The Land Rover Discovery comes in three trims: SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury. HSE Luxury will be the focus of this article.
The first Land Rover was conceived in 1947. Designers and engineers worked together to make a vehicle that was luxurious in quality but able to travel difficult terrain. Each vehicle is created with the iconic British design cues. Land Rover believes that its vehicle “enables you to make more of your world, to go above and beyond.”
The Discovery is a seven-passenger luxury SUV that has three rows of seating and lets you easily configure the second- and third-row seats using Land Rover’s Intelligent Seat Fold technology. You can configure the seats via the touchscreen in the dashboard or switches located in the cargo space, or even remotely from outside the vehicle using an app on your smartphone.
The maximum cargo space is over 82.7 cubic feet with second- and third-row seats folded and a generous 45 cubic feet of space with the second-row seats in an upright position. To cover the substantial interior volume, the Discovery maintains three-zone climate control for great long-term comfort.
The exterior is a thing of beauty. The body is sleek with wraparound headlights and tail lights, combined with a short front and rear overhang to reduce visual length. The front windshield joins the roof and the hood at hard angles, while the side and rear design are more streamlined yet still strong. The outside is aerodynamic while encasing a generous amount of interior space.
“The body-colored pillar, stepped roof, and asymmetric element on the rear window plate panel all refer to the rich lineage of previous Land Rover model designs.” This quote from the “All-New Discovery First Edition” brochure justly sums up the outside description of the Land Rover.
There are some technologies that deserve mentioning.
The powered inner tailgate is a part of a hands-free system providing a seating and loading platform that can be used as a load-retention barrier when the tailgate is open.
A rear-height adjuster system allows you to use the key fob to lower the rear ride height, positioning you to easily load cumbersome items.
The Terrain Response system offers clearly named driving modes to help optimize the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission response, stability control, and suspension to match the demands of the terrain. An example is the Rock Crawl mode, which works with the transmission engaged into low range. It softens the accelerator response and raises the air suspension to improve ground clearance.
The vehicle’s surround camera system uses four discretely placed cameras to create an overhead view of your vehicle and its immediate surroundings.
With Land Rover’s Advanced Tow Assist feature, taking advantage of Discovery’s impressive towing capacity of up to 8,201 pounds has never been easier. Once properly calibrated with the trailer, when backing up, Advanced Tow Assist shows on the touchscreen the trajectory of the trailer and transfers steering to the Terrain Response control knob. This makes it easy to make fine adjustments while following the color trajectory lines.
The interior is filled with premium materials like leather, authentic wood, and metal trim. The 10-inch infotainment touchscreen connects you to the world by providing a wealth of entertainment features and vital information. Rear-seat entertainment adds two 8-inch screens built into the back of the front headrests.
It includes “Trip Status,” a navigation summary screen that displays a pop-up for the rear occupants showing the time and distance to the destination, while the folks in the front are enjoying items like SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio through the Meridian Sound System. The seating design and an abundance of storage allow for plenty of room for every passenger.
The Discovery is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged six-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 340 horsepower and a robust 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission with electronic steering combines smooth shifting with an exceptionally quick response.
The Land Rover Discovery has an EPA fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway for an 18 mpg combined.
The Discovery may be the safest car in America. Starting with six standard airbags (eight when there are seven passengers), other safety technologies include adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, intelligent emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitor, reverse traffic detection, traffic-sign recognition, and adaptive speed limiter.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $82,694.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at email@example.com