Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Land Rover Discovery's engine range kicks off with the 2.0-litre P300 petrol. We’ve yet to try that, but the more powerful 3.0-litre P360 needs to be worked pretty hard to feel as quick as its 6.5sec 0-62mph time suggests. For us, that’s not really in keeping with the character of a luxury SUV.
We recommend choosing one of the diesels instead. The 296bhp 3.0-litre D300 has about 60bhp less than the P360 but far more poke at low engine speeds. That means it pulls much harder much earlier, which is great if you're towing a heavy caravan, and we managed 0-60mph in a brisk 6.6sec. The 246bhp D250 diesel managed a more than adequate 7.7sec and feels almost as strong when you’re tootling around. It’s our pick of the range. If you want to go faster, we’d point you towards the Audi Q7 or BMW X7.
It's not as comfortable around town as the Audi Q7, though. The Discovery stumbles over imperfections a bit like a tottering toddler, with every impact sending subtle but noticeable shudders through the body.
To minimise the intrusions, we recommend sticking with the 20in wheels of S trim. Bigger rims, like the 22in wheels that come with R-Dynamic HSE, make the ride worse.
The Discovery is not geared towards sporty handling. You can steer it through corners with confidence at reasonable speeds but it's nowhere near as eager to change direction as the Audi Q7 and BMW X5. It leans more and feels somewhat cumbersome through tighter twists and turns.
The steering is slow, so getting round corners in town requires a lot of arm work. It's not an ideal city car, then, but it is one of the very best SUVs at tackling rough terrain. It will confidently explore places where rivals fear to tread with the help of an excellent 283mm of ground clearance, a wading depth of 900mm and a multitude of clever electronics.