LAND ROVER

DIS­COV­ERY 4 SDV6 SE

The Advertiser - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

The Disco starts to look dowdy here against a more con­tem­po­rary up­start. Stan­dard fare ranges from an 11-speaker Merid­ian au­dio to leather seats, air sus­pen­sion, auto xenon head­lamps, seven seats and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity. Blue­tooth au­dio stream­ing — taken for granted in main­stream mod­els — adds $850, adap­tive cruise con­trol is $2300 and sat­nav adds $3240. War­ranty is three years/100,000km and ser­vice in­ter­val 12 months/26,000km. Capped-price ser­vic­ing isn’t on the agenda.

DE­SIGN

The boxy cabin has a ter­rific abil­ity to in­gest bod­ies or bags. The Pope­mo­bile looks en­sure good out­ward vi­sion in traf­fic. Rear sen­sors and a cam­era take care of re­vers­ing. Erect­ing and stow­ing the third row seats isn’t as flip-friendly as in some ri­vals.

TECH­NOL­OGY

A 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel, good for 183kW/600Nm, is plugged in to an eight-speed auto and a dual-speed trans­fer case. Fuel econ­omy is 8.8L/100km. It has five-mode Ter­rain Re­sponse soft­ware to adapt en­gine, brak­ing, air sus­pen­sion and trans­mis­sion to the sur­face. There’s an elec­tronic cen­tre diff lock but an ac­tive rear diff is a $1060 op­tion.

SAFETY

ANCAP and EuroNCAP haven’t tested a Dis­cov­ery 4, so there’s no data to dis­close. The Disco 3 earned four stars in 2006. Depend­ing on your point of view that’s good news — this model rides on the same chas­sis — or slightly dis­con­cert­ing, given that crash-test stan­dards have come a long way in nine years.

DRIV­ING

The drive is im­pres­sive for what should be a lum­ber­ing SUV, es­pe­cially the lack of body roll and its com­po­sure over large hits like speed bumps. It helps make the Land Rover a com­fort­able city bus with de­cent steer­ing and a re­spon­sive en­gine. In the bush the Disco is more im­pres­sive than most own­ers will ever need it to be and it backs that up with 3.5-tonne tow­ing ca­pac­ity.

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