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Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Which Land Rover Discovery SUV is best for me?

Which Land Rover Discovery is best for me

The most popular trims are likely to be the upper-range HSE along with the easy-on-the-pocket SD4 engine. Adding a Panoramic sunroof is likely to add value (fitted as standard to the HSE and HSE Lux and the Entertainment Pack will particularly appeal to family buyers.

The option of a fixed or detachable tow bar is useful if you tow a caravan, making use of the Disco's amazing ability to pull heavy loads. Securing any form of deal will prove tricky due to initial demand, but taking a finance package offers the chance to negotiate on rates and the amount payable a month.

Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury 2.0 SD4 auto
(Tested: March 2017 by Keith WR Jones)

Land Rover Discovery

The 2.0-litre 24-hp diesel we're testing here is the same motor fitted to the compact Jaguar XE saloon, but don’t let that be an excuse to suck the air of doubt through your teeth. In this application there’s 240hp available, but of more interest is the impressive 500Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm.

The engine fitted here has sufficient accelerative force for sprightly performance on the back-top, while still being able to haul itself up inclines you’d break into a sweat simply contemplate climbing on foot. Officially it’ll crack the 0-60mph sprint in eight seconds flat, pushing on to a top speed of 121mph.

It can feel lethargic off the line, with a second delay before it moves in the manner you’d hoped from prodding the accelerator, but this gentleness helps modulate off-road driving speed as well as promote a more relaxed approach on asphalt.
The primary reason for the 2.0-litre’s availability is for even greater efficiency: Land Rover’s 43.5mpg average claim is unlikely to be achieved but 32mpg is a realistic prospect.

How does the Land Rover Discovery Sd4 drive?

Land Rover Discovery dashboard

Fans of the outgoing Discovery will doubtless acknowledge that while it was cushiony soft over rougher road surfaces courtesy of its air suspension system, it had a tendency to wallow and lean along twistier sections of road.

The suspension’s damping is a tad firmer meaning you feel more of surface imperfections. They’re not sharp and jolty, but they’re there all the same. The trade-off is that it feels much wieldier and nimble – although on winding country roads the Discovery’s width is never far from the forefront of your mind.

All the controls are light – the steering arguably too much so – but all of that makes for a more relaxed drive and ease of use off-road. When/if (delete as applicable) you do venture onto terrain more challenging than an unmetalled road, then the Land Rover’s legendary agility shines brightly.

The firm claims the Discovery’s its most capable SUV ever and weaving it through a series of muddy slopes, rocky outcrops and deep channels – it’ll trundle along happily in up to 900mm of water – reinforces this.

Land Rover DiscoveryThe Parkers Verdict

There’s no denying this version of the Disco a fine all-rounder, with colossal amounts of space inside – its flexibility is a wow factor, too – but we can’t help but think that at the top of the range it feels a bit too expensive. Ramp up those options and you’d soon be in six-figure territory, which feels hard to justify for a car powered by a 2.0-litre engine.

Land Rover Discovery rear view

Land Rover Discovery SUV model history

Land Rover Discovery model timeline

  • September 2016 – Land Rover unveils its fifth-generation Discovery,  revealing its pricing and spec details, and opening the order books.
  • March 2017 – Land Rover Discovery 5 goes on sale in the UK with a starting price of £43,495. Model line-up looks like this: S, SE, HSE, HSE Luxury and First Edition. Engine line-up is SD4 (240hp), TD6 (258hp), and Si6 (340hp).
  • September 2017 – The Discovery SVX unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show to go on sale immediately in the UK. It gets a 5.0-litre supercharged engine developing 525hp, increased ride height and other off-road-focused equipment. It's built at the company's SVO operation in Coventry.
  • September 2017 – The 300hp Si4 petrol version joins the range.
  • December 2017 – Order books open on the Land Rover Discovery Commercial, with first deliveries taking place in June 2018. Maximum boot capacity is 1,856 litres, and towing capacity is 3.5 tonnes.
  • January 2019 – Land Rover Discovery Anniversary Edition launched. It celebrates the car's 30th birthday, and is based on the SD6 SE, with a production run of 400 for UK customers only.

Buying and selling the Land Rover Discovery SUV

Buying a new Land Rover Discovery

Sales of the Discovery aren’t as rapid as Land Rover would like so ensure that you work hard for a discount

  • Don't expect much in the way of cash discounts
  • But do haggle hard when it comes to lease and PCP
  • Stick to four-cylinder cars for the easiest re-sale

The Land Rover Discovery is an expensive car, but thanks to rapidly changing market conditions, the company has become a lot more realistic about the cost of its monthly PCP and car leasing deals. As a consequence, if you're prepared to haggle with your local dealer, you should be able to get to a very competitive monthly payment.

We'd advise that you avoid selecting too many options and choose a trim level that includes most of the kit that you want as standard. We’d go for one of the SE or HSE models in four-cylinder SD4 form for the best balance of cost, kit and performance.

Although the market is moving rapidly towards petrols and hybrids away from diesels, buyers of big SUVs still tend to favour diesels.


Buying a used Land Rover Discovery

Dealers have plenty of stock and are always prepared to haggle. Not many outside of the LR network

  • Decent residuals as dealers hold on to the best examples
  • Supplies of nearly-new examples are plentiful
  • Always get a history and finance check

The vast majority of second-hand stock is held by franchised dealers – and will be at least until 2020 at the earliest. The HSE trim is the most popular version on sale and the models we're advising as the ones to have when buying, are most numerous right now.

Used values are still high, and will be in the medium term – following the form of previous-generation Discovery 4s. It’s unlikely many Land Rover Discoverys will do serious off-roading (although they are brilliant at it), but do check underneath the car as well as sills for any damage. Also make sure that they have been serviced on the button and have enjoyed a documented regular drink of AdBlue.


Selling your Land Rover Discovery

  • Don't go overboard with the options
  • Make sure you buy popular colour and trim combos
  • SE and HSE models will resell the most easily

As ever low-mileage, well-cared for examples with full service history will prove very popular with buyers. High-spec models with sensible options will be the ones to have – so make sure you're careful when ticking the boxes when new.

Family buyers will be drawn to panoramic sunroofs as well as the full app control for its electric seats – and don't forget to make sure you're able to show off all of the infotainment features (of which there are loads) to any prospective buyers.

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