The Discovery has a starting price that undercuts its key rivals, so it makes sense if you’re looking for a big, seriously capable off-roader without much luxury kit. The trouble is, the vast majority of big SUVs buyers do want lots of creature comforts, and even stepping up one trim level (to SE) pushes up the price considerably, making the Discovery more expensive to buy than an equivalent Q7 or XC90.
On the plus side, depreciation is predicted to be very slow for the first three years and the Discovery is many thousands of pounds cheaper than Land Rover’s similarly sized, albeit faster and more luxurious, Range Rover Sport.
The Discovery isn’t the most aerodynamic of SUVs, and that largely explains why it drinks more fuel than its key rivals and pumps out a lot more CO2. The latter obviously isn’t good for the environment, but it’ll only hurt your pocket if you’re a company car driver.
Land Rover Discovery equipment
The amount of equipment your Discovery comes with ranges from surprisingly sparse to seriously lavish. But the former is only in entry-level S trim, which we’d recommend avoiding, because the highlights are air-conditioning, alloys and a powered tailgate, but you don’t get leather seats or sat-nav.
SE trim makes far more sense, even though it adds thousands to the price. As well as electrically adjustable and heated front seats along with leather seat trim all round, you get front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and LED headlights, although sat-nav is still notable by its absence.
Our favourite trim is HSE because you get the better infotainment system, keyless entry, a fixed panoramic glass roof, electric third row seats and heated second row seats. If you go for this trim, it’s worth thinking about paying a bit extra for the intelligent seat-folding feature (read more about this in the seating flexibility section).
Then there’s the range-topping HSE Luxury trim. You get lots of standard creature comforts, including the intelligent seat folding, an electrically operated sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, four-zone climate control and a surround camera system that gives a bird’s eye view of the car. However, it’s too pricey to recommend.
Land Rover Discovery reliability
It’s tricky to say how reliable the Discovery will be since it was too new to feature in our most recent reliability survey. However, in recent surveys, Land Rover has been rated below average for other models, with electronic glitches a notable weak point.
A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty – which also includes UK and European roadside assistance – should provide some peace of mind. This is about par for the class, but better cover than you get on the rival Audi Q7.
Land Rover Discovery safety & security
All trim levels come with eight airbags and automatic emergency braking, which (as it says on the tin) means the car can automatically hit the brakes if it senses you’re about to hit the person in front – even if they’re on foot.
Upgrade to HSE trim and you’ll also get a driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition (the speed limit of the road you’re driving down is displayed on the dashboard), a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross traffic alert. The latter warns you of approaching vehicles when you’re backing out onto a road.
All three rows of seats have Isofix mounting points, a point noted by Euro NCAP when it awarded the Discovery the maximum five stars in its crash test. If you look at the individual categories, the Discovery isn’t as good as the XC90 or the Q7 for adult or child protection, but outscores them both when it comes to protecting pedestrians.
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Only worth a look if you’re happy with a very basic Discovery; you get air-conditioning, alloys and a powered tailgate, but you don’t even get leather seats or sat-nav.
Makes reasonable sense, even though its adds thousands to the price. As well as electric leather seats (heated in the front), you get front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and LED headlights. Sat-nav is still notable by its absence, though.
Our pick HSE
This is the entry point for the upgraded InControl Touch infotainment system with its larger 10.0in touchscreen, and also the point at which keyless entry, electric third row seats, a panoramic fixed-glass roof and heated second row seats come as standard. If you go for HSE trim, it’s worth thinking about paying a bit extra for the intelligent seat-folding feature (read more on this in the seating flexibility section).
Range-topping trim comes with lots of standard creature comforts, including intelligent seat folding, an electrically operated sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, four-zone climate control and a surround-view camera system that gives a bird’s eye view of the car. However, it’s too pricey to recommend.