Land Rover Discovery

HSE Luxury

Land Rover Discovery Landmark, front
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, side
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, rear
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, interior
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, front seats
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, middle seats
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, boot, five seats
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, boot, maximum
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, boot, minimum
Land Rover Discovery Landmark, back seats

THERE might be a new Land Rover Discovery set to go on sale next spring - but the existing model is still attracting a steady flow of enthusiastic buyers.

And 27 years after the original was launched it's hardly surprising as the current, fourth generation Discovery has proved it's unstoppable no matter what the terrain.

Despite its off-road credentials, however, most buyers are not into driving over huge boulders or through axle-deep mud.

They want to own a Discovery for more everyday reasons, like the exceptional vision over surrounding traffic that its ride height provides, the outstanding interior space that this huge seven-seater offers, the luxury interior and the confidence that when it does snow you are not going to get stuck if you drive a Discovery.

If you opt for the HSE Luxury model, tested here, there are also the creature comforts galore that you get.

As the model has evolved it has gained more and more features making it both technically more capable and its cabin more luxurious.

Step inside, for example and you are met with not one but three glass sunroofs, one over each row of travellers.

Then there are the high quality leather, armchair-like seats which are electrically multi-adjustable for driver and front seat passenger.

And while obviously the front seats are heated, perhaps surprisingly so are those in the second row.

But when it comes to luxury there is nothing to beat the auxiliary heating system (fitted as a £320 optional extra), especially when the thermometer drops below zero over night..

With this little beauty you can pre-programme the system to ensure that when you leave home your car is just as warm as the house you have just left.

It also means that scraping ice of windows is a thing of the past as the heater, which operates from the diesel in the fuel tank, clears everything. And if you happen to forget to use it at least this model has a heated windscreen.

On the road the big V6 diesel under the bonnet positively purrs. Weight alone means it's not the fastest vehicle on take off but mid-range power is impressive, smooth and instant.

As you press the start button the rotary gear shift rises up and you simply turn it to drive or reverse to move off.

Paddles behind the steering wheel mean you can use the eight-speed automatic gearbox manually if you want to although I found the system is so smooth and seamless there was rarely any need.

Just in front of the gear shift are the push button off-road settings allowing you to simply select the terrain you are about to encounter.

If you need to carry large loads the Discovery, a regular winner in the Camping and Caravanning Club Tow Car Awards, is ideal with a whopping 2,406 litres available with the second and third row seats folded down.

The third row folds completely into the floor so you can carry five passengers in comfort and still have plenty of space for all their luggage.

Despite its size the Discovery is very agile thanks to its impressive turning circle and pin sharp steering. And reversing is made easy by a colour reversing camera which also offers a kerbside view for easy parking.

FAST FACTS

Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury

Price: £59,970

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

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 8.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 35.3

Insurance Group: 40

C02 emissions: 213g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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