The wraps are finally off the all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery and the question on everyone’s lips is “will it stack up?”.
When it comes to off-road capable 4X4 SUVs, Land Rover has traditionally blazed the trail that other manufacturers follow. Each successive Discovery has pushed the boundaries of both technology and innovation, to offer best in class, on and off-road performance and made it available to the ‘well-to-do’ rather than just the rich.
The all-new Discovery marks a return to Land Rover power, with the Ford V6 diesels that powered the D3 and 4 being replaced with Land Rover’s own, technologically advanced, Ingenium modular diesel engines.
Land Rover has revisited every aspect of the Discovery, but kept one or two of its trademark features, including stadium seating and the instantly recognisable stepped roof.
Let’s take a look at what the all-new 2017 Land Rover Discovery has to offer.
All new design inside and out
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer said: “The Discovery Vision Concept set the tone, alluding to a radical departure in design for the new Discovery family. Now, we have turned that concept into a production reality, this beautifully proportioned vehicle is a highly versatile family SUV that makes a compelling statement to our customers.”
The new Discovery, while clearly all-new in its styling, is still unmistakably a Discovery, thanks in part to the distinctive stepped roofline that has been a feature of the previous four generations of Discovery.
Gone is the box-like ‘bread van’ look of the Disco 3 and 4, replaced by a more curvaceous and streamlined design. As you’d hope, it’s the most aerodynamic Discovery ever and boasts a 0.33 drag coefficient.
A choice of panoramic roof options includes a fixed design that provides two separate sections and the largest ever glass area for a Land Rover roof, while an opening system provides a tilt-and-slide front section. Twin electric sunblinds provide shade and privacy.
The new Discovery’s seven-seat interior is said to offer improved space and versatility.
Mark Butler, Creative Director Interior, said: “New Discovery’s revolutionary exterior encases a sophisticated, versatile and spacious interior. The central panel is highly refined, intersected by a strong vertical pillar that’s both clean and customer friendly. This is a prominent interior design cue of the Discovery family. The precise finishes and use of premium materials throughout give customers a relaxing experience and allows intuitive use of the advanced technology under the skin.”
The new Discovery measures 4,970mm long, 2,220mm wide (mirrors out) and 1,846mm tall, making it 141mm longer but both narrower and lower than before.
Its 2,923mm wheelbase has increased by 38mm, which combined with a less intrusive rear suspension arrangement, allows the second-row seats to slide forwards and backwards by 160mm.
Discovery’s trademark stadium seating remains a feature and even the rearmost seats have been designed to accommodate 95th percentile adults (males 1.90m tall).
Heated seats are available in the front, middle and, even the third row, while a total of four ISOFIX mounting points make it possible to fit child seats in both the second and third rows.
One of the highlights of the new Discovery’s interior is its Intelligent Seat Fold function. This system allows owners to reconfigure the second and third row seats using switches inside the tailgate, the C-pillar, the infotainment touchscreen or even remotely using a smartphone.
Land Rover claims that its designers and engineers have used every spare millimetre of space to provide additional stowage throughout the interior. It’s referred to as “an addiction to storage” and includes more commodious and more numerous storage spaces within the cabin, that can hold anything from your loose change to ipads, 2-litre water bottles or even an optional freezer/chiller compartment.
The ‘curry hook’, introduced on the Disco 1, has been redesigned and is now a fancy push-operated design.
Cup holders are numerous as are 12V accessory outlets and USB charging points.
The new Discovery boasts a luggage volume of 1,231 litres behind the second-row seats, which according to Land Rover is enough space to fit a standard size washing machine, which can be loaded via the class-leading boot opening, which measures 854mm high and 1150mm wide.
If more space is needed, folding the second-row seats provides up to 2,406-litres of carrying capacity.
With all seven seats in place, the loadspace available is 258 litres.
A new single-piece tailgate design replaces the previous horizontally split tailgate introduced with the Discovery 3 in 2004.
Land Rover claims that the new tailgate design provides a wider aperture than before and improved shelter, affording greater protection against the elements for owners when using the load area at outdoors.
Don’t worry, there is still a place to sit, with Land Rover incorporating a new Powered Inner Tailgate that deploys when the tailgate is opened. It serves as a seat or picnic table and can support up to 300kg.
Technology and infotainment
As with other new Jaguar Land Rover products, the new Discovery will be available with InControl Touch Pro, a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen display that in addition to the regular audio functions, features ‘Dual View’ technology, digital television capability, access to the satellite navigation, heating and vehicle controls.
Alex Heslop, Chief Product Engineer, commented: “New Discovery has been designed and engineered around our full-sized SUV architecture to ensure we have built-in, world-beating allterrain capability. The flexible monocoque construction also gave us the chance to develop a versatile, spacious seating solution like no other.”
The new Discovery utilises lightweight monocoque body construction and is 85% aluminium, of which 43% is recycled aluminium.
The result is a kerb-weight of 2,105kg which is 480kg lighter than Discovery 4.
New Ingenium engines
The new Discovery is powered by a selection of Jaguar Land Rover’s latest four- and six-cylinder Ingenium diesel engines.
The entry level diesel engine is the 2.0-litre Ingenium Td4 turbo-diesel, with 132kW and 430Nm. The Td4 is the most fuel-efficient Discovery model to date using a claimed 6.3l/100 km.
The mid-range Sd4 is a 2.0-litre Ingenium turbo-diesel tuned to output 177kW and 500Nm, whilst achieving a claimed 6.5l/100km.
The top-shelf diesel offering is the Td6, 3.0-litre six-cylinder Ingenium turbo-diesel producing 190kW/600Nm and capable of achieving 7.2l/100 km.
All engines are fitted with a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, controlled using a rotary gearshift controller.
The new Discovery has ground clearance of 283mm, combined with an approach angle of up to 34 degrees, a breakover angle of 27.5 degrees and departure angle of 30 degrees.
Wading depth is a class leading 900mm.
Buyers can choose between a two-speed transfer box or single speed transfer box. The two-speed transfer box, provides selectable high and low range gearing that can be selected at speeds of up to 60km/h, and is ideal for more serious off-road work.
The single speed transfer box offers a 17kg weight saving and is fitted in conjunction with full-time four-wheel drive that provides a torque split of 42/58 across the front and rear axles, but can redistribute torque to the axle with the most grip by up to 62/38 and 22/78 respectively.
Land Rover’s next-generation Terrain Response 2 technology is the brains behind the new Discovery’s off-road ability. It automatically monitors driving conditions and optimises vehicle settings to best suit a range of surfaces, including General driving, Grass, Gravel, Snow, Mud, Sand and Rock Crawling.
Alternatively, the centre-mounted dial allows the driver to manually select the appropriate setting.
Further assisting the new Discovery in off-road conditions is Land Rover’s All-Terrain Progress Control technology (ATPC), a system that allows the driver to set a crawl speed ranging from 2km/h up to 30km/h, allowing them to concentrate on steering the vehicle and negotiating difficult terrain while the technology controls engine and braking functions.
As expected, the new Discovery uses an air suspension system that features a two-stage off-road mode. The automatic system is able to vary between 40mm and 75mm ride heights, at speeds below 50km/h. Over 50km/h the system defaults to the 40mm ride height.
In addition to this, a new Speed Lowering function cuts drag and improves fuel economy by automatically reducing the ride height by 13mm at cruising speeds above 105km/h.
Best-in-class 3,500kg towing capacity, with semi-autonomous Advanced Tow Assist.
Australian pricing and availability
Land Rover Australia has confirmed that the new Discovery will be on sale in Australia from July 2017, with entry-level pricing starting at $81,590 for the Discovery Td4 SE 7 Seat.
There is currently no word on the availability of a petrol V6 or V8 option.