10The work invested in improving the driving experience paid off handsomely. Not only was it a great improvement over the D1, it could also more than hold its own against its contemporaries.
The main factor was Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE), which not only controlled body lean for more poise on-road but also smoothed out rough road surfaces for a fatigue-free ride. The improvements made to the steering and suspension gave this middleweight contender an admirable degree of precision. Less satisfactory was the combination of rear air springs and front coils: this gave an unbalanced feel to the handling, not helped by having a lot of weight behind the back axle.
Off-road, the vehicle was less happy. Although the rear could be raised to offset the overhang, the reliance on traction control could leave it floundering in soft conditions – which could have been conquered given a lockable centre differential. Boat owners also struggled with the lack of centre diff lock – the last thing they wanted when launching a boat was to introduce wheelspin to get the Discovery and trailer moving.
The ACE system flattened out curves and gave the Discovery 2 competitive on-road handling aided by the eager power response from both the torquey Td5 and powerful, if thirsty V8. Away from tarmac the D2 made easy work of rocky tracks but, lacking a...