Review

Land Rover Discovery SUV

Price  £41,600 - £59,970

Land Rover Discovery SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • High-quality cabin
  • Go-anywhere ability
  • Impressive luxury and comfort
Cons
  • Economy not great
  • Motorway wind noise
  • Tricky to drive and park in town

At a glance

The greenest
3.0 SDV6 SE 5dr £41,600
The cheapest
3.0 SDV6 SE 5dr £41,600
The fastest
3.0 SDV6 SE 5dr £41,600
Top of the range
3.0 SDV6 HSE Luxury 5dr £59,970

"The Land Rover Discovery is the brand's most luxurious car yet, but it remains extremely able off-road. The latest diesel engine is very quiet and powerful, too."

The Land Rover Discovery was given a series of tweaks in 2014 that aimed to keep the model fresh before the arrival of an all-new Discovery in 2016. It'll be the second in a trio of new models headed up by the new Land Rover Discovery Sport, which goes on sale in 2015.

Unlike rivals such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes M-Class, underneath the Discovery's plush exterior beats the heart of an extremely tough off-roader. A high ride height and advanced suspension means the Discovery can tackle the kind of steep hills and deep water that would leave its rivals floundering. The Discovery also has clever electronics, such as Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which make it easier for novices to drive off-road.

The Discovery isn't without its faults and the single available engine is a good place to start. This 3.0-litre diesel ticks important boxes – it's powerful and also relatively quiet – but it falls well behind the majority of rivals for fuel economy. That's not helped by the Discovery's hefty 3,000kg weight, although that and the four-wheel-drive system do make it a powerful tow car – all models can pull a trailer, horsebox or caravan weighing up to 3,500kg.

While the Discovery's on-road handling is impressive for a car with its level of off-road ability, it would be left for dead by a Porsche Cayenne on a twisty country road. Treat the Land Rover as a comfortable cruiser, though, and you won't be disappointed. Large tyres and sophisticated suspension mean the Discovery rides as smoothly as a luxury car.

It feels luxurious, too: not that long ago the Discovery's interior would have looked perfectly at home in the classy Range Rover. Climb aboard – easier to do than you'd expect thanks to lowering suspension – and it becomes clear why the Discovery remains a popular choice for well-heeled buyers. There's lots of space, seven seats and a huge boot with a split tailgate that doubles as a seat.

Buyers can choose from SE, SE Tech, HSE and HSE Luxury specifications. All of these come with air suspension, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, alloy wheels, a heated front windscreen, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control and a host of off-road gadgets that give the Discovery its legendary all-terrain ability.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.3 / 5

The Land Rover Discovery has a powerful diesel engine, but it uses a lot of fuel

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

Extremely accomplished off-road, the Land Rover Discovery is also very comfortable on it

Interior & comfort

4.6 / 5

The Land Rover Discovery is a supremely comfortable cruiser

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

Loved by families, the Land Rover Discovery has seven seats, a big boot and excellent towing ability

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

Owners love the Land Rover Discovery, but question marks remain over its reliability

What the others say

4.6 / 5
based on 4 reviews
5 / 5
The materials used in the Discovery suggest that attention to detail has been paramount: it feels classy and solid. However, Land Rover's reliability record has been less than illustrious in recent years, and there are still big question marks over how this Disco will fare in the long term.
4.5 / 5
This Discovery marks a real step forward over the model it replaced. Huge improvements were made to quality and durability and it's packed with off-road technology designed to make it as good off-road as you'd expect of any Land Rover. It remains one of the best 4x4s around. 
4 / 5
A recent facelift has done nothing to disguise the rugged Discovery's Tonka toy proportions. The nose gets new headlamps and grille, while at the rear you’ll find revised tail-lights. As ever, the big Brit looks just as at home in a farmer's field as it does outside a posh hotel. Buyers get the choice of three trim levels – GS, XS and HSE.
5 / 5
The Discovery is brilliant on- and off-road. The classy cabin has space for seven, plus superb versatility and excellent levels of refinement.
What owners say 
4.2660317460317
4.3 /5 based on 315 reviews
81%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
25 Mar 2015
Own this car? Leave your review.