Home' Open Road North Shore : OR0518 Contents TOWARD THE END of its incredible
nine-year winning streak in the Australia’s
Best Cars awards, the Land Rover
Discovery was starting to show its age
and the 4WD segment had changed
significantly. Serious off-road vehicles
such as the ‘Disco’ are increasingly
competing for sales against luxury AWDs
from Volvo, Audi, BMW, and even Range
Rover, which offer more luxury and
features in a less rugged form, while still
being adept at off-roading and towing.
The Disco’s squared-off design has
been dispatched for a more curvaceous
shape, although the distinctive blocky
grille remains one of few visual
concessions to the previous generation.
Gone, too, is the split tailgate, which many
liked for its ability to prevent groceries
and cargo from spilling out. Land Rover’s
clever fix is a folding vertical panel at
the rear of the cargo area to keep items
in place, which works almost as well.
New monocoque construction ends the
tradition of a body-on-frame build that can
be traced back to the original Land Rover
in 1948. The new design will undoubtedly
upset traditionalists, who will argue the
old design was more rugged and robust,
but the resulting improvements in body
rigidity are hard to ignore.
The new range is extensive, with three
diesel engine options, two four-cylinders
with different outputs, and a V6 engine.
All are matched to an eight-speed
automatic, and full-time AWD and a single-
or two-speed transfer box are standard.
Given the Disco’s relatively small sales
volumes, the model list is mind-bogglingly
large. The 25 variants start with the
five-seat TD4 S ($65,960) through to the
full-spec First Edition ($131,871). Our test
vehicle was the TD4 SE ($79,550) with
standard features including electronic air
suspension, rear-view camera, front and
rear parking aids, power folding heated
external mirrors, 12-way powered seats
and a 10-speaker audio system.
The options list is also extensive and
there are a number of bundled packages.
Ours featured 20-inch alloys ($2395),
head-up display ($2370), two extra seats
($3400) and an active key ($940) and
tailgate ($1660) among others, which
took the price to $112,635 – upwards
of $30,000 over the list price.
The interior’s high centre console
design divides front occupant space
into two distinct cockpits, just as its
predecessor did, and although the
new body shape is slightly narrower,
the interior remains spacious. From the
driver’s seat, forward vision is excellent,
but the new model has thicker rear
pillars, which restrict rear vision slightly.
Land Rover’s highly regarded electronic
air suspension system and terrain mode
continue to suit any on- or off-road
scenario. The Disco delivers a soft,
comfortable ride over most surfaces, the
downside being some body movement at
lower speeds, and it seems to have lost its
previous nimbleness. Towing has always
been a strong suit and the new model can
haul up to 3500kg with the bigger engine
options. We hitched up an unbraked box
trailer, which didn’t trouble it one bit.
Our test vehicle was powered by the
lower-output 2.0 -litre four-cylinder turbo-
diesel, which develops 132kW and 430Nm
from 1500rpm. The base engine has plenty
of get up and go, but feels a touch dull and
slow to react on take-off, and returned
9.1L/100km with a box trailer in tow.
The Discovery remains one of the
most capable 4WDs on the market
and the new urban look still belies
Land Rover’s traditional 4WD strengths
– high and low range, exceptional ground
clearance and good wheel articulation. It
also has the best seven-seat option going
and great towing ability. – Tim Pomroy
Pros: Retains core 4WD ability
Cons: Feels bulkier in urban scenarios
The box-like edges have been rounded out as the new
Land Rover Discovery goes for a more urban look
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder Transmission:
eight-speed auto Power: 132kW Torque: 430Nm
Fuel consumption: 6.3L/100km (claimed)
ANCAP: HHHHH Price: From $79,550 (plus ORC)
It has the best seven-
seat option going and
great towing ability
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16/4/18 2:44 pm
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