Land Rovers have never been nor ever will be bargains in the SUV marketplace. They’re, generally, large and complicated luxury SUVs with expensive parts and maintenance costs. Still, there’s something to be said for an SUV that can wade through nearly 3 feet of water or scale a difficult trail. It’s not that you have to, it’s just pretty cool to know that you can. Now, you can finally blend these otherworldly abilities with crossover driving dynamics that allow the big Land Rover to finally enter the modern SUV market. Now, that’s a Discovery!
The new Disco can be had with a 340 horsepower supercharged V6 or a 3 Liter turbodiesel V6. Both engines are borrowed from bigger brothers and deliver impressive performance and fuel economy when compared to the outgoing LR4.
Both are mated to the ZF 8-speed automatic and can be shifted via steering wheel-mounted paddles, if so desired. Land Rover claims the gas engine will do 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, quick for an SUV of this stature. The diesel isn’t as quick but makes up for it with gobs of torque, 443 lb-ft of it available from relatively low revs.
You can’t get the diesel in the SE, which means you’ll have to shell out nearly 60 grand for it in HSE form. The stock steel coil suspension controls the body well, much better than the previous generation. SE models with the third row and higher trims receive advanced air suspension that improves the driving dynamics. We think the discovery handles even better than the Range Rover with this suspension set up, there’s no lean or dip upon turn in that’s present in the bigger SUV.
The air suspension automatically lowers to ease entry and can be raised for more difficult terrain at the flick of a switch. The ride quality is smooth and quiet without any engine or wind noise present. The air suspension strikes a perfect balance between stiffness for performance and softness to absorb road imperfections.
We’re impressed with how much better the on-road performance is with the unibody construction over the truck-based predecessors, we think these improvements will broaden the DIscovery’s appeal and capture more market share than ever before.
The Discovery has an interior befitting the Land Rover brand. There’s high-quality leather and contrasting trim throughout. The steering wheel is large and well padded with well thought out controls. The console is one of cleanest designs we’ve seen yet.
A dial replaces a traditional shift knob and many of the controls are now touch-based rather than analog knobs. The infotainment system is sleek and the interface simple. The front seats are large thrones with commanding views we expect from a Land Rover. Few will complain about their comfort or the standard 4-way lumbar support.
The second-row seats are a little low for our tastes and lack thigh support for taller passengers. The optional captain’s chairs are much better. The available third row will accommodate adults but access isn’t easy unless the captain’s chairs are installed. There’s an option that allows you to power fold the seats from an app but we’re not sure why anyone would pay four figures for this feature. The stock ten-speaker sound system found in the SE is one of the better stock systems around. The HSE model receives a Meridian ten speaker system with an integrated subwoofer and an
The stock ten-speaker sound system found in the SE is one of the better stock systems around. The HSE model receives a Meridian ten speaker system with an integrated subwoofer and an eardrum-busting 825 watt 14 speaker Meridian system with sub is standard on the HSE luxury or an option on the HSE.
Unfortunately, the Land Rover infotainment systems don’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but it may be reasonable to suspect they will, eventually. The navigation system, in contrast, is quite advanced and learns traffic patterns and driving behaviors on regular commutes to provide you accurate ETAs.
The standard dual fixed sunroofs give the cabin an airy, open feeling and have power retractable shades when the sun is a little too much. A power tilt and slide front sunroof can be installed as an option and is standard in HSE and HSE Luxury trims.
Cargo capacity is positively cavernous for a midsize SUV, with 45 cubes behind the rear seat and up to 82.7 cubic feet overall. Accessing that space is easy with the standard power liftgate and the upper hatch gives you options when it comes to hauling longer items. In summation, the Disco’s bosom is a posh place to pass the miles and provides you with enough utility to make the most of said miles.
The new Discovery replaces the LR4, a mid-size truck-based SUV. The Disco shares the same platform as the the larger Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, an aluminum unibody construction. The result is a trimmed up SUV with enviable crossover traits. The headlights and grille resemble those found on the Range Rover Sport, the lower fascia distinguishes the Discovery with large intake vents and a tough looking skid plate. The overall profile remains tall and narrow like the outgoing LR4 though the lines are smoother and more rounded. The rear wears stylish LED tail lights and a bright dual exhaust sandwiching yet another skid plate.A roof spoiler rounds out the sportier design. Depending on your choice of trim and package, the Discovery rides on anywhere from 19-inch to 22-inch wheels. We think the new Disco is a vast improvement over the LR4’s boxy, utilitarian design.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has evaluated the Land Rover Discovery for crashworthiness, or any Land Rover recently. Fortunately, ANCAP, Australia’s NHTSA equivalent, crash tested the Discovery. The results are impressive, a full five-star rating is awarded, along with high ratings for the safety assist technology. The ten standard airbags are likely to protect you and your passengers in the unfortunate event of an accident. If you do, Incontrol Protect automatically tracks your location and dispatches emergency services when you’re in need. The many advanced traction control features that enhance the Discovery’s off-road ability provide excellent on-road grip, reducing the likelihood you will be involved in an accident.
The Land Rover Discovery secures an unremarkable 1 out of 5 predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. JD Power’s score isn’t any more encouraging, with 2.5 out of five power circles. This model is all new, so these ratings are based mostly on the brand’s reputation for reliability, which we’ll admit has never been great.
There have been two complaints filed with the NHTSA at the time of this writing, both for the climate control. The owners complain there aren’t enough vents and the four-zone climate control doesn’t function properly. Additionally, both claim running the A/C severely diminishes fuel economy. Land Rover has already issued thirty Technical Service Bulletins for the DIscovery. Land Rover acknowledges a squeaky front brake, a parking aid system that may not work, incomplete door handles, an interior rattle, suspension noise, a transmission fault code that may show for no reason, and issues with the autonomous emergency brake system. In some vehicles, the infotainment system may not function properly. That’s quite a few issues for a vehicle that’s barely a year into production. However, these type of minor issues aren’t out of character for a new Land Rover and most issues will be resolved under warranty.
Land Rovers are notorious for poor reliability, so we’d recommend only owning one that’s under warranty to avoid costly repairs.
This midsize luxury SUV is certainly an excellent choice for many people who are focused on finding adventure on any terrain possible and want to do it in style.
The Disco certainly has several redeeming aspects that make this a very appealing SUV, like its impressive off-roading capabilities and high towing capacity. Those with families will appreciate its spacious seats and generous cargo space while those in the front seat can play with the standard 8-inch touch screen and rock out on the ten-speaker audio system. If you want to upgrade, there are many more inviting options available like Wi-Fi hotspot, four-zone automatic climate control or up your 8-inch touch screen to a 10-inch.
Although there are plenty of other options in the class that can perhaps outperform the Discovery in certain ways, it’s still an attractive choice. Not every luxury midsize SUV will have the Discovery’s cushioned ride and performance abilities, leaving it open to personal preference for whether the Discovery is the right choice for you and your priorities and/or family.
The Land Rover Discovery SE starts at $49,990 with a 3.0 Liter Supercharged V6 engine that provides impressive power and a 6.9 second 0-60 mph. That engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission connected to a single speed transfer case with Terrain Response. The engine utilizes Stop/Start technology to improve fuel economy. Additional features include Hill Descent Control, an anti-lock braking system, electric power-assisted steering, electronic traction control, hill start assist, dynamic stability control, roll stability control, an electric parking brake, emergency brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, and gradient acceleration control. Outside, there are body-colored door handles, Brunel discovery script, an acoustic laminated windscreen, door puddle lights, halogen headlights, trailer stability assist, and front and rear recovery hooks. Standard interior equipment encompasses driver and passenger sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, front and rear grab handles, an illuminated glove box, an overhead console downlight, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, sliding and reclining load through rear seats, upper secondary glove box, gloss black interior finish, and overhead sunglasses storage. To keep you safe and secure, there are audible seat belt warnings in all rows, front side impact airbags, perimetric alarm, rollover deployment of restraints, and side curtain airbags. A 190-watt Land Rover Enhanced Sound with ten speakers provides sound from the 8-inch touchscreen with InControl Touch Navigation. A power front sunroof is available for $300. Brushed linear aluminum trim costs $300 and Natural Shadow Oak veneer runs $600. The 7 Seat Package is $2,150 and includes a third row, two-speed transfer case, and electronic air suspension. The Black Design Package sets you back $2,000 for a Gloss Narvik Black front grille and fender vents, Gloss Black door mirror caps, Gloss Black DISCOVERY script, Dark Techno front and rear tow eye cover, and Gloss Black finished 20-inch 5 split-spoke wheels, exclusive to this package. A Cold Climate Package adds a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and heated washer jets for $1,250. THe $2,050 Technology Package equips LED headlights with LED signature, front parking aid with visual display, and navigation system. Autonomous Emergency Braking costs just $125. A 360-degree parking aid is available for $550. A bracelet-style “Activity Key” is $400.
The $56,960 HSE trim adds a Two-Speed transfer case with Terrain Response and Rock Crawl mode, a heated rear window with rear wash wiper, automatic headlights, bright tread plates, leather-trimmed seating, ambient interior lighting, Natural Shadow Oak Wood veneer trim, rear parking aid, power front sunroof, and powered tailgate. The infotainment system grows to 10 inches and receives HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity InControl Touch Pro Navigation, and Land Rover InControl Remote and Protect. Twin USB sockets are installed in the second row. A 3.0 Liter Turbo Diesel 6 cylinder that makes 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque is available. There’s a fixed glass sunroof with fixed rear glass panoramic roof with power blinds. You can add a grey or black contrasting roof color at no additional charge. The 825 Watt Meridian Surround Sound system adds a subwoofer and 13 speakers for $850. Natural Charcoal Oak or brushed aluminum finisher can be added at no additional cost, while High Gloss Charcoal Oak costa $600. .The Black Design Package costs $800 on this trim and installs Gloss Narvik Black front grille and fender vents, Gloss Black door mirror caps, Gloss Black DISCOVERY script, Dark Techno front and rear tow eye cover, and Gloss Black finished 20-inch 5 split-spoke wheels, exclusive to this package. A $2,000 version of that package equips 21 inch Gloss Black Finished wheels. The Complete Dynamic Design Package installs the Black exterior design touches, as well as an Ebony headliner, dark brushed aluminum center stack side rails, Titanium Mesh finisher, bright finished paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, and special Satin Dark Grey finished 21-inch wheels for $5,570. $550 Drive Package provides a driver condition monitor, blind spot monitor, reverse traffic detection, intelligent speed limiter, and traffic sign recognition. The Drive Pro Package adds adaptive cruise control with intelligent emergency braking and lane keep assist with lane departure warning to the above for $2,350. The $1,250 Capability Plus Package installs an active rear locking differential and Terrain Response 2. The REmote Intelligent Seat Fold Package allows you to fold the seats using the Land Rover app for $1,070. The Diesel engine is available for $2,000.
The HSE Luxury trim has a base MSRP of $63,950 and equips electronic air suspension, an Atlas grille with Narvik Black surround, Atlas fender vents with Narvik Black surround, heated front and rear seats, power folding heated door mirrors with approach lights, LED headlights with LED signature, a power sunroof, a powered inner tailgate, keyless entry, rear parking aid, grained leather seating, 825 Watt Meridian sound system with 16 speakers, subwoofer, and Rear-View Camera. The diesel engine can be installed on this trim as well. An Ebony Headliner is available for $350. The Black Design Package costs $800 on this trim and installs Gloss Narvik Black front grille and fender vents, Gloss Black door mirror caps, Gloss Black DISCOVERY script, Dark Techno front and rear tow eye cover, and Gloss Black finished 20-inch 5 split-spoke wheels, exclusive to this package. A $2,000 version of that package equips 21 inch Gloss Black Finished wheels. A $3,200 Black Design Package adds 22 inch Gloss Black wheels. The Complete Dynamic Design Package installs the Black exterior design touches, as well as an Ebony headliner, dark brushed aluminum center stack side rails, Titanium Mesh finisher, bright finished paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, and special Satin Dark Grey finished 21-inch wheels for $4,350 on this trim. A $5,550 version adds 22 inch Grey diamond turned finished 5 split-spoke wheels. The Drive Package costs $550 on this trim and the Drive Pro Package costs $2,350. The 7 Seat Luxury Climate Comfort Package adds heated and ventilated seats in the front two rows, heated third-row seats, an infrared reflective windshield, and massaging front seats for $2,180. The $1,250 Capability Plus Package installs an active rear locking differential and Terrain Response 2. The Vision Assist Package costs $1,00 and equips LED headlights with LED signature and auto high beam assist, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, and a surround camera system. The Diesel engine can be installed for $2,000.
A special First Edition is available from $73,950. It features unique exterior and interior design options, premium extended leather, special carpet mats, 21-inch split-spoke alloy wheels, heated and cooled front and rear seats, Auto High Beam Assist, and an exclusive interior trim finish.