Dare to get dirty in a Land Rover Discovery
1. DISCOVERY IS DESIGNED TO IMPRESS
In its latest version, the boxy four-wheel drive fuses the badge's legendary ability to traverse tough terrain with styling and interior sophistication normally found on the more upmarket Range Rovers. The approach may have upset traditionalists but it has also opened the door to the next generation of urbanites who are chasing the look and the luxury without paying the Rangie premium. The SE has power front seats, leather interior, 10-inch touchscreen with satnav and ambient interior lighting.
2. CHEAP IS A RELATIVE TERM
The SD4 SE tested here can be had for $92,400-$96,400 on the road. The variation is down to state stamp duty - but virtually all Discovery buyers will end up with a six-figure invoice after ticking the option boxes. The likes of adaptive cruise control and digital radio should be standard at this price, given they can be found on mainstream cars costing a third the price. Other items, such as the seven seats and improved off-road software, are rightly a case of personal choice.
3. OWNERS CAN DREAM OF DIRT
Part of the reason for the hefty price of Land Rovers is their unique ability to go anywhere their owners dare to drive. Most don't, of course, but that doesn't stop them from wanting the ability to do so. That's why you're not likely to see scrub scratches down the side of a Discovery as it cruises to and from school, despite the fact the wheel articulation, transfer case and underbody protection place it among the smarter vehicles to venture off the beaten track.
4. THE ENGINE IS IMPRESSIVE
The SD4 Discovery uses the high-output 2.0-litre turbo diesel to great effect. With 500Nm on tap from just 1500rpm, it can lift its skirts and hit 100km/h in 8.3 seconds or haul up to 3500kg. That's not a bad effort in a vehicle weighing well over two tonnes. The eight-speed automatic helps here, with generally smooth shifts and calibration designed to keep the engine operating at maximum efficiency, enabling Land Rover to claim overall thirst of 6.5L/100km for the Discovery.
5. THE ACCESSORIES ARE INVITING
Someone at Jaguar Land Rover is obviously keyed in to how most buyers will use the Discovery. The "activity key" wristband lets owners surf, swim or cycle while leaving the standard key disabled in the vehicle. It's a smart move that avoids having to stash the key in a less-than-secure spot while you're indulging in outdoor pursuits. There's 258L of cargo space with all seats in use but fold the third-row pews and there's a mountain-bike ingesting 1137L.