Mo­tor­ing

The new Land Rover Dis­cov­ery HSE SD4 moves to a Disco beat

Qantas - - Contents -

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)

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