First Drive: Land Rover Discovery

After seven years of success, the Discovery 4's time has come to an end, with Land Rover releasing its replacement.

Can the new Discovery live up to the name or will it just be another SUV in an oversized market? AOL Cars went to check it out.

What is it?

This Discovery is an entirely new generation of one of Land Rover's most iconic models, hugely popular due to its space, safety and off-road ability.

The new car has the same engine as the previous model and still offers seven seats, but it's now lighter and more efficient, with improved off-roading capabilities.

What's under the bonnet?

We tested the 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, which produces 254bhp and 600Nm of torque. The fact that the new Discovery is 250kg lighter than the old model means this engine is more efficient that it was previously.

Another option is a 237bhp 2.0-litre 'Ingenium' diesel engine, which is the ideal option for those looking for good fuel economy with a claimed consumption figure of 44.8mpg.

What's the spec like?

Value for money is a slightly awkward issue with the new Discovery. The starting price is £43,495, which isn't unreasonable for a car of this calibre, but once you start perusing the options list, you might get a bit of a shock.

Our test car came in the HSE Luxury specification, meaning it was fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels, electronic air suspension, a television and a head-up display. All this paraphernalia meant that the total cost of the car was a mind-boggling £75,570. The standard versions do come with plenty of kit, but nevertheless, the Disco is pricier than you might anticipate.

Any rivals?

The Discovery's standing as a premium SUV means that it goes up against rivals such as the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7, both of which are strong competitors. The Skoda Kodiaq is also a potential opponent, representing a less expensive option.

What's it like to drive?

The decreased weight means the Discovery handles more keenly than its predecessor and it's much easier to appreciate the V6's silky response. It does experience a fair amount of body roll, but this is to be expected with a tall SUV.
In an off-road environment, the Discovery really is in a class of its own. Deep water, thick mud and steep inclines were defeated with the greatest of ease. This really is the car for all seasons.

AOL Cars Verdict

The Discovery is all cars to all people. It's practical, sturdily built and well finished both inside and out. It also has the underlying off-road capability that you'd expect to find in a Land Rover – something proved to us on some difficult terrains. It's expensive, there's no doubt about that, but for those who want a peerless all-rounder, then the Discovery is ideal.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp): 254
Torque (Nm): 600
Max speed (mph): 130
0-60mph: 7.7 seconds
MPG: 39.2
Emissions (g/km): 189
Base price: £43,395
Price as tested: £75,570

First Drive: Land Rover Discovery

First Drive: Land Rover Discovery