The new Land Rover Discovery HSE SD4 moves to a Disco beat
From Bondi to Broome, latte froth was sent flying when Land Rover revealed its new fifth-generation Discovery late last year. The boxy off-roader affectionately known as the “Disco” was replaced by a rounder, softer physique.
While the formula hasn’t changed – up to seven seats and geared for adventure – the execution has. There are hints of the Range Rover in the new-found curves but this large 4WD is hundreds of kilograms lighter than its predecessor, thanks to more aluminium in its structure.
Luxury levels, too, are more “Rangie” than Disco, with immaculate attention to detail. The plush leather front seats with trademark adjustable armrests are joined by beautiful trimming on everything from the broad boot to the roof-mounted sunglasses compartment.
Storage is also a strong suit. As well as dual glove boxes, a clever hidey-hole reveals itself behind the tactile ventilation controls. Plus, the SUV accommodates up to seven people with ease. There’s a soothing blend of comfort and control that makes for easy manoeuvring around town and relaxed touring.
Those game to dirty the enormous tyres – wrapped around 20-inch alloy wheels – will experience one of the most capable off-roaders in the business. Proven mechanics and well-tuned electronics tailor the throttle, traction control and suspension to all conditions, including snow, mud, sand and rocks.
There’s a choice of three turbo-diesel engines. Our pick? The gutsiest of the 2.0-litre four-cylinders, which supplies most of the power of the V6 (177kW versus 190kW) in a more efficient package.
None of it comes cheap. From the basic cloth-trimmed S model at $65,960, the price quickly heads north once you opt for a more powerful engine and some of the dozens of available options – everything from heated windscreen washer jets to a punchy 14-speaker Meridian sound system.
The Disco takes connectivity to a new level. With the Remote Intelligent Seat Fold system, you can adjust the second and third rows from a smartphone. And there are up to nine USB inputs, a feature guaranteed to keep the screenager generation happy.
It’s this mix of practicality, comfort, ability and style that elegantly traverses the chasm between the café set and the adventurers. But if you do want to head off-road, know that the Disco has your back.
ENGINE 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel TRANSMISSION Eight-speed automatic POWER/TORQUE 177kW/500Nm 0-100KM/H 8.3 seconds FUEL CONSUMPTION (AV.) 6.4L/100km (five seats), 6.5L/100km (seven seats) PRICE $93,550 (five seats), $96,950 (seven seats)