New Discovery sees Land Rover get to grips with cleaning up act
PUBLISHED: 06:34 24 April 2014
After a light refresh Land Rover’s Discovery is still the consummate all-rounder rivals struggle to beat. Iain Dooley, of the Press Association, drives it.
Land Rover Discovery
Price: Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE, £53,765 (range from £40,005)
Engine: 3.0-litre, 252bhp, V6 turbo diesel
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic driving all four wheels
Performance: 0-60mph 8.8 seconds; top speed 112mph
MPG: 35.3 combined
CO2 emissions: 213g/km
With the continual pressure on makers of large sport utility vehicles to clean up their acts, this latest update from Land Rover of its Discovery 4 should silence the critics.
While the car looks, largely, the same as before, changes to the sole diesel engine option have resulted in a meaningful reduction in emissions and fuel consumption.
For UK buyers the engine of choice is Land Rover’s familiar 3.0-litre diesel unit complete with the now expected stop-start technology. In 2014 model year guise the 252bhp unit emits 213g/km of CO2, down from 230g/km.
There’s similar good news on the economy front, with 35.3mpg now the norm – up from 32.1mpg. All in all, the changes see the car drop a tax band, which should please business-users.
Contributing to this cleaner performance is the car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox which, combined with the already comprehensive off-road technology, allows drivers to pilot the Discovery with confidence over the toughest terrain.
On the looks front the purists can breathe easy – the basic shape remains the same but Land Rover’s designers have tinkered around the edges. Subtle changes to the car’s headlights, bonnet and bumpers prove that the Discovery’s bold looks continue to age well.
However, nothing stands still in the technology environment, and the 2014 Discovery has been given a welcome boost in the shape of blind-spot monitoring, a handy wading depth sensor array to warn you of exceeding the car’s maximum operating depth and cameras that can help enhance your vision at T-junctions.
As for the rest of the Discovery experience, it’s business as usual. The car’s plush cabin, complete with minimalist, fuss-free fascia delivers a premium ambience to rival that of conventional executive saloons.
As a family wagon the Discovery isn’t short of space or seats, while the tailgate opens wide to reveal a flat, wide expanse of space capable of swallowing all manner of kit for an active lifestyle.
On road, the car displays a level of poise and refinement that’s rare in something this tall and weighty. The lofty driving position gives you an incredible view of the road ahead, allowing you to look over parked cars or hedges.
It goes without saying that the Discovery is virtually untouchable off-road. Possibly the most rounded of all Land Rover’s products, the combination of a powerful diesel engine, an intelligent transmission and powertrain and a suite of electronic aids designed to help even the most experienced driver, combine to make light work of the toughest of hazards.
Factor in the Discovery’s towing abilities and you’ve got an all-roader capable of wafting through town one moment and able to transport you safely across inhospitable terrain the next – all without you or the car breaking into a sweat.