I’ve just completed 1000km in two days in the latest Land Rover Discovery. The lasting impression from my road trip is how much it feels like the full-size Range Rover to drive.
No, that’s not right. Revision: the lasting impression I have from my road trip is how much harder it now is to justify the purchase of a full-size Range Rover, which costs another $50k in TD6 turbo-diesel form.
This should not surprise. The Discovery HSE TD6 is based on similar aluminium architecture to the Range Rover. It has the same engine and shares much of its chassis technology. Land Rover has deliberately moved the Disco upmarket with this model, in search of conquest luxury-SUV sales. Anyway, I just loved the way the Disco surfed along on its 600Nm of torque, that seamless eight-speed transmission and especially the ride and handling.
Indeed, it was the demeanour of the chassis that most reminded me of the big Rangie. Land Rover (the company, not the range of vehicles) has the knack of making SUVs that are deliciously soft on the road, but with little of the fidgety lateral movement that afflicts so many hard-core off-road vehicles on tarmac.