The Land Rovers don’t require an introduction among auto enthusiasts, especially the off-road junkies. Land Rovers can dominate any toughest of the terrains thrown at it. The famous British SUV manufacturer has brought out the fifth generation of their popular Discovery in India.
The Land Rover Discovery was introduced to the auto world way back in 1989 and sold well over 1.2 million since then. This one looks radically different from the signature ‘slab-like’ design of its predecessors. Can the fifth gen ‘Disco’ live up to its expectations?
The most obvious radical change in the new Discovery is its aesthetic design. The sharp edges have disappeared, instead the almost five meters long by two meters wide SUV offers smooth flowing lines and resembles the new Range Rover from most angles.
The trademark and the old world charm of the Discovery of yore is replaced with a more modern and aerodynamic sleek design. The front gets a brushed silver twin-slat grille with the green oval Land Rover logo fixed at the right bottom corner. The large and raised bumpers houses unique vertical air intakes on both sides, a large central air dam, skid plate and DRLs. The wrap around LED lights along with the clamshell bonnet completes the face of the Discovery.
The side profile has also lot sleeker and tighter than its predecessor. One thing you notice immediately from the side is the ride height, it’s an impressive 283mm with a water wading capability of 900mm. The car comes fitted with gorgeous and tough 19-inch alloy wheels. Don’t get worried about seemingly low profile tires, this car is definitely made to take all the rough with aplomb.
Coming to the rear, we just love the off-set positioning of the registration plate. The entire rear bumper is finished in black with silver skid plate at the center. The sharply designed LED tail lamps wrap the car pretty well.
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The interior is unmistakably Land Rover, with acres of space and finished with high-quality stuff all inside the cabin. Compared to the exterior design, the changes inside are not that radical, retaining the trademark Land Rover design.
The chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel with large steering mounted controls and paddle shifters are great to hold. The dashboard can be had in either black or beige plus dark-brown theme. The dashboard gets leather, authentic wood and metal trims, and soft touch elements along with strong horizontal and vertical lines connecting thru the main fascia beam. An 8-inch or 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system (depending on the variant you choose) dominates the central console. However, lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a big turn off. However, audiophiles can opt for the 14-speaker Meridian surround system.
The car gets a lot of clever storage options inside. You get dual glove box opposite to the front seat occupant, unique storage compartment behind the automatic climate console, cup holders and a cubby with an optional chiller unit below the front armrest. This is in addition to the bottle holders (all doors can hold two 2-liter bottles) and other storage provisions on the doors. There is storage under the rear armrest as well.
The massive and wide front seats offer a great view and can cosset human beings of any size and shape in ultimate comfort. The car offers immoderate legroom, shoulder room and headroom for the front occupants. The seats can be electrically adjustable in all directions as per the driver and front passenger’s needs. The middle seat also offers great comfort, however, the seats are placed a little low for our liking. The rear occupants get entertainment screens mounted behind the front seat headrests. The low placement of the seats robs away thigh support as you sit with your knees slightly facing upwards. The backrest can be electrically adjustable. The car gets a massive electric sunroof (tilt/slide front glass) with fixed glass pano (including power blinds) at the extreme rear.
The third row has pretty decent space and offers reasonable comfortable for adults. However, for long drives restrict it for kids or for generating additional space for your luggage. The middle and third-row seats can be completely folded automatically with the help of master switches placed in the boot. Folding the rear and middle seats can generate a maximum of 2500 liter luggage space.
Engine and Performance
The new Discovery is offered in two engine options:
- 3.0 l Td6 Diesel
- 3.0 l Si6 Petrol
First, let’s see how the Diesel performs. The 3.0 liter trades a bit of the feverish acceleration for a warm burble and loads of pulling power at speed. The engine dispenses a max power of 255 hp and a peak torque of 600 Nm between 1750-2250 rpm. This longitudinally mounted V6 ensures you have bucket loads of oomph and torque whenever and wherever required. This torque monster can slowly and silently traverse any rough and highly demanding terrains as well as can just waft at impressive speeds on the highways.
The 3.0 l Si6 petrol motor is a supercharged engine that can dispense a peak power of 335 hp and a turning torque of 450 Nm in the 3500-5000 rpm band. This is the same engine that powers the Jaguar F-Type. This six-cylinder motor offers instant acceleration with a slight dab of the throttle. This large engine can be revved all the way to 6500 rpm and effortlessly catapult the behemoth to 100 kmph in just 7.7 seconds.
Both the engines are mated to an advanced electronically controlled 8-speed Automatic Transmission, which has been tuned by Land Rover engineers to blend silky smooth shifting with an impressively quick response.
Ride and Handling
The new Discovery has shed some serious weight (480 kg) compared to its predecessor. The car uses a modern aluminium monocoque body in place of the steel ladder frame. Also, Land Rover has employed a lightweight but strong suspension architecture. The suspension is primarily constructed from lightweight aluminium components and is fully independent, with wide-spaced double-wishbone design at the front and an advanced multi-link layout at the rear. All this translate to improved agility retaining the toughness and articulations required for dominating demanding terrains.
There are two suspension setups to choose from:
Coil Suspension: Available on the Td6 model.
Electronic Air Suspension: The more advanced electronically controlled air suspension is available as an option on the Td6S model and standard with Td6 SE, HSE, HSE Luxury and Si6 engines.
Both the setups offer great ride comfort and the car just glides over potholes and offers stable ride on even highly undulated tarmacs. The electronic suspension available on the higher trims automatically selects the drive mode depending on the road conditions. The car has an impeccable straight-line stability and minimal body roll considering its unusual ride height, wheelbase and off-road abilities. The car can climb over anything and everything with ease, making it a great tool for off-roading.
The car gets 8-airbags including the curtain airbags with rollover sensing. The car comes with five lower ISOFIX/i-Size mountings on all the three rows for mounting baby seats. There are also extensive driving and parking safety aids available in the new Discovery including Park Assist and Surround Camera System. Adaptive lighting on the Discovery varies the light cast ahead of the vehicle so that the beams follow the curve of the road for a relaxed stress-free night-time driving.
Other safety features include:Lane keep assist and driver condition monitor
Adaptive cruise control with que assist
Rear view camera and park assist
360-degree surround camera system