LAND ROVER DIS­COV­ERY

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Driving -

They're call­ing it the best fam­ily SUV in the world. Let's get one thing out of the way from the get-go: the boxy look of its pre­de­ces­sors may have been ditched in favour of more aero­dy­namic and, yes, trendy lines in keep­ing with the Dis­cov­ery Sport model be­low and the Range Rover above, but the un­com­pro­mis­ing off-road abil­ity re­mains. Yet on-road, the new Dis­cov­ery is so re­fined that you be­gin to won­der how the flag­ship Range Rover will top this when it's due for re­place­ment. Ver­sa­til­ity and mod­ern tech are hall­marks of the in­te­rior de­sign. Sig­nif­i­cantly, there's a seven-seat op­tion and, hav­ing shared the third row of seats with a col­league, I can vouch for the set-up be­ing sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able and spa­cious. There's as much as 2 500 litres of lug­gage space, up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charg­ing points, an in-car 3G Wi-fi hotspot for up to eight de­vices and world-first first re­mote In­tel­li­gent Seat Fold tech that you can op­er­ate from your smart­phone. Driv­e­train up­grades in­clude All-ter­rain Progress Con­trol (ATPC), a kind of crawl-speed cruise con­trol – all you need do is steer – that makes it prac­ti­cally un­stop­pable. Trade­mark de­sign fea­tures, like the stepped roofline and sta­dium seat­ing, are still there. And a nifty fold-down pow­ered “in­ner tail­gate” panel that can hold up to 300 kg sub­sti­tutes for the pre­vi­ous split tail­gate. En­gines are six- cylin­der petrol or diesel with 8-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

Price: from R980 000

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