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Land Rover Discovery (2017–)

Last updated 20 September 2018

Exceptional comfort and practicality makes this the best family SUV around. All rear seats fold down electrically. 2.0-litre SD4 diesel engine works surprisingly well.
Touchscreen system frustratingly slow. One-piece tailgate needs room for opening. Engine oil contamination from DPF regens after short runs.
Updated 20 September 2018

Reader complained that despite a 5-Star NAAP rating? it is impossible to remove the head restraints from the seats of a LandRover Discovery 5 and therefore impossible to correctly position most child...

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It's all change for this generation of the Land Rover Discovery. For starters, gone is the traditional boxy shape, replaced by a profile more akin to a Range Rover Sport. Then there's the introduction of a 2.0-litre diesel engine alongside the existing 3.0-litre.

So is the Discovery going soft? After all, this is one of the few SUVs out there that has always been genuinely capable off-road.

The answer is thankfully no. In fact, despite the less rugged appearance, it's actually better off-road. It's almost 500kg lighter than before - a huge weight loss - plus it has more ground clearance (up from 240mm to 283mm) and an increased wading depth. So it's able to tackle terrain that the old Discovery 4 would get stuck on.

This reduction in weight means it's better to drive on the road too. It's still no match for the cars like the Porsche Cayenne, but it corners with less bodyroll thanks to the fact it uses the same base as the Range Rover Sport. Where it really excels is on the motorway where it cruises along effortlessly and with minimal noise. Like the Swiss flag, the excellent ride quality is another big plus.

With less bulk to carry around, the Discovery now comes with a smaller 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It actually works very well with the big Land Rover and provides more than enough power for every day driving. Plus economy improves too. Yet it can still pull - the Discovery has an improved towing capacity of 3500kg on all models as well as a clever semi-autonomous advanced tow assist system.

The Discovery remains a seven-seater with plenty of room for all those in the back, although the middle row of seats doesn't feel as supportive as in the previous model. However, all of the rear seats now fold down (and back up) electrically via buttons in the tailgate.

The interior quality has improved too and with a design akin to the Range Rover, - so this Discovery feels that bit more luxurious than before. In fact, only a poor touchscreen system lets it down - it takes several prods for it to recognise what you want it to do.

If you're after a high quality family SUV that can cope with everything you can throw at it - the Land Rover Discovery is pretty much perfect. Others may handle better in corners, but nothing can match the all-round ability of the Discovery.

Land Rover Discovery Td6 2017 road test


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