A new generation Land Rover Discovery arrived back in 2016, when it switched from the LR4 nameplate. Now, the 2021 Land Rover Discovery has arrived, sporting the most significant changes to the model since the generation and name switch five years ago. Land Rover has updated the exterior styling, made major improvements to the interior, and even changed the engine lineup.
The Discovery sits right in the middle of Land Rover's core lineup as a bread and butter model. With three rows of seats, it competes with other luxury mid-sizers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, without the enormous price tag of a Range Rover model or the advanced capability of the Defender. The Discovery is still pretty rugged, though, and this new model looks like the best one yet.
You may not spot the Discovery's changes from afar, but the devil is in the detail. New LED headlights emit a different daytime running light signature while a wider, body-colored graphic and new side vents on the bumper combine for a more purposeful look. At the back, there are new LED taillights and a black panel with the 'Discovery' script, creating a cleaner appearance. Those who want a sportier exterior can opt for the R-Dynamic trim, which gets Gloss Black and Shadow Atlas exterior accents.
Sadly, if you weren't a fan of the current Discovery's asymmetrical back end, Land Rover has not made any changes to that design. Design cues like the clamshell hood, stepped roof, and thick C-pillar remain as well.
The facelifted Disco sports some important technological improvements in the cabin. Land Rover added its latest Pivi Pro infotainment system, housed on an 11.4-inch HD touchscreen display. Pivi Pro adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, support for two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, over-the-air software updates, two LTE modems, and a new layout with faster response times and more intuitive controls.
Other interior upgrades including a 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display, which can show the map or gauges, a full-color head-up display, an air ionizer, and wireless charging. The Discovery also gets a few physical changes, including the Defender's steering wheel, a new shifter, and a hidden storage area behind the climate controls.
Both of the Discovery's V6 engines, the supercharged gasoline V6, and the turbocharged diesel, are gone for the 2021 model year. The base engine is now a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 296 horsepower. The Discovery is also offered with the same 3.0-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid inline-six found in the Defender and other Land Rover models if you need more oomph. Here, it produces a healthy 355 hp, a 15 hp bump over the outgoing supercharged V6. The inline-six should also offer gains in fuel economy and a much smoother stop/start. Europe will still receive a diesel option, but the US will only get the gasoline engines.
Pricing starts at $53,900 for the Discovery 2.0L S trim level or $56,400 for the 2.0L S R-Dynamic. That makes it less expensive than the $59,400 BMW X5, which does have two more cylinders but not all-wheel-drive as a standard feature. The similarly-sized Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 costs $54,750 but offers less standard power than the Discovery.
If you want a Discovery with the new inline-six, prepare to dish out $61,900 for the 3.0L S R-Dynamic or $68,900 for the 3.0L HSE R-Dynamic. Those prices fall right in line with what BMW and Mercedes charge for their six-cylinder mid-size SUVs, so if you want a more off-road capable option from Land Rover, the Discovery is competitive with the German options.