At a glance the Discovery 5 has adopted a much softer look, a less agricultural look and indeed a very nice look I have to say. All of the modern styling from other models from the Land Rover group, seem to be incorporated into this new car and rightly so as it works.
The Discovery, since its launch in the eighties has always been a firm favourite as a work horse and even the outgoing model is still used widely by those with the need for comfort, power, huge towing capability and off-road ability.
However over the years, as the Discovery became more refined, the huge practicality and usable seven seat layout soon became a familiar sight for the ever expanding family and not only found itself towing horse boxes and cattle trailers but also felt just at home on the school run.
Load space is in abundance and with all the rear seating folded flat (which is done with the touch of a button, electronically on the HSE and above as standard) there is van like volume with a van like flat floor whilst with all seven seaters, when the rear two rows are in use, the boot turns into a space fit to accommodate a miniature dachshund.
Full black leather with red piping and stitching was the interior choice on this HSE Dynamic Pack model tested with two large windows in the roof for some late night star gazing. Space inside is better than ever and the Discovery is one of few SUV’s on the market that offers more than ample room in the third row.
Rear climate control and outer heated seats on this model keeps rear passengers comfortable while up-front there is an abundance of room and comfort. On this model there is a Meridian surround audio system installed which I have to say sounds great.
One big change for the Discovery 5 is the introduction of the Ingenium 2.0L diesel engine, this is a vast change from the large capacity TDV6 found in the outgoing model and one I know many owners of the current model have rolled their eyes at.
Thankfully the car I had for a day was fitted with said 2.0L engine which is equipped with two turbochargers providing 236bhp with a more than adequate 368lb/ft via the 8 speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive system.
I am always sceptical of these small capacity engines as sometimes there is no replacement for displacement but I will confess I was impressed, very impressed in fact – the all-new Discovery will easily cope with the all-important 3500kg towing weight.
Due to the low capacity engine, road tax is kept sensible and you should see somewhere in the late 30’s when it comes to mpg when on a gentle run down the motorway, on mixed driving you can expect mid to low 30’s however.
There is as much technology as NASA on-board to keep you safe both on-road and off it and I would say it is one of very few in the segment with true go-anywhere ability. On-road the Discovery is better than ever, incredibly very refined and smooth despite the small engine tested.
Extra power was never really required during my time with the popular seven-seater but I would like to try it with 3500kg on-tow just to see what way it performs. When it comes to off-road ability I took the Discovery into a former Land Rover Experience centre to be sure it is still as capable as before.
As expected, nothing was to stop the Land Rover!
This latest styling and vast technology really will appeal to everyone, if a little more suited to the city slicker, however underneath the fur coat lies something that only Land Rover can provide, a truly unstoppable vehicle!
Pricing starts at £43,995 whilst this model tested comes in at closer to £ 70,000 with its options and there are a lot more options available from Land Rover – best to call into your local Land Rover dealer who can arrange a drive for you and see what they can offer to best suit you.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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