Slick Discovery takes a fresh approach
The Land Rover Discovery has a pretty strong tradition, even though it’s a relatively new phenomenon. Almost 30 years on the market, the first Disco was introduced in 1989 as a slab-sided 4x4 that filled the gap between the original Landy, then just reinvented as Defender, and Range.
Modernised to Series II in 1998, the cool and even more squared-off Tonka Toy-like Discovery 3 came in ‘04 and that was replaced by the rather mute Disco 4, which hung around for a while. Now the fifth generation Discovery is here, and it is once again a pretty cool 4x4, even though it now takes the nameplate in a different direction.
From the rear, it’s still clearly a Disco, but the front end is pretty sleek and contemporary. Land Rover probably found it necessary to stem the tide toward softer rivals like X5 and GLE and has made this one sharper looking but rest assured – it remains a pure Discovery.
This Land Rover is still very much a 4x4 at heart, while those so-called rivals are, as BMW calls its own, Sport Activity Vehicles – pumped up all-wheel drive station wagons that may struggle to cross an Amazon bog or Sahara drift. This thing will churn on through.
The only difference is that this time Discovery is just as cool and sophisticated, technology packed and capable and anything that dare call itself a rival. Never mind that it runs like the wind – check the performance data in the table. But it’s a bit heavy on gas.
And yes, it still seems to be searching for mud on the road – it’s less dynamic on the turnpike or the col than that X5 or Cayenne, but when it finds that mud, nothing this luxurious or trick will come anywhere near… - Michele Lupini
LEGEND TEST: 2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury TD6 First Edition
Engine: 250kW 450Nm 2995cc supercharged petrol V6
Drive: 8-speed automatic 4x4
TESTED (November 2017):
0-60km/h 3.22 sec
0-100km/h: 6.93 sec
0-160km/h 16.51 sec
400m: 14.8 sec @ 153km/h
80-120km/h: 4.49 sec
120-160 sec 7.25 sec
CO2: 263 g/km
LAUNCH PRICE: R1.46M
NEW PRICE: R1.58M