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00  Month

Discovery offers new hope

Created on 31/10/2018 @ 11:12

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

A downturn in Chinese sales and worries about a Brexit meltdown may be causing a few grey hairs to sprout in the Land Rover boardroom – but the fifth-generation Discovery gives hope for the future.

It would be difficult to argue with claims that the Discovery is the most versatile SUV on sale in the UK, after all Land Rover has always set the barriers in this sector.

It’s always a difficult decision when a manufacturer needs to upgrade a best-seller but despite a more sculptured appearance the Discovery remains unmistakable from the outside, but inside the cabin it’s hard to believe you’re not sitting in a Range Rover.

Flexible seating is one of the outstanding features with a list of configurations which extends to folding completely flat. There’s room for seven adults, though claustrophobia sufferers should be warned against the two rear seats which seem more appropriate for the children.

Features such as a generous 2,406 litres of luggage space, best-in-class 3,500kg towing capacity, nine USB ports, and semi-autonomous safety technology, have been winning favour with automotive judges across the UK.                                                      

The current Discovery does everything its predecessor did and more, with increased efficiency, improved versatility and a shed load of top-spec technology passed down from its big brother Range Rover.

Discovery also comes with four 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for as many as eight devices – ideal for keeping the kids happy on that long journey.

We put the Sd4 SE through its paces which stood proudly on 19inch five-spoke alloys and came with an on-the-road starting price of £53,595. Metallic paint, All-Terrain Progress Control, heated steering wheel, detachable tow bar and privacy glass added another £3,290.

You’d expect a lot for that sort of cash and to be fair you get plenty.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning is included to add to safety levels along with a 10inch touchscreen control system, DAB radio, electronic air suspension, powered tailgate, heated front seats, heated water jets and power-controlled door mirrors.

And despite there being space for seven on board Land Rover have pulled a real rabbit out of the hat by finding space for a full-size spare wheel – a bonus these days.

There’s a top speed of 121mph and 0-60mph in an impressive eight seconds from the 2.0litre diesel unit. You need deep pockets to fill the 77-litre fuel tank, but you can expect 45mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 levels are acceptable at 171g/km. 

We didn’t get the chance to test the Discovery’s off-road capabilities on this occasion, but they remain unquestionably as good as it gets.

The latest Discovery is simply unrecognisable from the original and takes the Land Rover brand to a completely new level.

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