Land Rover Discovery 4x4 full 9 point review
The only engine available is a 3.0-litre diesel, and the Discovery’s huge weight leaves this with plenty to do. Sure enough, you have to push the accelerator hard to get the car to pull away briskly from a standstill, but once you’re on the move it never feels underpowered.
Ride & Handling
Unsurprisingly, given its height, the Discovery suffers from quite a bit of body lean in corners. It never feels ungainly to drive, though, and the ride is good, aside from being a little unsettled at urban speeds. The Discovery is also extremely capable off road, thanks to its massive ground clearance and clever all-terrain electronic aids.
The Discovery is brilliant at shutting out road noise, while its engine stays smooth and quiet, even when it’s cutting in and out in stop-start traffic. In fact, were it not for the wind noise generated at speed by the bluff windscreen and chunky door mirrors, the Discovery would be as quiet as many top-end saloons.
Buying & Owning
There's no getting away from the fact that the Discovery is an expensive car to buy and run; you’ll pay the maximum rate of tax if you choose one as your company car. However, the 3.0-litre engine is capable of averaging more than 30mpg, which is reasonable.
Quality & Reliability
Land Rover has traditionally had a poor reliability record, but it seems to be turning things round; Discovery owners rated their cars very highly in this area in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey. The cabin is solid and smart, although it’s nowhere near as plush as the one in the Range Rover Sport.
Safety & Security
Stability and Hill Descent Control systems are standard, plus the Discovery protects its occupants with front, side and full-length curtain airbags. Thieves won't fancy having a go at the car, either – it comes with an alarm, an immobiliser and deadlocks.
Behind The Wheel
Few cars give you a better view of the road ahead than a Discovery, and the driver's seat has lots of adjustment. There are plenty of storage areas, too, and most of the controls on the dashboard are chunky. The touch-screen navigation system is fiddly and slow, though.
Space & Practicality
The Discovery seats seven adults with comparative ease. There's not much boot space with all the seats in use, but the second and third rows fold down to leave a flat floor without the need to remove the headrests. The tailgate is split so that it can serve as a picnic seat or viewing platform.
Entry-level GS models come with air-conditioning, four electric windows, Bluetooth and keyless entry and start-up. However, it’s worth upgrading to XS trim, which adds cruise control, front parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, heated leather seats and satellite-navigation.