Land Rover Discovery (2017) Review

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Land Rover Discovery (2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you're after a high quality family SUV that can cope with everything you can throw at it - the Land Rover Discovery is perfect.

+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.

New prices start from £43,495, brokers can source from £48,429
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

The Land Rover Discovery is an incredible piece of design. It’s cabin is big enough and clever enough to transport seven adults, and it’s incredible off-roading ability means it could probably transport them up the north face of The Eiger if it needed to. A classy interior and a squishy ride also mean the journey would probably be very comfortable indeed. Granted, the very best of the Discovery’s rivals - the Audi Q7, for instance - are even better on quality and more polished on the road, meaning they’ll probably suit more family car buyers. If you need your seven-seater to be an off-roader rather than an SUV, though, the Discovery is simply untouchable.

Looking for a Land Rover Discovery (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

This generation of the Land Rover Discovery  - the Discovery 5 as it’s known - was met with a mixed reaction when it was launched in 2017. Its predecessors all had boxy, no-nonsense styling to make them look rugged, and when folk saw this one, with all its curves and bulges, many worried that the Discovery had gone soft.

Thankfully, it hadn’t.In fact, despite the less rugged appearance, it's actually better off-road. It's around 500kg lighter than before, plus it has more ground clearance (up from 240mm to 283mm) and an increased wading depth. Chuck in an even more sophisticated version of Land Rover’s off-roading system, and it's able to tackle terrain that the old Discovery 4 would get stuck on. 

This huge weight reduction means it's better to drive on the road, too. Granted, it still can’t match its very best rivals on either ride or handling, but it still has the ability to waft you along comfortably - particularly on the motorway - and it feels secure enough in bends.

New for this generation of Discovery was a smaller 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. It actually works pretty well given the sheer size of the Land Rover, and provides more than enough oomph for everyday driving. Plus, fuel economy and CO2 emissions also improve. What’s more, 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 has seven seats, each one of which is surrounded by plenty of space. Indeed, it’s third row is the roomiest in the class. What’s more, in high-end versions, all of the rear seats now fold down (and back up again) electrically via buttons in the tailgate.

The interior quality has improved, too - with a design reminiscent to that of a Range Rover - so this Discovery feels that bit more luxurious than before, if not as luxurious as rivals like the Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90. In fact, only a sluggish touchscreen system lets it down; it often takes several prods for it to recognise what you want it to do.

Ask Honest John

Will the Land Rover Defender be offered as a hybrid in future?
"Do you know if Land Rover are planning hybrid versions of the Defender or Discovery?"
Yes, there's a plug-in hybrid Defender due in 2021. It's likely to be badged the P400e and will probably use the same 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor combination as the Range Rover PHEV. The Discovery is due to be facelifted next year and it's likely that will be offered with the same plug-in hybrid setup, too. If you'd rather not charge your car, both are expected to be offered with mild-hybrid setups, although Land Rover isn't likely to go down the conventional 'self-charging' hybrid route.
Answered by Andrew Brady
We bought a used car which is now off the road indefinitely with a fault - should we be offered a replacement?
"We purchased a 2017 Land Rover Discovery with 47,000 miles in April this year form a Land Rover dealer. The purchase price was £40,000. The car developped a fault whereby it would stall in reverse gear and also in drive mode. The car has been in the garage three times for analysis and repair however the problem persists. We picked the car up again 12 days ago. The turbo and crank shaft have been replaced and we were advised that extensive testing had taken place. The minute we put the car in reverse gear, the issue occurred again. The car is currently in the garage. Nothing seems to be happening and the garage seem to be at a loss. The car has now spent more time in the garage that in our possession. The car is under warranty. We are willing to take on another Land Rover of a similar age and put this down to bad luck. Having never encounterd such a situation before, though, I am not sure what my rights are. Would it be reasonable to expect Land Rover to replace our current car with a like for like?"
These are your rights, though enforcing them in the County Court is not fort the faint-hearted and could set you back £20,000 in legal and court fees alone. So best to know your legal rights and to seek a reasonable solution with the dealer principal of the dealership concerned, remembering that an issue like this is as much a nightmare for him as it is for you:
Answered by Honest John
Should I avoid buying a diesel Land Rover Discovery?
"I am about to order a new Land Rover Discovery. Should I be worried about the possible bans on diesels in certain cities? Would that concern warrant going for the 3.0 petrol instead? Oddly, I read that the petrol version was expected to sell in very small numbers. Will that lack of popularity lead to poor residual value?"
Go for the 3.0 V6 petrol. That's because the forward planning is still diesel orientated. In 5 years time when diesel emissions systems are costing fortunes to maintain and diesels are being banned from city centres, those few Discoverys with 3.0 V6 petrol engines are going to be highly sought after.
Answered by Honest John
Which hybrid SUV is best?
"I live in the Dartmoor National Park and need a sturdy, reliable and capable vehicle that will cope with the local steep and untreated winter roads. For the past 12 years I have used the Land Rover Discovery replacing it every three years to maintain the standard warranty and to benefit from improving technology. I drive 10,000 miles a year, a mixture of local, national and occasional longer foreign trips and welcome the all round effortless capacity and capability of the current D4. I am due to replace it in March 2017. I know the 'New Discovery' has been recently announced but have been wondering whether to consider instead a hybrid vehicle such as the Volvo XC90 T8 or the Audi Q7 e-Tron; or perhaps I should wait for a possible hybrid Discovery. What would you recommend as the replacement?"
The Volvo XC90 T8 is a highly complex car, to the extent that not all of its electrical/electronic systems necessarily work at the same time. The Audi Q7 e-tron is complicated too, but on test worked better. You might also consider a BMW X5 plug-in hybrid (not tested) and, of course, a Lexus RX450h:
Answered by Honest John

What does a Land Rover Discovery (2017) cost?

Buy new from £48,429 (list price from £53,090)