The Land Rover LR4 had been, to us, the best all-rounder family off-roader that was as good on road and it was on off road. It’s hard to find these two qualities in a single vehicle, yes this region the Land Cruiser and the Patrol are king and are equally good in both terrains, but the LR4 was special, it looked friendlier and the air suspension had this uncanny ability to smooth out the roughest of bumps and provide a cloud like cushiness. So does the 5th generation live up to our massive expectations, we find out.
2017 Land Rover Discovery Review
After almost 8 years of the Discovery 4 or as it’s called here in the Middle East as the LR4; Land Rover has decided that it needed to change the Discovery and apply their light weight know how’s and much improved Terrain Response System into the 5th Generation of the Discovery. The new Discovery has shed more than physical weight, almost 450kgs to be precise but it’s also ditched their “LR4” nomenclatures which referred to its specific generation and going for just the Land Rover Discovery. It’s plain and simple and straight to the point. A sort of minimalist naming process that hides the serious pleasures of technical wizardry which this new Discovery is all about.
To understand the new Discovery one should understand its predecessor, namely the LR4. The final LR4 we had tested last year was called the Landmark Edition and it basically summed up the Discovery’s 4th Generation every-day and every-where family vehicle. You had comfort, you had that incredible drivers perspective view and that incomparable Terrain Management System which made the LR4, in stock form, go anywhere in the wilderness and bring you back safely irrespective of your off-roading skills. It’s always hard to replicate the success of the LR4 and more so the cord it struck with its customers. But, Land Rover has not disappointed, nor sir.
The 2017 Discovery is, if I were to sum it up, a smaller version of the Range Rover Vogue. Yes, we feel that the Vogue is probably the ultimate luxury SUV out there and the new Discovery is just a smaller version of that. Basically an entry level when it comes to price points. Our tester was the First Edition and came with everything. All chrome panels were blacked out and we got 22 inch rims. Did that sacrifice ride quality, no not at all. And we were perplexed as to how it could do so, even though our brain was saying low tire profile means more road vibrations. But not in the case of the new Discovery, the rode is as smooth as carving whipped butter. Road ripples almost instantaneously vanishes and road bumps are miraculously flattened out without breaking a sweat.
Like the Range Rover family, the new Land Rover Discovery switches to aluminum construction which shaves off 450kgs from the LR4, though the overall weight is north of 2Tonnes, the Discovery has better road grip and far less body roll than its predecessor, a trait that has been further aided by the increase in its wheelbase by as much as 38mm. The loss of the signature two piece bottled may not be appreciated by the die-hards but the Discovery does provide a simpler automatic folding bottom which mimics the two way folding bootlid of the older models. We loved the idea though the since composite tailgate does need space to open and you need to watch out for obstacles. But the Discovery was meant to be more than an off-road vehicle, it needed to adapt to the family and that means having space. Once the 2nd and 3rd row seats are electronically folded, which can be done in 14 secs, you get a mammoth 2500L of space, which includes the ability to fit anything that is upto 2M in length. This makes trips to your local DIY store and IKEA a breeze. Helping friends shift becomes an event instead of a chore. Does the new Discovery bring friends and families together?
Why did I make such a statement? Well, here you have a smooth and torquey SUV, that can seat 5 adults and maybe two more almost adults in extreme comfort. An SUV that overcompensates ones off-roading abilities and is basically idiot proof. An SUV that adapt to a family by being either a goods transporter or family wagon which is packaged in a new age design stance from Land Rover. I believe they have done it. Land Rover has pulled the impossible. Let’s face it, if you can create an SUV that maintains the character of the LR4 and make is significantly better, then this is a job well done. It’s more than that, the people behind Land Rover deserve a standing ovation. Very rarely do we get to experience a perfect amalgamation of passion, and engineering.
The new Land Rover Discovery is my favorite SUV, apart from the Range Rover Vogue. And I would probably go as far as saying that the new Discovery would be as good as the Vogue, that’s how much I love it and it takes a lot to impress me. That says a lot.
Price and Specs: 2017 Land Rover Discovery Review
|2017 LAND ROVER DISCOVERY|
|Displacement||3.0L V6 Supercharged|
|Gearbox||8 speed Auto with Paddle Shifters|
|Rated Output||325 Hp|
|Rated Torque||450 Nm between 3500 – 5000 rpm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||7.1 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||13.1L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)||249,900 – 345,000 as tested|
|Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):||4970/2073/1846|
Warranty: 5 years / 150,000 kms (whichever comes first).
Pics by Arnab Saha: 2017 Land Rover Discovery Review
Pics by Charn Kamal: 2017 Land Rover Discovery Review