- We like...Stunning, on-road and off
- We don't...Nothing worth a mention
Fourth-generation pushes the Discovery upmarket and spreads its talents still wider. It's a gifted go-anywhere car The current Discovery is one tough act to follow. It’s loved by those that know it for its class, toughness and seven-seat usefulness. But it’s also taken flak from car lovers and greenies alike for its weight and emissions output.
Land Rover’s response has been this, the Discovery 4. Contrary to what you might think from its much-changed looks, this is a rework of the five-years-old Discovery 3 and not an all-new car. Though, step inside, and you’ll immediately be struck by the extent of the changes. Pretty much everything you see, sit on or otherwise touch is new. There has been a conscious move upmarket. Gone is the square-rigged, built-for-purpose dash, to be replaced by a sleeker, soft-touch item, the top half of which is pretty much as you’ll find in the Range Rover Sport (which has also just had a mid-life makeover). It’s now every inch the executive carriage and a step further away from a vehicle you’d happily use to help out on the farm.
Out front, it gets a wholly reworked nose, too. Gone is the 3’s blunt, consciously ‘designed’ looks (which we liked) and in its place the 4 gets a more conventional frontage complete with jewel-like LED daytime running lights, anticipating soon-coming legislation that’ll require new cars to have them. It’s classy, if less characterful.
And to answer its detractors it is now 140kg lighter, more economical and cleaner at the tailpipes. All that while mustering a fair whack of extra power, thanks to its new 3.0 litre diesel engine. This is pretty much as you’ll find in the newest versions of the Jaguar XF saloon, albeit in just one state of tune where Jag offers two. For the Discovery, though, it is waterproofed and undergs a raft of other changes, too. Not least is a new, six-speed auto gearbox that’s standard.
The suspension has undergone a thorough rework, too, gaining a new anti-roll bar, while the brakes have been made bigger and more powerful, and the steering has seen changes to improve pinpoint response and feel.
The Terrain Response system – the car’s dial-upsystem that matches what it ds to the ground you’re about to cover, gets a rework and now offers five settings, including one that’ll let you, should you wish, drive along a beach.
And to drive? Wonderful. The ‘3’ was already a favourite of ours and this has moved on and up. The 4 is now every inch as responsive and as cosseting as a top-spec executive saloon, serene on a long trip but also involving to drive. And, should the red mist descend, it’ll readily take you across a river or along a rutted forest track.
Meanwhile, the good things about the ‘3’ have been left be: proper-sized seats for up to seven adults, generous boot space with five passengers aboard and the rearmost pair of chairs stowed.
Prices have jumped but then, in fairness so have the equipment levels. Go for the top-spec HSE in our pictures and it’s lavishly e kitted out, although the options list remains pages long, including, if you will, no fewer than five cameras positioned on the car’s front, rear and flanks that you can zoom and pan, throwing pictures on to the info screen placed centrally in the dash. Great for inching safely past errant trolleys while at Tesco.
Buy one? If funds allow, you should, because there’s so much to like and so few reasons not to.
To read the motors.co.uk review of the Land Rover Discovery 3 - and watch our video - click here
To view and buy new and used Land Rover Discoveries on motors.co.uk, click here
- Engines3.0 V6 diesel
- 0-60 mph9.0secs
- Insurance groups
Motors.co.uk value verdict: