Land Rover Discovery

SDV6 HSE Luxury

Land Rover Discovery 2015, side
Land Rover Discovery 2015, front
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, interior
Land Rover Discovery 2015, front
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, interior
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, wade sensing display
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, rear seats
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, wade sensing display
Land Rover Discovery 4, 2014, rear seats
Land Rover Discovery, 2014, wading
Land Rover Discovery, 2014, wading
Land Rover Discovery 4, action
Land Rover Discovery 4, action

FUNNY how different aspects of a car appeal to different folk.

Take a vehicle like the Land Rover Discovery, adored by my daughter because of its nutmeg lambswool floor mats.

Never mind the hardware to climb a cliff, more modern technology than a space rocket or enough new apps to occupy a teenager 24/7.

Though to be fair she thought the ‘Almond Premier' leather seats were quite agreeable and enjoyed slouching in the lap of luxury while viewing a movie on the seat-back screen.

These days Land Rover has taken to placing its products in pigeon holes - with three distinct categories of Range Rover, Discovery and Defender.

The first two are the principal ones, with design and capability the common thread. But while the Range Rover leans more toward refinement, the Discovery majors on being versatile.

And if there really is such a thing as a car for all seasons, then the Discovery certainly fits the bill.

In effect it is four vehicles in one - luxury estate, MPV, off-roader and load lugger.

But where the big bruiser hits the mark is with the road manners and refinement that make it a joy to use in everyday conditions, even if all seven seats are in use.

It looks sporty and dynamic, is extremely family friendly and appeals as a fashion statement too - something of undeniable importance to the private school run set - yet the core values that have defined Land Rover's reputation have shifted up a gear.

Take the Discovery's dynamics. New suspension components, better traction control, revised steering and larger brakes have transformed the ride and handling to the point that the big 4x4 is super smooth, riding bumps with superb balance and showing great composure on all types of surface.

It's fast and assured, with the sort of agility you wouldn't expect from a vehicle of this size and shape, while sound intrusion is kept to a minimum.

Makes you wonder why buyers of prestige stablemate the Range Rover continue to shell out an extra £30,000 or so when the Discovery is so desirable and capable.

The featured car's 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel engine - the only unit available - is strong, smooth and conservatively driven can return 35 miles per gallon - not bad for a vehicle of this size and scope.

And those who are rural based, or get the chance to use the Discovery's off-road strengths, can enjoy some fantastic features like Terrain Response with its settings for every type of condition from rock crawl to mud and ruts.

Discovery prices are from £40,005 for the 3.0 SDV6 GS model, though the tested HSE Luxury version topped out at £59,965.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery SDV6 HSE Luxury

Price: £59,965

Mechanical: 256bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 35.3

Insurance Group:42

C02 emissions: 213g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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