The new Disco is big enough to have a disco in it...
First Driving Impressions Land Rover Discovery – European Launch Barcelona
The Discovery started life in 1989 and was a mighty change for Land Rover, the traditionalists wondered what on earth was going on, a posh Land Rover after all those years of the Defender, and if they thought the first one was posh, then wait till they see this all-new one.
This new Discovery has some brilliant styling; it looks so elegant, except for one thing, and let’s get the negatives out of the way early. Somebody has decided in the design department to put the rear number plate in an ‘off-set’ position, not in the middle, but to the left-hand side. Land Rover say this is to be reminiscent of the earlier Discovery’s that also had an off-set plate, but they did look ok, this one, just looks odd.
The rest of the car though is fine, it has a slightly raised, or stepped roof but nowhere near as prominent as the previous cars, but this slight increase in height does help to give more rear head room.
Seven seats are fitted as standard, with the third row were fairly easy to get into but not quite as easy to get out of. You needed to be a bit of a contortionist to get out again, although once in and seated they were very comfortable with enough leg and headroom, with a good forward view, as they are slightly elevated. The rear seats looked to be almost full size, unlike many other ‘7-seaters’ that just offer ¾ size seats. It is a clever move on Land Rovers part to offer seven as standard.
In Spain, we only got the opportunity to drive the 2.0-litre diesel SD4 240ps that accelerates from 0-60mph in 8 seconds and has a top speed of 121 mph. A lower powered 2.0-litre diesel is available, although it is not being sold in the UK. There is a V6 diesel, the TD6, which costs around £1,500 more than the 2.0-litre, and this engine is likely to be the most popular in the UK. But with a growing trend away from diesel at the moment, then Land Rover may find a smaller petrol is required as a V6 petrol is only available at the moment. Land Rover like so many other manufacturers who have depended on diesels for many years – then necessary changes may be needed as customer’s engine choices change.
We drove the 240ps away from the hotel as the sun was rising, and they looked fantastic in this light, all lined up, and ready to go on the promenade, overlooking the beach, a brilliant sight. We set off through small towns and villages and then onto the motorway. The Discovery was superb in all these conditions, it just purred quietly on the motorway with very little effort when you wanted to accelerate on the motorway, it certainly had plenty of power from this 2.0-litre diesel and coupled to a very smooth 8-speed automatic, the driving experience on road was just a pleasure.
There will be four trim levels available in the UK: S – which will only account for around 2% of sales, and priced around £43,500. Then the SE priced from £49,500 to £53,500 – depending on which engine is chosen. The biggest seller will be the HSE taking around 54% of sales, with a price range of £57,000 to £60,000. The top of the range HSE Luxury is priced from £62,700 to £65,600, sounds a lot of money, but is fully loaded and I mean fully loaded. The one to have, after driving the 2.0- litre diesel is the HSE you get all you need in a car, and will cost you around £57,000, ouch… you might say……but a lot of car for the money…
After the very pleasant on-road drive, we went to Les Comes, a huge area up in the hills North West of Barcelona, where there is around 70km of off-road tracks, of varying degrees of danger and skill. At various points, there was a Land Rover sign, with a number on it. You then had to put that number into an iPad in the car and you got instructions as to which system to select for maximum grip and safety. The hill descent system was brilliant, the car went down some pretty steep hills, and it didn’t move an inch, just crept down with complete confidence. Then we tried another new system, which is best described as cruise control for off-roading, known as all-terrain progress control. You simply set a maximum speed, somewhere between 1 and 19 mph take your foot off the accelerator and it almost drives itself over the very harsh terrain we went over, all you do is steer it, and the Discovery does the rest. Takes a bit of fun out of it, and again those Land Rover traditionalists will be horrified, but why take any risks when the car knows better than you. We did not get chance to take the Discovery through any water, but this new car does have a wading depth of 900mm or 3 feet in old money… so fairly deep.
The interior just oozes quality, so refined, so good, it is more like a very expensive premium saloon, and you feel very special when sat in it.The designers, engineers and suppliers have manged to put more into this luxury vehicle, but at the same time reduced its weight by around 480kg – whatever that is in old-money…!!
This all-new Land Discovery certainly is a brilliant all-rounder, it is really everything you would ever need in a vehicle: 7-seats, smooth 8-speed auto, great on-road, excellent off-road, looks fantastic (except rear number plate!). It has standard air-suspension on all models, so comfortable and sheer luxury in the cabin – what a vehicle and how it’s changed in its 28-year history and for the better.
There is a bit of me that thinks that calling it Discovery doesn’t seem right, as it is just too good for that name…!!
On the road price £43,995.00 to £66,510.00
Petrol: 3.0 Supercharged 340 PS Diesel: 2.0 SD4 240 PS & 3.0 TD6 258 PS
CO2 171 to 254g/km
Combined MPG 30.4 to 48.7
Gearboxes 8 Speed Automatic
New options and features:
Lane departure warning system – Standard on all
Wade Sensing – £260.00 option on HSE & HSE Luxury
Head up Display - £1,035.00 option on SE and above
Advanced tow assist - £365.00 option on SE and above
4 zone climate control - £625.00 option on HSE, standard on HSE Luxury
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