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Land Rover Discovery 4 road test report

4

A new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, borrowed from Jaguar and retuned by Land Rover to suit their particular needs has transformed the Discovery from merely brilliant to quite possibly the best, most rounded SUV money can buy. The Land Rover Discovery 4 works brilliantly whatever role you want it to play, with the added bonus that it can slip seamlessly into other situations.

Road Test Reports Says5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Land Rover Discovery

Image number 2 of the Land Rover DiscoveryImage number 3 of the Land Rover Discovery

Performance Performance - 5 stars

A new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, borrowed from Jaguar and retuned by Land Rover to suit their particular needs has transformed the Discovery from merely brilliant to quite possibly the best, most rounded SUV money can buy. While the 187bhp, 324lb ft 2.7 TDV6 model continues as a sole entry-level model, the new 3.0 TDV6 is available in all three trim levels and is the engine of choice now. It only comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox, where the 2.7 has the option of six-speed manual or auto ’boxes, and the new engine’s prodigious 242bhp and whopping 442lb ft of shove make it swift and assured when overtaking. Nought to 60mph comes up in 9.0 seconds flat, compared to 11.7 seconds for the 2.7-litre model, though both share the same limited 112mph top speed. At every increment, the 3.0 TDV6 offer purposeful shove, yet it is also easily capable of the delicacy needed for some off-road manoeuvres. It’s also more than up to towing heavy trailers.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 5 stars

The Discovery 4 has upped the game in a number of ways from its predecessor. Where the Disco 3 was good on the road, the Discovery 4 is now a very serious threat to executive saloons and estates, as well as every other large and luxurious SUV, and that includes its stable mates from Range Rover. Revised air suspension helps the Land Rover cover every type of ground in supreme comfort and with superb control in corners. It may not have the last ounce of cornering ability offered by a BMW X5, but the Discovery recompenses with far better refinement and long distance comfort. Off-road, the BMW can forget it as the Discovery is simply unbeatable, even on terrain where you think a car should never venture. An addition to the Discovery’s clever Terrain Response system, which tailors the car’s four-wheel drive and ride height to suit any given situation, is a soft sand mode that allows the car to pull away without bogging down. Away from the mud and back in town, the Disco is big but easy to slot through traffic thanks to its square-rigged styling making it simple to judge where the car’s extremities lie.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

There are some question marks over the reliability of Land Rover Discoverys, many centring on the car’s electronics. However, Land Rover says these issues have been addressed with the Disco 4. Time will tell with the electrics, but the signs are good from the quality of construction inside and out of the car. Every panel is neatly and tightly aligned with its neighbours, while the revised cabin oozes quality in the fit and finish. As for the mechanical side of things, Land Rover should have no concerns here as much of the Disco 4 is carried over from the previous model and the 3.0 TDV6 engine is a detuned, less stressed motor from Jaguar’s XF saloon.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

Land Rover has fitted out the Discovery 4 with every conceivable safety device, so you get twin front, side and curtain airbags, with the curtains extending into the rear-most compartment to protect those in the third row of seats. There’s also ABS anti-lock brakes, ESP, Hill Descent Control, full-time four-wheel drive and Land Rover’s oh-so clever Terrain Response that will get you out of any tricky situation. On the security side, there’s an alarm, immobiliser and deadlocks to keep thieves walking on by to a softer target.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 5 stars

Whether you view the Discovery 4 as a large SUV, alternative to an executive saloon or estate, or as a more attractive option than most large MPVs, it’s go it covered. There’s masses of room for the driver and front passenger, with the sense of space increased by the large centre console between the front pair that allows for plenty of elbow room. The high-up driving position gives a great all-round view and is easy to model to the driver’s preferred comfort settings. In the back seats, the middle row provides plenty of space in every direction for three people, old or young, and the third row remains a place of comfort for two adults. Fold the third row of seats away and you have a massive boot of 1192-litres, which can be extended up to an incredible 2558-litres with the middle row of seats tipped and folded flat into the floor.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

The Land Rover Discovery 4 works brilliantly whatever role you want it to play, with the added bonus that it can slip seamlessly into other situations. This makes the Discovery 4 excellent value as it can cover so many bases, while the 3.0 TDV6 engine provides greater performance with better economy than the 2.7-litre engine. The 2.7 TDV6 turns in 27.7mpg combined economy as an auto where the 3.0-litre offers 30.4mpg. The bigger engine is also cleaner, with emissions of 244g/km to the 2.7 auto’s 270g/km, though this means both still reside in the highest road tax and company car tax bands. However, the Disco 4 looks set to carry on the previous model’s reasonably stable residual values, even in this era of apathy from some buyers towards large SUVs – the Disco’s all-round credentials again help fend off the worst criticisms of this type of vehicle. An unlimited mileage, three-year warranty give peace of mind, while 16,000-mile service intervals for the 3.0 TDV6 appeal (the 2.7 is serviced every 15,000 miles).

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