The Discovery is one of Australia’s most popular large SUVs. Now launching in its fifth generation, it has gone through dramatic change visually, technically and internally.
- Driven Land Rover Discovery
- Date 8th September 2017
- Dealer Bellbowrie Motors
The emphasis in a dramatically expanded range is as much on seven-seat interior practicality as go-anywhere off-road ability.
Armed with the best of its optional off-road gear, it has enough knob twiddling and button punching resources to climb and descend just about any challenge. Once a workhorse, the Disco has moved to the top end of town. That impression is based on the HSE Luxury specification car I drove.
Climb inside the cabin, and there’s plenty of room for passengers and gear. The first and second rows are spacious, supportive and comfortable, but the third row (in seven-seat models, of course) deserves special mention.
I’m a not NBA-bothering 182 cm tall, and there was plenty of clear space in front of my knees and above my head. Climbing into the third row is a little cumbersome, though, but the space makes up for it.
Ditch the humans for luggage, hardware or shopping bags, and you’ll get a mammoth 2,500 litres of storage space by flattening the second row of seats, and the wide-and-tall boot entry point means you could generally use it as the world’s most expensive van. But, you just wouldn’t.
Five main variant lines are offered, with three different engine options. These range from the S, SE, HSE, HSE Luxury, to the limited First Edition. There’s then the Td4 2.0-litre turbo-diesel producing 132kW/430Nm, to the Sd4 with the new twin-turbo diesel producing 177kW/500Nm, to the top 3.0-litre Td6 V6 diesel producing 190kW/600Nm.
All come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all but the Td4 variants get a two-speed transfer box with high and low range. An active locking rear differential is also optional for all, and all but the Td4 get electronic air suspension (optional on Td4).
Other standard features include autonomous emergency braking, in-cabin boot release for the single piece tailgate (power operated on HSE and above), cruise control, button start, rear parking aid with visual display and camera, and an 8.0-inch touch-screen media interface with the HSE and above using a 10-inch unit.
Land Rover is describing the new model as being the best family SUV in the world, following seven key principles. These are; seven adult-size seats, standard advanced safety tech, proper off-road performance, creativity, storage, connectivity (with nine USB ports and six 12V sockets).
Land Rover’s generation-five Discovery is marginally bigger than its predecessor, a lot more luxurious inside and very different outside, with the deletion of the utility backpack body style and more controversially, the popular split rear tailgate. Based on the Range Rover’s aluminium frame, new Disco is quieter and more refined to drive but also loses none of its legendary off-road ability, with the adoption of Range Rover’s Terrain Response 2 driveline configuration software and improved suspension travel.
The Td4 single-turbo 2.0-litre diesel puts out 132kW of power at 4,000rpm, and 430Nm of torque at 1,750rpm. Claimed fuel consumption is rated at 6.2L/100km combined, while 0-100km/h takes 10.5 seconds.
Stepping up to the Sd4 motor adds an additional turbo to the 2.0-litre engine, bringing outputs to 177kW and 500Nm respectively – with the latter arriving between 1,500 and 2,500rpm.
Fuel use is rated at 6.4L/100km on the combined cycle, while the benchmark sprint is cut down to 8.3 seconds.
As driven, the Td6 is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel, pumping out 190kW of power at 4,000rpm, and 600Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,250rpm.
Claimed fuel consumption is rated at 7.2L/100km combined, while 0-100km/h takes 8.1 seconds. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, driving all four wheels.
Motor Mouth Rating: 8/10