The Land Rover Discovery is 25 years old this year - and to celebrate, Land Rover is selling the Discover XXV limited edition. It's basically a Discovery HSE Luxury with a bit of extra bling, including dark grille surrounds, new interior colours and even plusher cabin materials, which threaten to take the Discovery closer than ever to the Range Rover.
It's certainly going to be closer on price, for the XXV will set you back an eye-watering £64,790. That's a lot of cash for a car that's going to be replaced by an all-new model within the next 12 months - so it is worth it?
What's the 2014 Land Rover Discovery XXV like to drive?
Exactly the same as any other Land Rover Discovery - which is hardly a surprise, really, given that the XXV gets the same mix of eight-speed automatic transmission, a go-anywhere four-wheel-drive system and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing 253bhp and 442lb ft of torque, and emitting 213g/km of CO2.
On the road those stats translate into a relaxed, refined drive, as long as you don't want to really hustle the Discovery. Motorway and A-road cruises are very pleasant, thanks to a softly compliant ride and an engine that has enough low-down grunt to maintain 60mph at barely 1200rpm. You'll hear wind noise long before you complain about any mechanical racket.
There's no disguising the Discovery's vast height and weight (it's nearly three tonnes) when you start throwing it at twistier roads; there's a noticeable amount of body roll and the steering is pretty heavy, but it just about escapes feeling downright ungainly.
Around town, meanwhile, the ride can transmit a bit of patter through to the cabin at lower speeds, but that elevated driving position means you do get an excellent view of the road ahead.
The Discovery might not feel that old when you're on the move, but the frequency with which you need to visit the petrol station will be a giveaway; the official combined fuel consumption is 35.3mpg, which means you'll be lucky to crack 30mpg in the real world.
What's the 2014 Land Rover Discovery XXV like inside?
The XXV gets a number of interior flourishes over the HSE Luxury on which it's based; there are Windsor leather seats, with the XXV logo embossed into the headrests and contrast stitching, plus electric seat adjustment for both the driver and front passenger, front and rear heated seats, black lacquer finishes on the centre console and steering wheel, yet more Windsor leather on the armrests and dashboard top, and premium carpet mats.
That sounds a lot, but it doesn't actually change the core characteristics; the Discovery's cabin is smart, solid and functional but, even in XXV form, a definite step behind the plusher Range Rover's.
Land Rover's touch-screen sat-nav and infotainment system is now look desperately dated, and it's even tougher to use in the Discovery because it's a good stretch away from the driver's seat.
The rest of the cabin is simple enough to use. There's a good range of adjustment on the driver's seat so it's easy to get comfortable, and the rear two rows of seats have bags of head- and legroom; this remains one of the few genuine seven-seat SUVs on the market. The back two rows can fold down flat to open up an impressive boot space, too.
Should I buy one?
If you're considering a top-line Discovery and have already started looking at the options you might add on, then the XXV should be on your radar. It does add a thin extra layer of plushness over the HSE Luxury edition, and its limited supply will ensure a bit more exclusivity (should that matter to you).
We can't help feeling, though, that the Discovery XS still brings more than enough kit for everyday use, and it's more than £20,000 cheaper than the XXV when you factor in a bit of discount. That's simply too much of a saving to ignore - so while the XXV is a strong proposition, it's not our Discovery of choice.
What Car? says...
Land Rover Discovery XXV
Engine size 3.0-litre diesel
Price from £64,790
Torque 442lb ft
0-60mph 8.8 seconds
Top speed 112mph
Fuel economy 35.3mpg