Land Rover has unveiled the all-new, three-row seven-seat Discovery set to go on sale in the US in mid-2017, starting at $49,990, and in the UK, in spring of 2017, priced from £43,495.
The all-new Discovery is meant to deliver comfort, safety and adaptability like no other SUV on the road, which is what Land Rover would have us believe about this fifth-generation model, while even calling it the “best family SUV in the world.”
It’s lightweight aluminum construction saves about 480kg (1,058 lbs) in weight, which in turn means higher efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Still, the new Discovery looks to impress even before you get to take it out on the road.
It’s got a premium interior with seven full-sized adult seats, which you can configure from your smart phone no less, semi-autonomous driving and towing tech, excellent luggage space, nine USB ports, 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices and a best-in-class 3,500kg (7,716 lbs) towing capacity.
In the looks department, the new Discovery manages to reflect the model’s 27 years of heritage thanks to trademark features such as the stepped roof line and profile. It will also obviously remind you of the Discovery Vision Concept unveiled in NY back in 2014. Inside you’ve got a stadium seating configuration (each row of seats positioned higher than the one in front) that can accommodate seven full-sized adults – which is a tremendous achievement in an SUV that measures less than five meters in length (4,970mm/195 in).
Initially, there will be 600 ‘First Edition’ models made available to UK buyers, and 529 to US customers. They will feature unique etched map detailing on the aluminum trim for the doors and fascia, unique badges, bold colors and a comprehensive list of standard equipment. Those who crave even more can go for the optional Dynamic Design Pack, which has a contrast roof, athletic front & rear bumper designs, a fancier leather upholstery and sports-inspired steering wheel and pedals.
The rest of the range comprises of S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury models, with an optional Black Design Pack available on all but the entry-level S variants. Still, the latter do come with air suspension, twin speed transfer box, four-mode Terrain Response, 19″ alloys and two-zone manual climate control. SE models add leather upholstery, sat-nav, automatic climate control and better audio, while HSE trim provides Windsor leather, Meridian-branded audio system, connected sat-nav, fixed panoramic roof, 20″ alloys and LED headlights with front and rear signature lights.
The top of the range HSE Luxury boasts even more Windsor leather, 21″ alloys, electric sunroof and rear seat entertainment as standard, plus a host of advanced convenience and safety features such as Park Assist, Blind Spot Monitor functions, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Limited, Automatic High Beam, Driver Condition Monitor, HD Surround Camera, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist.
“New Discovery’s revolutionary exterior encases a sophisticated, versatile and spacious interior. The central panel is highly refined, intersected by a strong vertical pillar that’s both clean and customer friendly. This is a prominent interior design cue of the Discovery family. The precise finishes and use of premium materials throughout give customers a relaxing experience and allows intuitive use of the advanced technology under the skin,” explained Mark Butler, Creative Director.
Among its new features, we have the world’s first Intelligent Seat Fold mechanism which allows you to reconfigure the second & third-row seats by using either the controls at the rear of the car, the central touchscreen or a smartphone app (part of the InControl Touch Pro Services). The innovation doesn’t stop there though as passengers are further spoiled by the Auto Access Height tech which reduces ride-height by up to 40mm (1.6 in) as they prepare to either enter or exit the vehicle.
The InControl Touch Pro infotainment system comes with a large 10″ touchscreen which LR designers placed high on the center console, allowing them to reduce the number of switches by a third. The system has iOS and Android connectivity, as well as a 14-speaker Meridian digital surround system, a subwoofer, 3G WiFi and those 9 USB sockets that are only available on HSE Luxury models. Still, if it’s cool gizmos you like, the waterproof Activity Key might just be number one on your list since it allows users to enjoy sports or other active hobbies without having to worry about the car’s standard key fob. Simply holding the Activity Key up to the ‘D’ in the Discovery badge on the tailgate will not just lock the vehicle, but also disable the regular key which you can safely leave inside the car.
In terms of storage solutions, it’s safe to say that there are plenty thanks to all the cubbies (the central armrest alone can house five iPad minis) and up to 2,406 liters (84.9 cu.ft) of load capacity – or up to 1,137 liters behind row two. There’s also a Powered Inner Tailgate that enhances the functionality of the horizontally split tailgate.
Since we’re talking practicality, on the road, the 283mm’s (11.1 in) worth of ground clearance puts the new Discovery in the class of its own. The maximum wading depth of 900mm (35.4 in) also allows drivers to tackle both waterlogged tracks as well as flooded roads. Now, speaking of roads, the new Discovery comes equipped with a wide array of Earth-conquering on and off-road technologies, such as: Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, Electronic Traction Control, Roll Stability Control, Wade Sensing, Hitch Assist, Trailer Stability Assist plus an Electrically Deployable Towbar and an industry-first Nose Load Measurement system.
Performance-wise though, US and UK buyers will have slightly different choices when it comes to Land Rover’s latest SUV. In the US, customers will be able to order the new Discovery with either the 340 PS supercharged 3.0-liter petrol V6 carried over from the LR4, or the 254 HP turbocharged diesel V6 with 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque available from as little as 1,750 rpm. In the UK, buyers can also opt for an entry-level 240 PS 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel (Sd4), plus the previously mentioned six-cylinder Td6 diesel as well as the 340 PS V6 petrol (Si6).
In terms of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) times, the Sd4 can do it in 8.3 seconds (0-60 in 8 flat), Td6 in 8.1 (0-60 in 7.7) and the Si6 in 7.1 seconds (0-60 in 6.9). As for fuel consumption, the entry level diesel can average as little as 43.5 UK mpg (36.22 US mpg / 6.5 liters/100km), while the Td6 and the Si6 are good for 39.2 UK mpg (7.2l/100km / 32.6 US mpg) and 26 UK mpg (10.9l/100km / 21.6 US mpg) respectively.
Once they decide on which version they want to purchase, future LR Discovery customers can start thinking about color options, since there are no fewer than 17 available for the brand new SUV. They are: Namib Orange, Silicon Silver, Fuji White, Santorini Black, Corris Grey, Indus Silver, Loire Blue, Aintree Green, Firenze Red, Scotia Grey, Kaikoura Stone, Montalcino Red, Yulong White, Farallon Black, Waitomo Grey, Carpathian Grey and Aruba.
In the UK, prices do indeed start from the previously mentioned £43,495 (gets you the entry-level S version), however £49,495 will land you the SE, £56,995 the HSE, £62,695 the HSE Luxury and £68,295 the First Edition. US buyers will need to wait until Land Rover prices all 2018 Discovery versions though.