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Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE review

The Land Rover Discovery 4 has a new inside, outside and engine. We review it to see if the changes make a difference.

"The Discovery 4 is the best Discovery ever by far."

What is it?
Just like its larger, Range Rover siblings, the Land Rover Discovery has just received a particularly comprehensive facelift, giving it a slightly new exterior, a very new interior and some nice new engines too. In fact, it’s so comprehensively revised that Land Rover is calling it a new generation car, the Discovery 4.

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[Click here to watch our video review]

What’s it like on the outside?

Land Rover sells rather a lot of cars in North America. Feedback for its customers across the pond dictated that the Discovery 4 should feature a more toned-down exterior that give off a higher quality vibe. That’s why the rather monolithic Discovery 3’s face has been given a simplified front bumper, new grille and posher-looking LED-filled headlights this time around. New wheels, rear lights and paint finishes complete the poshed-up look.

What’s it like on the inside?

The Discovery’s interior is much improved, looking more like the one in the new Range Rover Sport than the utilitarian and button-scattered one it replaces. There’s a new heated steering wheel; new, more supportive seats and a dash that’s covered in quality, soft-touch materials. The welcome reduction in buttons is complimented by improved ergonomics, especially on the centre console where the Terrain Response control is easier to see. Cubbyholes are scattered throughout the cabin, and my car had no fewer than seven bottles of water stowed in and around the front seats. The second row of chairs gets new seats too. The Discovery 4 really makes a case for itself as a family load-lugger as the two rear-most seats are still easily big enough for two six-foot-plus people to sit in comfortably.

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What’s it like to drive?

The Discovery 4 benefits from the addition of the 3.0-litre TDV6 engine from the Jaguar XF S. The unit is smooth, quiet and pulls effortlessly – thanks to its 600Nm of torque – despite the Discovery’s 2,583kg weight. The six-speed ZF automatic gearbox is super-smooth too. Land Rover has revised the air suspension and added variable ratio steering, which allows the Disco to corner with a surprising directness and precision. The ride is great too, and the cabin is very quiet at any speed. The brakes deal with the weight well too, but to be honest the Discovery is better to waft about in, rather than drive with too much enthusiasm. If you take it easy, there are few luxury cars than can compete with its levels of refinement.

As you’d expect from a Land Rover, the Discovery 4 is excellent off road too. The Terrain Response system is as simple to use as ever, but features an even more amazing hill descent control and rock crawl mode, making the impassable passable with no bother. You can ford rivers up to 700mm deep with no trouble too. There’s even Land Rover’s new suite of cameras which aim to help you master driving just about anywhere with precision. There are two under the wing mirrors to help you avoid kerbs, two in the front bumper and another at the rear. The system is good, but I’d rather watch where I was going through the windscreen than on a little monitor in the dash.

Verdict

When Land Rover brought out the Discovery 3, it made great strides towards makings its utilitarian family lugger into a premium contender. But now the Discovery 4 has an improved look, a much better interior and a great new engine, the Discovery 4 is all the family car you could ever need. It’s the best Discovery ever.

Car Specs - Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE

Engine:3.0-litre diesel, 245hp
0-62mph:9.6 seconds
Top speed:112mph
Economy/emissions:30.4mpg/244g/km CO2
Price/On sale £47,695/Now

We rate:
Much-improved interior
Torquey diesel engine

We slate:
Not sure about cameras
It's still a big SUV

Rating:

By Tom Phillips

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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