Land Rover Discovery SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2
The Discovery is far from the most economical option, with no plug-in hybrid model and high CO2 emissions
When a car is first released, manufacturers tend to highlight any significant weight loss over the outgoing model, with a circa-100kg reduction usually being deemed noteworthy. That puts the latest Land Rover Discovery’s diet into context, as it’s 450kg lighter than the car it replaced. Economy is the net beneficiary here, as the less mass an engine has to shift, the less fuel it uses.
Most versions of the Discovery were fitted with mild-hybrid technology during a facelift in early 2021. It helps cut running costs by harvesting energy in a small battery as the Discovery slows down and using it to power the car's systems and give the engine a small boost under acceleration.
However, while the mild-hybrid assistance does come at a small benefit to efficiency, in the face of more sophisticated plug-in rivals the Discovery still feels something of a dinosaur. For instance, rivals such as the Volvo XC90 Recharge can travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone. Land Rover has explored the possibility of a PHEV Discovery, but claimed that it would have to ditch the third-row seats to accommodate a hybrid battery and motor.
Land Rover Discovery MPG & CO2
The previous Land Rover Discovery was built using a ‘ladder frame’ construction, so its bodywork was essentially bolted onto the car underneath. The latest Discovery, on the other hand, comprises a modern aluminium monocoque, meaning the bodywork is structural. You don’t need to know this as an owner, but it goes some way to explaining how the latest Discovery manages to be 15% more fuel-efficient than the last one – although it’s still not quite as frugal as the BMW X5, Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90.
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Under the more real-world WLTP ratings, the 3.0-litre D250 diesel’s fuel consumption is officially pegged at up to 33.9mpg, exactly the same figure as the D300 diesel, despite its extra power. Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre P300 and larger P360 petrol engines can only manage just over 25mpg. These figures are quite impressive for a car of this size, but it's a shame that CO2 emissions starting at a high 220g/km mean every Discovery occupies the highest Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax banding for business users.
Because the range starts at over £40,000, all Discoveries incur a VED (tax) surcharge in years two to six. After that period is up (at which point the car could well be with its second owner), road tax drops to the standard rate.
The Discovery is classified in insurance groups 33-44 out of 50, so premiums will be reasonably pricey – though in fairness, the least powerful BMW X5 and Audi Q7 attract higher rankings. If you’re really after a Discovery, you could use any savings you’ll net from insurance premiums to offset the company-car tax bills.
The three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty Land Rover provides with the Discovery is reasonable, if unexceptional. It certainly falls short of the seven-year warranty provided as standard with the seven-seat Kia Sorento, or the Toyota Highlander's cover, which can last up to 10 years so long as it's serviced by Toyota.
It’s worth noting the Discovery’s diesel engines use a fluid called AdBlue to help keep emissions down. High-mileage users may find they need to top up with AdBlue between services; Land Rover will do this for around £30. A service plan may also be worth investigating, something which your dealer can arrange based on your circumstances.