Land Rover Discovery SUV

Price  £41,600 - £59,970

Land Rover Discovery SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Luxurious and comfortable
  • Impressive interior quality
  • Genuine off-road ability
  • Noisy at high speeds
  • Very high running costs
  • Size makes it tricky to drive in town

At a glance

The greenest
3.0 SDV6 Graphite 5dr £47,495
The cheapest
3.0 SDV6 Graphite 5dr £47,495
The fastest
3.0 SDV6 Graphite 5dr £47,495
Top of the range
3.0 SDV6 Landmark 5dr £55,995

“As an all-rounder, the Land Rover Discovery beats its rivals hands-down. It’s comfortable on road and seriously impressive off it. If you need this versatility, then the Discovery’s for you.”

The Land Rover Discovery is an automotive icon. Some rivals are more luxurious, or have sportier handling, but none of them are as accomplished in as many ways as the Discovery. It can tow up to 3,500kg, do some very serious off-roading and be a comfortable and refined motorway cruiser for up to seven people.

Granted, the Porsche Cayenne is a sportier drive and the Volvo XC90 has a plusher interior, but neither of these can match the Discovery in the rough stuff, or when it comes to towing capacity.

Its 3.0-litre V6 diesel is a fantastic engine, too – smooth, powerful and perfect for both on and off-road motoring. The 0-62mph sprint is completed in 9.3 seconds, which is impressive for a car of this size and weight.

The Discovery comes pretty well equipped, too, with even the entry-level SE version impressing with its array of equipment. Air suspension, 19-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, cruise control and a premium stereo are all standard, while the other trims – SE Tech, HSE, HSE Luxury, Landmark and Graphite – are even better equipped. 

To go with this impressive equipment, the cabin is very spacious and luxurious, with loads of space for five. The sixth and seventh seats are only really suitable for children, though. With those seats in place, the boot is impressively large, but folding them away opens up a positively enormous load bay. It's easy to access, too, thanks to a split tailgate and low loading lip.

The Discovery also rides comfortably despite its off-road bias and while it’ll never challenge its German rivals the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 for handling prowess, it’ll be more than adequate for most people.

Efficiency is not great, however, especially because of the Discovery's 2,500kg+ kerb weight, four-wheel-drive system and automatic gearbox. It's quite expensive to buy, as well. The only engine available – that 3.0-litre V6 diesel only manages 36.7mpg and its CO2 emissions of 203g/km means you’ll have to pay £290 a year in road tax.

Land Rover doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but the Discovery is one of the better models in the current crop, scoring respectably in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. When it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2006, the Discovery was only awarded four stars out of five. Much has changed since then, however, including the addition of more up-to-date safety systems

As a versatile and capable family car, though, the Discovery is very impressive. If you regularly need to carry seven people, tow a caravan or trailer and do some off-roading, then it's hard not to recommend. It’ll be expensive to both buy and run, but it's not so far off its rivals in this regard. And with a new Discovery coming in 2016, you should be able to secure a good price on this model from your Land Rover dealer.

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

4.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
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."
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."
What owners say 
4.3 /5 based on 315 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
19 Aug 2015
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