Since its launch in 1989, the Land Rover Discovery has embodied off-road sturdiness and no-nonsense design in its role as functional family transport. For this fifth-generation car, however, Land Rover’s designers have put away their set squares in favour of curved edges. But this is claimed to be the most capable Discovery yet off road, with a raft of electronic driving aids. It’s said to be more refined on the road, too. Inside, it offers seven full-sized seats, top practicality, a huge boot and new infotainment options.
The new Discovery is on sale now, costing from £43,495 to £68,295.
We invited a team of What Car? readers along for an exclusive preview of the new Discovery to give their opinions.
Age: 39 Job: IT program manager Drives: Volvo XC90
“We’re looking for a new seven-seat family car that will be safe for the children and good to drive.
“We often go out with other families, so it needs to seat seven people and a dog in comfort. In that regard, this Discovery looks perfect. The rearmost seats are big enough for two taller adults. On top-spec cars, they’re heated and leather, too, so they’d be comfortable for a long journey.
“Also, if it’s anything like the smaller Land Rover Discovery Sport to drive, that’s another box ticked.
“There are some very impressive tech features on this car. The sound system is amazing. The integration with your smartphone is really good. It’s full of clever and useful features, such as if you’ve set your sat-nav to take you somewhere, it will tell you what the weather will be like when you get there.
“Previous Discoverys were quite utilitarian and boxy, whereas this new model’s styling now fits in with the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover. It will be quite controversial, because a lot of the people who’ve traditionally bought Discoverys have done so for the functionality, whereas this is an ‘upmarket’ SUV. It certainly appeals to us, though.”
Age: 44 Job: Energy recovery facilities Drives: Hyundai i40
“We’ve had nine Land Rovers in the past several years, and we expect big things from this new Discovery.
“First impressions are positive. It still has the presence and the stance of the original Discovery. It should be very good off road, too, and it has a 3500kg towing capacity, so despite its trendier looks, it should still be utilitarian.
“The infotainment is great. There are lots of good apps on there, such as Spotify for music, and it has a wi-fi hotspot for your phones. The system is much more modern than those of previous Land Rovers and has lots of clever tech. The stereo is fantastic quality, too.
“The boot has a huge load space. It’s quite high up for dogs to jump into, but you can lower the suspension at the press of a button in the boot, which is very impressive.
“The commanding driving position is comfortable and good for people who regularly do long journeys. In fact, all of the seats are very comfy, with loads of head and leg room. On higher-spec cars, the rear five can be folded down with the touch of a button in the boot.”
Find out what our other two readers thought of the Discovery on the next page.
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