Land Rover Discovery

SDV6 HSE Luxury

Land Rover Discovery XXV in Tasmania, front
Land Rover Discovery XXV in Tasmania, head on
Land Rover Discovery XXV, side action
Land Rover Discovery XXV in Tasmania, side
Land Rover Discovery XXV in Tasmania, rear
Land Rover Discovery XXV in Tasmania, interior

WHEN Land Rover use the word Luxury to describe a vehicle they're not joking.

The Discovery HSE Luxury is a sumptuous feast for those who love wood trim, leather seats and electric everything as well as a music system that is state of the art.

Yes, it has a price-tag of almost £60,000 but it's well worth the money as in addition to a raft of goodies - including satellite navigation, cruise control, parking sensors and dual-zone climate control - you get a monster of a motor on and off road.

At its heart beats a 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel engine - the only unit available for the range - which pulls like a train and can achieve 35 miles per gallon when driven with a light right foot. Considering the dimensions and weight of this SUV that's a pretty good return.

You can get to 60mph from a standing start in 8.8 seconds as the slick eight-speed automatic transmission takes the Discovery seamlessly through the gears. There are shift paddles to allow manual control of the gearbox but I defy you to better the car's fancy electronics.

On-road the car is a refined beast although it does lean a bit in corners - no surprise given its size and set up - while the square shape and chunky door mirrors generate some wind noise.

Off-road the car is different gravy thanks to huge ground clearance and a Terrain Response dial that switches the four-wheel drive system to cope with whatever conditions are at hand. With centre and rear diff locks, low-range gears and clever gizmos in the mix it is unlikely you will have the bottle to take the Discovery anywhere it could feasibly get stuck.

Despite these rugged credentials this Land Rover displays a timeless elegance that has helped it to more than a million retail sales and a bundle of awards since it first rolled of the production line in 1989.

The latest generation enhances the simple, distinctive look with gloss black trim on the grille and a black finish for the tail-lights. Badging previously resident on the tailgate is moved to the side of the car, just behind the natty air vents.

The cabin is a classy affair with a panoramic position for driver and passengers offering a great view of the motoring world. The dashboard sports large air vents, lots of leather and wood as well as tactile plastics. The fit and finish are top quality while big rotary dials and chunky buttons are easy to see and use.

The seven-seater's cave-like space swallows occupants and luggage with anaconda-like efficiency while the two-part tailgate's lower section doubles as a handy ledge for that picnic or to sit on when changing footwear.

Space in all three rows of comfortable seats is excellent with two adults able to occupy the rearmost seats for long journeys with no problem.

When more load space is required the second and third rows fold down to leave a flat floor without the need to remove the headrests.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery SDV6 HSE Luxury

Price:£59,965

Mechanical:255bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph:8.8 seconds

Combined MPG:35.3

Insurance Group:42

C02 emissions:213g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty:3yrs/unlimited miles

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