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. ⌧

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