The new Range Rover Discovery expectedly smaller and lighter, but more powerful and much more agile, is now out and will aim to reclaim its top spot as the ‘Rangie’ of choice amongst buyers.
Born in 2005, the first-gen Range Rover Discovery was an instant hit and was the company’s top selling model within a year. The Discovery was, and still is, not just smaller, but also priced lower than the full-sized Range Rover. But, the Discovery was also the most profitable model for Land Rover. Since introduction six years ago, the Discovery has sold more than 4.15 lakh units. Check On Road Price of Discovery
It has offered buyers a unique mix of luxury, sporty performance and practicality, and a more affordable entry into the world of Range Rovers. This is a marque that has been aspirational always. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that the British royalty’s latest addition took his first trip home in a Range Rover.
STYLE AND DESIGN ;
The Discovery 5 takes its design cues from the 2014 Discovery Vision Concept. The new Disco moves away from its characteristic rectangular motif and adopts a more stylish and curvy design language set up by the new Evoque. Land Rover’s honeycomb grille is now flanked by sleek and modern LED headlamps. The imposing front bumper retains the skid plates and the necessary air vents.
The flared wheel arches define the characteristic silhouette of the Disco. The decked up roof is now a little less stepped-up compared to the older car. The tailgate is no longer horizontally split and has been replaced with a conventional top hinged tailgate with a slightly raked rear windscreen. The tail lights too are more modern sleek LEDs.
The Discovery features Jaguar Land Rover’s new aluminium infused chassis thus losing at least a couple of quintals in weight. The new chassis-body design opens up more space for the seven occupants in the three-rows the Discovery is known for.
The new Discovery measures 4,970mm in lenght, 2,220mm in width and stand 1,846mm tall, making it 141mm longer but both narrower and lower than before. Its 2,923mm wheelbase has increased by 38mm, thus creating generous cabin space.
SPACE AND CABIN ;
The Discovery has plenty of space for families because on top of seating for up to seven, it has as many as four full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats. There are two full sets in the second row, and if you add a third row, you get two more full sets of LATCH connectors.
With a maximum capacity of nearly 83 cubic feet, the Discovery has a good amount of cargo space. That’s considerably more than the Range Rover Sport offers. It’s a few cubic feet less than the Volvo XC90 provides, but the Discovery has more space with the rear seats up (45 cubic feet) than the XC90 (41.8 cubic feet).
Even with the rear seats in use, the Discovery has enough space to haul outdoor gear for the beach or a camping trip. Fold them down, and you can haul furniture items if need be. The cargo area also offers convenient features like a hands-free power liftgate and a powered inner tailgate that can be used as seating during a tailgate or to hold cargo in place.
The all-new Land Rover Discovery comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the InControl infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. Some notable upgrades include four-zone automatic climate control, premium audio systems, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an upgraded infotainment system with navigation and a 10-inch touch screen.
The touch screen is easily visible and eliminates the need for many physical buttons, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you feel about touch screens in your vehicle. But while there are plenty of premium features in the Discovery, it lacks features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – user-friendly smartphone connectivity technologies that are found in class rivals like the Volvo XC90.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
Powering the Land Rover Discovery 4 in India is the same 3.0-litre, twin-turbo diesel engine which does duty in the Jaguar XF S. However the Discovery 4 is a much heavier vehicle but this motor copes up very well. Producing 245 PS of power (XF produces 275 PS) and most crucially 600 Nm of torque, the Discovery 4 is very drive-able. The best part about this TDV6 powertrain is the ability to offer 500 Nm of torque in 500 milliseconds from idle. That is an 83% of maximum torque available instantly. Performance is very good from SUV standards and the Discovery 4 responds to throttle inputs briskly.
This engine is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox. Shift the gearbox into manual mode and the instrument cluster conveys to you – ‘Command shift activated’. On full steam, the Discovery 4 will sprint to 100 km/hr from standstill in 9.6 seconds. That is very comfortable for a vehicle which weighs almost 2.6 tonnes! Engine is refined and revvs all the way to a shade above 4500 RPM.
Land Rovers are very capable off-road and the Discovery 4 carries the same genes forward, which makes it an extremely capable machine on the road less traveled. With an approach angle of 36.2 degrees, ramp break over angle of 27.3 degrees and departure angle of 29.6 degrees, the Discovery 4 is at home in every situation. The highly sophisticated Terrain Response System (with 5 settings), Hill Descent Control (with Gradient Release Control) and adjustable ride height makes it a cake walk to go off-road. The wading depth of 700 mm makes the Discovery the perfect vehicle for cruising through water logged roads.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The standard air suspension delivers a suitably smooth ride. The Discovery is particularly comfortable at motorway speeds when it wafts over undulations like a jumbo jet running into very mild turbulence, but even broken town surfaces don’t cause any discomfort.
True, the Discovery isn’t quite as serenely comfortable as an Audi Q7 on air suspension, but then again, air is an expensive option on the Audi. As is often the case, avoid really big alloys (21in and larger) if you want your Discovery to ride as smoothly as possible
The Discovery is very much geared towards comfort rather than sporty handling. You can steer the car through corners with confidence at reasonable speeds without feeling as though you’re about to tip over, although it never feels as eager to change direction as a Volvo XC90 and leans more when it does.
The steering is slow, so getting around tight corners requires plenty of arm work. The Discovery isn’t the ideal town car, then, but it is among the best off-roaders in the world. It’ll breeze over terrain that its rivals couldn’t even dream of trying to tackle, thanks to a class-leading ground clearance of 283mm, a wading depth of 900mm (also best in class) and a multitude of clever electronics.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
The 2017 Discovery has not been put through crash tests as of this writing, but several of its classmates receive high marks for safety. The Volvo XC90 earns a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a rating of Good (the highest rating) in all five tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Standard active safety features in the Discovery include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Available features include a surround-view camera, autonomous emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, a speed limiter with traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.
SUVs are turning soft these days and no longer offer go-anywhere capabilities. In these times, Land Rover has successfully managed to give SUV lovers the best of both worlds. The Discovery 4 is luxurious but at the same time practical. It is splendid on the road and off it too, offering very good dynamics. The Land Rover badge further enhances desirability, making the Discovery 4 easily the best full sized SUV in the market today.