Road Test: Land Rover Discovery (2017)

By Rob Gill Published

4x4 | Land Rover | Discovery


THERE'S tough - and then there's Land Rover tough.

As in, drag-a-boat-up-a-Scottish mountain tough.

As in, swim-in-a-swamp-90cm deep tough.

As in, glide-over-rocks-and-dunes while-humming-like-Winnie-the-Pooh tough.

Sadly, most will never do any of those things. Not even close.

But the point is they could.


Think of a Land Rover like a Rolex Submariner. You'll never use one 300 metres below sea level — but it is reassuring to know that you could. That it is capable. That it has pedigree. An edge over everything else.

Well, Discovery 5 has built on the "go anywhere" DNA of its forefathers and added more curves, glamour, comfort and clever tech for the modern family.

Is it now the world's best family SUV? I think so.

It has seven full-size seats, five ISOFIX mounts, wifi for eight devices, nine USB ports and four 12v ports.

Not that you'd ever use them all, mind. But it's nice to know that you could ...


So here we are in Utah, 200 miles north of the Grand Canyon and A LOT of miles west of the Disco factory in Solihull.

This is what Land Rovers are built for: Adventure. On road. Off-road. Rock crawls. Desert dunes. Pah. No problemos.

And when you arrive at your destination, having a cheeky massage along the way, you'll be as relaxed as stepping from a hot bath. What is clear is that Disco 5 has been on a diet. It is 480kg lighter than Disco 4, the equivalent of five baby elephants. And less weight improves everything.

It feels composed, refined and even the not-so-basic basic Disco at £43,495 has air suspension. It also has the cleaner, greener 2-litre diesel turbo promising up to 43mpg (rubbish economy was a failing of the old car). Inside, the 10in touchscreen reduces the rash of buttons by a third and the driver is spoiled with head-up display, adaptive cruise control (it slows when the car in front slows), intelligent speed limiter (to save your licence), hands-free parking, auto emergency braking and tow assist (it takes care of the tricky counter steering). Disco tows up to 3.5 tonnes.

And did I mention the electric retractable tow bar? The electric fold-down seats in the back? They can be heated too. The electric fold-out table in the boot? The old split tailgate has been replaced by one larger tailgate. The waterproof wristband that replaces the key? The intelligent ETA function that tells friends when you're running late? Not that you'd ever use them all, mind. But it's nice to know that you could ...

VERDICT: Brilliant. It's our Swiss Army knife.


Price: £43,495 (finance from £433 a month)

Engine: 2-litre diesel

Economy: 43mpg

0-62mph: 8.3 secs

Top speed: 121mph

CO2: 171g/km

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