Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Land Rover Discovery’s starting price undercuts many of its key rivals, so entry-level S models make sense if you’re looking for a big, seriously capable off-roader without excessive amounts of luxury kit. Things change, though, when you start adding extra creature comforts, as even stepping up one trim level to SE pushes up the price considerably.
On the plus side, the Discovery is several thousand pounds cheaper than Land Rover’s similarly sized – but faster and more luxurious – Range Rover Sport. PCP finance deals are competitive, so the Discovery might actually end up costing you less per month than many of its key rivals.
Just remember, the Discovery will be more expensive to run than many alternatives, and, with all versions in the top 37% company car tax bracket, it’s not the best choice for business users. Meanwhile, the diesel engines are capable of more than 30mpg. Expect around 25mpg or less from the petrol engines, though.
Equipment, options and extras
No Land Rover Discovery is badly equipped, as even S trim gets leather seats, two-zone climate control, keyless entry and 20in wheels, plus the other goodies we mentioned earlier. We’d argue it gives you all you really need. R-Dynamic S just adds a few sporty styling touches.
Moving up to R-Dynamic SE gets you 21in wheels, scrolling indicators, twin panoramic roofs and 18-way seats with memory. At the top of the tree is R-Dynamic HSE which gets 22in wheels, fancier ambient LED lighting inside, heated and cooled seats and the other bits we mentioned earlier.
The Land Rover Discovery didn't do particularly well in the What Car? Reliability Survey, proving less dependable than every luxury SUV rival except the Range Rover Sport. Land Rover as a brand also came rock bottom (out of 31 manufacturers) in the overall league table.
A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty – which also includes UK and European roadside assistance – should provide some peace of mind. The three-year term is standard for the class, although the unlimited mileage aspect beats many rivals, including the Audi Q7.
Safety and security
All trim levels come with eight airbags and lane-keeping assistance, as well as an automatic emergency braking system (AEB) that will hit the brakes automatically if it senses that a collision is imminent. It can even recognise pedestrians.
If you upgrade your Land Rover Discovery to R-Dynamic SE trim, you get a blindspot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert, which warns you of approaching vehicles when you’re backing out on to a road.
The second and third rows of seats have Isofix mounting points, a feature 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 does not score as highly as the Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90 for adult or child protection, but it does outscore them both when it comes to protecting pedestrians.
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