Land Rover Uncovers A New Discovery
First things first: it’s not called Discovery 5. It is, however, the fifth generation of Land Rover’s iconic SUV, and it has been launched in South Africa. On a drive from Pretoria to the Marakele National Park outside Thabazimbi, the new Discovery was given plenty of opportunity to show off its wide-ranging capabilities on tar, dirt and through a short, challenging 4×4 course.
Discovery is now more refined and technologically advanced, and that’s obvious even when you’re standing next to it. Larger than the previous generation, its size is offset by slimmed down elements like the grille and headlights (which are LED, as standard). The rear is perhaps less flattering, with a more generic taillight design and a bulkiness from certain angles. The off-centre number plate is also sure to upset anyone with even the slightest case of OCD.
One of Land Rover’s biggest talking points around new Discovery is its massive weight loss: almost half a ton has been trimmed off the kerb mass, thanks to the use of lightweight materials. That translates into better efficiency and, in our V6 diesel test car, a consistently strong power delivery. The 8-speed auto gearbox is smooth and rapid enough to almost negate the need for the steering wheel shift paddles. While it may have a reputation for being an exceptional off-roader, new Discovery also delivers impressive levels of refinement, in terms of cabin noise and handling on the open road.
Its dirt tackling talent remains, though. Standard on the new model is Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system, which incorporates a batch of sensors to assess driving conditions and setup the car accordingly. Also standard, and available in a Discovery for the first time, is the All Terrain Progress Control programme: when selected, the only input required from the driver is steering. Up to a limited speed, acceleration and braking is handled by the car on its own – extremely useful for situations where delicate throttle input is required, like soft sand or tricky inclines.
Interior improvements to the Discovery are focused on practicality and technology. While it is still a very comfortable and well-executed setup, Land Rover have also now included more storage and convenience, including the ability to adjust the second and third row of seats using a smartphone app. The app also includes further connectivity, including the ability to set the climate control temperature and condition the cabin remotely.
The Land Rover Discovery Range is offered with a choice of V6 motors: a 190kW / 600Nm turbo diesel or a 250kW / 450Nm supercharged petrol, both with an 8-speed ZF gearbox as standard.
|3.0 TDV6 S||R980,000||3.0 V6 SUPERCHARGED S||R1,018,500|
|3.0 TDV6 SE||R1,109,250||3.0 V6 SUPERCHARGED SE||R1,126,750|
|3.0 TDV6 HSE||R1,223,000||3.0 V6 SUPERCHARGED HSE||R1,240,500|
|3.0 TDV6 HSE LUXURY||R1,314,000||3.0 V6 SUPERCHARGED HSE LUXURY||R1,331,500|
|3.0 TDV6 FIRST EDITION||R1,440,000||3.0 V6 SUPERCHARGED FIRST EDITION||R1,457,500|
RPM TV will have a full review of the new Land Rover Discovery soon.