All engine versions are fitted with the eight-speed automatic transmission used elsewhere on Land Rover products – and it is well suited to the car’s nature. With 240hp, the entry-level SD4 diesel model delivers performance that in most circumstances is perfectly adequate, taking 8.3-seconds to reach from 0-62mph.
Four-cylinder Land Rover Discovery petrol and diesel
It is relatively refined for a four-cylinder diesel and acceleration is on a par for the class if far from quick. But again, this is within the expectation of this car. Refinement is good rather than exceptional, but the Ingenium four-cylinder diesel engine is quieter than in other Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Introduced a year after the launch, the Si4 petrol Discovery was added to the range to give buyers who want to move away from diesel an additional option. With 300hp, this 2.0-litre four-cylinder Discovery certainly doesn't lack power – which means it turns in an impressive set of performance figures.
Land Rover claims a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds, which is respectable enough. Official fuel consumption figure is 29.4mpg (combined NEDC), and its CO2 output is 222g/km, which puts it in the 37% tax band.
Land rover Discovery six-cylinder engine options
The V6 diesel option brings additional torque – 700Nm compared with 500Nm – and an additional 66hp. Acceleration to 62mph is cut down to 7.5-seconds as a result, but unless you plan to tow on a regular basis the additional cost is not worthwhile, with the official fuel consumption figure dropping down to around 28.3mpg and 31.6mpg on the WLTP system.
- The Discovery is biased for comfort, so it rolls in bends
- Slow steering best suited to leisurely driving
- Once you're used to it, the Disco handles really well
On air suspension (standard on all cars in the UK) and with the V6 up front, the Discovery steers with an assured sharpness although you’re aware of all the mass that the suspension is having to deal with.
The comfort bias is entirely appropriate for a car that is likely to be to be used for carrying people and their luggage instead of storming down B-roads. However, if you should try and hurry it along it will do so, if a little reluctantly.
It seems obvious to say it, but Discovery is less engaging and capable than the Range Rover Sport, but less yacht-like than the Range Rover. Which is what you'd expect given the Discovery's position in Land Rover's line-up. Pay your money and take your choice...
- Land Rover that's not far off Range Rover luxury
- Infotainment system simple and logical to use
- Electrically-folding seats are a nice touch
The Discovery is huge inside, and compared with the old one, more space has been freed up around the cabin. That's down to the longer wheelbase – additional length between the front and rear wheels – and more efficient use of space. As well as more room for the rear-most pair of rows, there's additional benefit to the driver, too.
Up front, there is plenty of space from the lofty seating position, although the seats are relatively low set in relation to the side windows to increase headroom. Head and legroom is comfortable for those up to six feet in height at least.
The driver (and family) isn't short of space, and Land Rover claims there's 45 litres of storage room alone up front. This includes a deep centre console and a hidden area behind the ventilation controls. Compared with earlier Discoverys, this one's infotainment and media system is simpler to use and more responsive than before.
Material quality is about on a par for what you'd expect for the money. There’s plenty of leather and most of the cabin plastics feel decent, and although an Audi Q7 feels more tightly built with fractionally better plastics, the Discovery’s layout is easier on the eye. The best quality materials are kept higher up on the doors – good for those who are likely to get in and out with muddy boots...
- Great ride comfort at speed
- Rough roads are shrugged off with ease
- Rear-seat room much improved over old model
As expected, the Discovery is a supremely comfortable car. It switches to a more sophisticated suspension set up shared with the Range Rover, which means double wishbones at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear.
The upshot is that on all roads, ride quality is superb. Riding on air suspension it is clearly tuned for ride comfort over handling, even if it also gains a quicker-acting steering rack taken from the Range Rover Sport.
Most road disturbances are dealt with easily, with only smaller, sharper bumps registering any discomfort in the cabin. Noise levels are good if not the best in class, while seat comfort is excellent. The Discovery is easy to place on the road and feels stable, even dealing with more enthusiastic driving in relative comfort.