What is it? Originally conceived as a more luxurious Land Rover Defender, the last two incarnations have made the Land Rover Discovery more than a match for the Range Rover in terms of luxury and styling. The Discovery 4, launched in 2009, has been facelifted for 2014.
Who is it aimed at? Perfect for those wanting luxury chic in their 4×4. It’ll get you to the school gates in style and through flood waters and more with ease.
Styling? Outside there are new LED headlights, a new front grille and bumper and – for the first time ever – the name ‘Discovery’ replaces ‘Land Rover’ on the bonnet.
Under the Bonnet? Powering our test car was a 3.0-litre 211ps V6 diesel engine with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox producing a top speed of 180km/h and it goes from 0-100km/h in 10.7 seconds.
What about inside? Inside there is plenty of soft leather and classy metal finishes. It is also incredibly spacious and the high roofline allows good headroom throughout, while the generous legroom means adults can sit comfortably in all seats.
On the Road? On the road it is also considerably quieter and much more refined than before; the extra power and torque means that performance is delivered smoothly and the Discovery moves briskly despite its size. Venture off road and it does exactly what Land Rover is famed for; all ably assisted by the terrain response system. We tested the grip on steep inclines and the Discovery tackled them with ease and stormed equally well through slushy mud. (See the video below to see a short snippet of off roading in Mondello Park)
And Safety? The Discovery comes with a comprehensive list of standard safety features and a whole raft of new ones including Wade Sensing (A technology unique to Land Rover) and Blind Spot Monitoring.
Economy? The official figures on our 3 litre test car is a combined fuel consumption of 7.8 litres per 100km (36.2mpg) and CO2 emissions of 207g/km. As off roading uses considerable more fuel than regular driving it was impossible for us to accurately gauge how true to life this figure is.
Verdict? Rugged off road the Land Rover Discovery is also deliciously luxurious on road. Buyers are attracted by its practicality and refinement, it is still worth remembering that the Discovery 4 may be built for comfort, but it is still built for adventure.
Thanks to Mondello Park for allowing us the use of their off-road course and to Ken for his expert instruction.
Why you’ll buy one? Interior comfort; off road ability; luxury
Why you won’t? Expensive running costs; the Discovery Sport is on the way
Jeep Grand Cherokee – priced from €69,000
Mercedes-Benz M-Class – priced from €71,530
Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)
2014 Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE
Engine: 2,993cc, 210bhp 155KW @ 4000rpm, 520Nm @ 2,000rpm
Max speed: seconds
0-100 kph: kph
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 207g/km (€1,200)
Model price: €87 685
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 4 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 7.8 litres/100km (36.2mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 172 litres (2,558)
Car Seats: 3 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2885 mm
A version of this article, by the author, appeared previously in the Sunday Independent
15th October, 2014