The Land Rover Discovery has been completely redesigned from its boxy LR4 forebear and now offers a thoroughly modern take on the go anywhere luxury family SUV theme. Gone is the complex chassis arrangement of the LR4 and with it almost 1000 pounds of weight and this added lightness brings the Discovery dynamically more in line with its competitors while still retaining its peerless off-road ability.
The cabin of the new Discovery is a big step up from the aging and plasticky LR4 interior. The modern Land Rover design language means that it now offers a combination of luxury and utility that will appeal to shoppers interested in the dual nature of the Discovery. Soft-touch plastics, leather covered dash and door trim as well as an updated center console make for a far more luxurious interior.
The first two rows of seats offer ample head and leg room even for taller passengers. The third row is a bit less accommodating but should be fine for children and teenagers. The cargo space is excellent, especially with the third row folded down and the Discovery offers a number of creative solutions for oddment storage throughout the cabin.
The LR4 was always a consummate highway cruiser and could clamber over tough terrain with ease but its hefty curb weight made it a handful in the corners. The Discovery will be a revelation to owners of the older model as it now has far more precise steering feel and feels far more composed on-road.
Its off-road capabilities have not been overlooked either and there are not many luxury SUVs in this class that can match the Discovery over the rough stuff, it also offers a driver selectable terrain response system. Daily driving duties are carried out with the minimum of road noise and the suspension soaks up road irregularities with ease.
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is available with either a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 pumping out 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque or a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 with 254 hp and 443 lb-ft. Both engines are fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission and have permanent four-wheel drive.
The gasoline engine is smooth and offers a 0-60 mph time of 6.9-seconds, the diesel power unit is 0.8-seconds slower to 60 mph and feels less responsive on the road but offers better fuel consumption figures. In both cases the Discovery is now in line with competitors’ offerings and should satisfy shoppers looking for strong overtaking performance and highway cruising ability.
The redesigned Discovery is available in SE, HSE, HSE Luxury and First Edition trims. All are available with the gasoline engine while the diesel offering can only be had with HSE and HSE Luxury trim levels.
The base SE trim offers 19-inch alloy wheels, fixed panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, heated power door mirrors, rear parking aid with visual display, leather seats, 10-speaker audio system, 8-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and ambient interior lighting. A third row of seats is optional while the second row offers a split folding feature.
HSE trim adds 20-inch wheels, electric panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, front and rear fog light, keyless entry, powered tailgate, 10-inch touchscreen and navigation system.
HSE Luxury trim adds some additional off-roading ability with a twin-speed transfer box as well as third row seats, 14-speaker audio system, three-zone climate control, configurable ambient interior lighting and heated front and second row seats.
The top First Edition trim includes all of the above and adds an activity bracelet key, surround camera with park assist, automatic high beam assist and a terrain response 2 system.
This trim level also includes as standard a selection of otherwise optional packages which include notable items such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist, drowsy driver warning and forward collision mitigation.
The redesigned 2017 Land Rover Discovery offers a modern driving experience on-road while still being capable of traversing rocky mountain passes in a cocoon of luxury. Few competitors offer this breadth of abilities and the new Discovery is a compelling offering in the crowded luxury SUV sector.