the 12.3” Interactive Driver Display, the Discovery provides high-definition 3D mapping within the instrumentation, leaving the central touchscreen free to control other applications. The high-resolution digital instruments can beconfigured to show a pair of conventional dials, full-screen 3D navigation guidance or a combination of the two, allowing drivers to customise the view to suit their preference. Also available is the option of a full heads-up display.
Among the very many individual items provided as standard, smartphone integration is also simple, thanks to Apple CarPlay, while the advanced Bluetooth technology can connect two smartphones simultaneously. Android Auto is also available as standard. Wireless charging with signal boosting technology is alsoavailable as an optional extra. Up front, the new-look four-spoke steering wheel features hidden-until-lit switches and metal gear-shift paddles, while a tactile new gear selector provides instinctive control of the power-train.
The interior is, again, typically Land Rover with very comfortable and versatile seating and a large boot, made larger by lowering the third row seats. Entry to the back is via a powered tailgate.
This latest Discovery introduces a trio of new straight-six Ingenium engines, both petrol and diesel, featuring 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology for enhanced efficiency, performance and smoothness, hence the remark above regarding economy. The emission-heavy oil-burners of olden times are long gone.
The new engines are available alongside Land Rover’s four-cylinder P300 Ingenium petrol engine and all driving a new Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. This all-wheel drive maximises traction, on-road dynamics and drivelineefficiency, resulting in reduced CO² emissions during normal driving, with no compromise to Discovery’s trademark all-terrain capability. Meanwhile, incorporating stop/start technology, the clever hybrid system harvests and stores energy generated during deceleration, and redeploys it to assist the engine whenaccelerating.
Fits The Bill?
With a huge amount of space and the now legendary off-road ability, the Land Rover Discovery is outstanding in every area and makes for the ultimate family car. It is big, it is beautiful and there are many good reasons to buy or lease one.
Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite, www.drivewrite.co.uk