Cost & verdict

Land Rover Discovery review

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Land Rover Discovery
Review continues below...
22 Mar 2017 10:50 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:54

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 running costs

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 that 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 Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90.

On the plus side, depreciation is predicted to be very slow for the first three years and the Discovery is several thousand pounds cheaper than Land Rover’s similarly sized – albeit faster and more luxurious – Range Rover Sport.

Just remember, the Discovery is going to be more expensive to run that the majority of its rivals. Even the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel emits 171g/km of CO2 and fuel economy can be scary. On our True MPG cycle, our favoured TD6 engine could only manage 26.3mpg. In comparison, the Audi Q7 managed a far more palatable 34mpg. If the Si6 tempts, expect very low-20s at best.

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 equipment

The amount of equipment your Discovery comes with ranges from surprisingly sparse to seriously lavish. The former only occurs in entry-level S trim, which we’d recommend avoiding.

SE trim makes far more sense, even though it adds a few thousand to the price, because it adds electric leather seats (heated in the front), sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and LED headlights.

Our favourite trim is HSE, though, because you get 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-view camera system. However, it’s too pricey to recommend.

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 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, but Land Rover as a brand came in at 31st out of 32 manufactuers in the overall brand ranking. 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 standard for the class, but it's better cover than you get on the Q7.

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 safety and security

All trim levels come with eight airbags and automatic emergency braking, which 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 get a driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition (the speed limit of the road you’re driving down is displayed on the dashboard), a blindspot 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 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 isn’t as good as the XC90 or Q7 for adult or child protection, but it does outscore them both when it comes to protecting pedestrians.

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Verdict

The Land Rover Discovery is hugely capable and very desirable, and equally at home both on road and off it – it's a brilliant SUV

  • Big and clever
  • Comfortable ride
  • Slow depreciation
  • So-so performance
  • Audi Q7 is classier inside
  • High CO2 emissions
There are 4 trims available for the Discovery 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
S
Only worth a look if you’re happy with a very basic Discovery; you get a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, alloy wheels and a powered tailgate, but you don’t get leather sea...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£45,215
Average Saving £2,190
View Trim
SE
Makes reasonable sense, even though it adds thousands to the price. As well as electric leather seats (heated in the front), you get front and rear parking sensors, sat-nav, automatic lights and wi...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£51,577
Average Saving £2,508
View Trim
OUR PICK
HSE
This is 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, it’s worth thinking about paying a...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£59,483
Average Saving £2,902
View Trim
HSE Luxury
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...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£64,436
Average Saving £3,149
View Trim