Land Rover Discovery sits neatly between the heavy-duty Land Rover Defender and the upper-luxury Range Rover. It attracts those looking for a classy on-road vehicle, as well as drivers planning to tackle serious stuff in the bush / deserts / snowfields / mountains – indeed anywhere surfaces aren’t sealed.
The model range is extensive, the petrol powered models are the P200 S: $60,500; P200 R-Dynamic S: $63,100; P250 SE: $67, 852 and P250 R-Dynamic SE: $71,232.
Diesels are the D150 S: $62,450; D150 R-Dynamic S: $65,050; D180 SE: 67,910; D180 R-Dynamic SE $70,510; D240 HSE: $79,700, and finally the D240 R-Dynamic HSE: $82,900.
The new-generation Discovery from 2014 have a softer looking, more SUV-ish, body than the traditional old-style models. Note that the traditional stepped roofline has been retained, albeit in a more subtle way. We love this harking back to previous generations. But it’s only soft on top, it’s as tough as every under the skin.
They received a major makeover in 2017 and again in 2019.
There really is room for seven full-sized adults in Land Rover Discovery, in a two /three /two arrangement. The seats are wide, with enough leg and headroom for all but very tall travellers. Theatre seating sets each row of seats slightly higher than the ones.
In the Land Rover tradition the tailgate can provide seating for three with a combined weight of up to 300 kg.
There’s very good interior storage including hidden spaces in the central console and under the central armrest. There’s clever small-item stowage area behind the fold-down climate control panel.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The latest Discovery can be bought with either turbo-petrol or turbo-diesel engines.
Diesel is a four-cylinder 2.0-litre in three different states of tune to provide 110 kW, 132 kW or 177 kW.
The petrols are also four-cylinder displacing 2.0 litres. Peak power can be either 147 kW or 184 kW.
All engines are mated to a nine-speed ZF automatic. Discovery is offered with two-wheel drive (front wheels) or four-wheel drive.
Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system is relatively easy to use through a series of menus. Every seat in the Disco has its own USB input as well as 3G WiFi for up to eight devices and up to six 12v sockets.
Driver assistance features include autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and front and rear parking sensors. Condition monitoring of the driver for inattention and / or tiredness is standard.
IsoFix child-seat mounting points are on the outer seats in the centre row and both of the third row seats.
It may look more like an SUV in its latest generation, but compared with the others that like to call themselves 4WDs – but are really SUVs – the Discovery Sport has has significantly better approach and departure angles and greater wheel articulation.
Our test car was the 4WD model with the switchable all-terrain system that lets you choose from grass / gravel / snow /mud-ruts / sand / settings. As well as roll-over stability and hill descent control
This is a medium-large vehicle, being 4.6 metres long and 2.1 metres wide (mirrors folded). It’s fairly bulky so can be a handful in suburban running, particularly in tight shopping centres and underground carparks. Try before you buy if you’re an inner-city dweller.
The ride is smooth and comfortable, being virtually as good as a large luxury sedan. This is an excellent long-distance cruiser as we discovered in our Discovery when did a 1200+ km round trip for a big family get together as part of our two weeks of testing.
We didn’t do any heavy duty off roading in our Discovery this time. Rather we refer back to the circuit used during the Disco’s very-Australian launch at Uluru in 2017. This had loose sand and lots of red dust; steep, narrow, sharp climbs; tight moguls and a water / mud to test the 900 mm wading depth. We never looked like getting into serious trouble.
New Land Rover Discovery is a spacious family vehicle that’s an excellent tourer vehicle and is exceptionally capable in harsh off-road driving if you opt for the 4WD version, which many still do.
AT A GLANCE
P200 S: $60,500
P200 R-Dynamic S: $63,100
P250 SE: $67, 852
P250 R-Dynamic SE: $71,232
D150 S: $62,450
D150 R-Dynamic S: $65,050
D180 SE: 67,910
D180 R-Dynamic SE: $70,510
D240 HSE: $79,700
D240 R-Dynamic HSE: $82,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Land Rover dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Land Rover Discovery Sport D 150 S 2.0-litre turbo-diesel wagon)
Capacity: 1.999 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 380 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 148 g/km
DRIVELINE: Nine-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4597 mm
Wheelbase: 2741 mm
Width: 1904 mm
Height: 1692 mm
Turning Circle: 11.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1953 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 54 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Three years / 100,000 kilometres