Road Test: Land Rover Discovery 2.0 SD4 HSE Luxury
SECTOR Large SUV PRICE £65,295 FUEL 43.5mpg combined CO2 171g/km
There are some cars that you just don’t ‘get’ until you spend time in one – I recall spending an interminable amount of time in a traffic jam in appalling weather and the cossetting nature of the Lexus GS 450h simply banishing the horrors of the M25 outside.
The same is true of the Land Rover Discovery. I could never see the need for one when there is a Range Rover Sport to tick that premium SUV box. And then I lived with a new Disco for a week and was converted.
It simply is the perfect car if you have a family (and a hefty monthly car allowance to fund it). With seven seats (and the very clever electric adjustment of the rearmost five by buttons in the boot) this car caters for all challenges – mum, dad, kids, grandparents can all be transported as one. The boot is also cavernous when the third row of seats are folded into the floor.
There’s loads of room inside, the kids loved the TV screens built into the headrests (standard on HSE Luxury spec), the interior is well-finished but looks and feels tough enough to cope with whatever kids and pets could throw at it, while the driver is catered for with a commanding driving position and a well laid out dashboard.
Things aren’t quite as impressive when out on the road, though – the 240bhp 2.0-litre Ingenium four-pot diesel does struggle a bit on the open road when trying to shift the Discovery around, straining to accelerate briskly to keep pace with traffic – however, in town driving this is not a problem.
Looks-wise, the new Discovery polarises opinion, especially the rear design treatment and the slightly top-heavy look of the styling.
There’s no getting away from the fact this is a big car, but once you’re inside it feels a lot smaller – giving you confidence on the road. It also handles much better than the roly-poly Discovery 4.
The new Discovery is one of those cars that you don’t realise you need in your life until it comes to visit. Which makes it all the more sad when the visit ends and you realise that family trips in other cars won’t be as much fun.
What we think
As a money-no-object family car, this is the best there is – functional, practical, stylish and with a 4×4 pedigree like no other.