Its been called the automotive Swiss Army Knife and it seems for good reason!
With mountains of room, more power than before, full and unadulterated off-road capability and under $70K… do its competitors, the likes of the Ford Everest, the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Volvo XC60, even stand a chance in this highly competitive Aussie market segment?
Lets see what Car Sales had to say in this in-depth review:
Back in 2017 when Land Rover launched this, the Discovery 5, it’s best to say that car sales was a bit of a fan. In fact, we voted it our car of the year. Now fast forward four years later, and it’s time for a face lift for the Discovery. The good news, it gets a full range of all new engines and plenty of new tech, the bad, it costs $27,000 more. So the thing is, is it still a compelling SUV, and would you choose one over an Audi Q7?
So, what’s changed on the outside? Not that much, new headlamps, these nifty DRLs, a new grill, tweaked bumper, at the back of the car, new lamps. And I don’t know if this is just me, but I’m sure the button to open the boot used to be under the V. Now it’s under the… between the S and C. It doesn’t make any sense.
Of course, see, big things have happened both under the bonnet and in the cabin. So inside, we have Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system, and it really does freshen up the cabin. It looks like a much newer car in here. The advantage of the Pivi Pro is it’s much, much quicker to use. It’s simpler to use. It’s nice to use, and it has over-the-air updates, so it will never go out of date. Other things, digital dashboard, and also some nicer material, yeah, soft-touch materials. So it feels a bit more expensive because it is. And in the back of the face-lifted discovery, well, it remains the perfect car for a large family. There’s seven seats, and there’s now, get this kids, there’s now a charger for every occupant of the car. There’s also five, five ISOFIX seats, if you’re gonna be that silly and have that many children.
Under the bonnet of the face-lifted discovery, the big change is, is that the former 2.0 litre turbo-diesel is no longer available, and the 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel has also been deleted from the range. In their place is the option of two, 3.0-litre Ingenium inline six cylinders that get JLR’s trick 48-volt, mild-hybrid tech. Unusually, Land Rover is taking the option of re-introducing a petrol engine into the Discovery in the Australian market. And the petrol we drove had 265 kilowatts of power and 500 Newton-metres of torque. That’s enough for a very brisk nought to 100 kilometre sprint of just 6.5 seconds and a 209 kilometres per hour top speed.
That is unprecedented levels of performance for a Discovery. Despite its newfound performance, Land Rover hasn’t been tempted to dial up the sportiness of its medium-sized SUV, so when you hit some corners, they are still plenty of body roll. But we don’t mind because this is still a decent, comfortable SUV with a supple ride. But I think the real reason you’ll buy the petrol over the diesel is its incredible levels of refinement. At highway speeds, you simply cannot hear it, and then you put your foot down and it fires you down the road.
Inside you can see how engineers and designers have tried to up the Discovery’s game. We’re talking, there’s a new steering wheel, nice soft finishes, but most importantly, is the introduction of the Pivi Pro system. It just brings the whole car up to date. You also have to remember as well as comfortable and decent drive on road, thanks to its air suspension, locking differentials and Terrain Response 2 electronics, the four-year-old Discovery remains the most capable SUV off road, and it can still tow a class-leading 3.5 tons. So few cars manage to do as much as the Disco.
Sure, there are some more stylish three-row SUVs out there, we’re looking at you Volvo XC90, and there’s 70 SUVs that are also better to drive, but none can beat the Land Rover’s all-around abilities. The Land Rover Discovery should arrive in Australia in the next couple of months, and when it does, prices will kick off, well, a smidge under $100,000, which is a big increase over the last model. But for that extra $27,000, the Discovery now costs, it has the engine it’s always deserved, and Land Rover Australia says it will throw in an extra $32,000 worth of options, which means that the three-row luxury SUV is still worth considering over rivals as like the Audi Q7.