Discovery 5 has become a posh SUV that will be seen in more hotel porches than off-road jamborees
Engine Transmission Power Torque Weight 0-100kmph Top speed Price It is among the most spacious third rows in the business and it does not come at the expense of a full-sized spare wheel that’s mounted under the boot floor. That’s another example of authenticity. When you go criss-crossing continents you will have a flat and run-flats or space savers just won’t do.
Optional (at just `30,000) is the seat fold system that allows you to electrically fold both the second and third row of seats (flat into the floor) via the infotainment screen, a smart phone app or switches inside the tailgate and on the C-pillar. Also optional (at `22,000) is the activity key, basically a Fitbit kind of wristband that is your waterproof key so you can leave the actual key, valuables everything locked inside the Disco and go swimming, kayaking or whatever it is you do that could possibly damage the regular key. Intelligent stuff like this abounds on the Disco – there are secret cubby holes behind the air-con controls and under the cup holders that slide out of the way; the two-piece tailgate has a shelf that opens down to deliver a bench with enough load capacity for three adults to sit on it; there are six 12-volt sockets and seven USB ports; cooled front seats are an option; and the 825watt Meridian sound system sounds fantastic. But why no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on something that costs over a crore of rupees fully taxed and insured?
Which brings us back to the petrol engine. You see Land Rover has always battled this perception of being very, very expensive but with recent price revisions to the Evoque and Discovery Sport it is bang in the ballpark, in fact the Disco Sport is actually the most affordable 5+2 seater in the segment. And they’ve done the same with the Discovery 5, the petrol engine allowing a (much) lower starting price of `71.3 lakh for the S variant. The HSE we’ve tested is `77.86 lakh ex-showroom which is just `3 lakh more than the Q7 petrol that, remember, has a smaller 4-cyl motor and doesn’t get all the (mighty) off-road kit. Our test Disco is a bit pricey though with options like the seven seat package (`1.10 lakh), cooled front seats (`1.1 lakh), Windsor seats (`1.1 lakh), rear seat entertainment package (`1.5 lakh), electronic active rear differential (`73,000) and more, pushing the price to `90.1 lakh. Even the Namib orange paint (for the Namibian desert?) is `1.2 lakh! As for the diesel, spec-to-spec it is 15 to 19 lakh pricier than the V6 petrol (Q7 petrol to diesel is just `4 lakh) and that does make it rather too expensive to bolt on a winch, pile tents on the roof and put it on a boat to Africa.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the Discovery 5 has become a posh SUV that will be seen in more hotel porches than offroad jamborees. But one thing is for sure, if ever you succumb to the wiles of the yellow spray paint cans, know that at heart the Discovery 5 remains true to its roots; it is still an honest, authentic 4x4 with capabilities far in excess of most owner’s abilities. ⌧