The side exterior of a silver Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery review

Now in its fifth generation, the Land Rover Discovery is as capable as ever on and off road. It’s been upgraded to be more luxurious, with better technology and powerful yet efficient engines.

Pros

  • Exudes luxury and comfort
  • Best third row seating that’s available
  • Excellent off-road ability

Cons

  • Not as stylish as its rivals
  • Petrol engines aren’t the most fuel-efficient
  • Infotainment system isn’t as good as rivals

Summary

“Luxurious and family-friendly while still being capable of tackling an off-road adventure.”

If you’re looking for an SUV that has executive looks, practical family appeal and excellent off-road ability, the Land Rover Discovery is the one for you. It feels more luxurious than ever and is also more comfortable.

The design is much softer and lighter than the boxy shape of previous generations which makes it quicker and more economical. 

There’s even more space inside, particularly for those sitting in the standard third row of seats. If you find a version with the optional electrically folding seats fitted, you can use the Land Rover InControl Remote app to raise or lower the rear seats at the touch of a button on your phone.

It has a fantastic driving position giving you a clear view of everything up ahead, whether you're in urban traffic, on the motorway or tackling off-road obstacles.

The front exterior of a silver Land Rover Discovery

What's the interior like?

“A real feeling of luxury and comfort combined with practical seating and storage.”

The latest generation is all about comfort and technology. The driving position is superb with lots of adjustment options for the driver’s seat and all the controls within easy reach. The buttons in the centre console are all well laid out and many of the controls you use regularly have a good feel to them. 

There’s plenty of storage throughout the interior, including a deep cubby hole between the front seats and the two front glove boxes, as well as a climate control panel that folds down to reveal another space which is great for keeping items secure. 

There’s a decent Touch Pro touchscreen infotainment system that provides connectivity, navigation and access to a number of vehicle settings. 

The seats are extremely comfortable, but you need to look at the SE level or above if you want sumptuous leather. Head and legroom is excellent for front and middle seat passengers. Even those in the third row have more space than you’ll find in most seven-seater rivals. 

An electric powered boot opens to reveal a secondary panel that folds down at the touch of a button. This makes loading up the car easy and also offers somewhere to sit and watch the kids play football. The boot space is easy to access and huge. With five seats in place, it has a capacity of 1,137 litres which is enough space for several large suitcases.

The interior of a Land Rover Discovery with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“Focused on comfort but handles going off-road with ease.”

The latest generation has great off-road capability but is more about comfort, luxury and connectivity. It’s extremely comfortable for driver and passengers, thanks to the superior air-suspension, a lighter body and smooth engines.

It’s not designed for going around corners fast but Discoverys are made to go everywhere and the latest is no exception. It promises a smooth ride on country lanes, in the city or when travelling long distances.

It’s also brilliant off-road with the latest generation Terrain Response 2 system. This ensures it’s sure-footed on gravel roads, crossing fields and even wading rivers. Don’t be fooled by its lifestyle looks, the Discovery is one of the most capable vehicles available.

Petrol made a return in the latest post-2017 Discovery with efficient 2.0-litre engines which offer surprisingly good performance. There’s also a 2.0-litre and a bigger 3.0-litre diesel which is a good choice if you plan to drive with a full load and want more power. Additionally, there’s a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol which delivers more fun but higher fuel costs.

Rear seat shot of the Land Rover Discovery

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Discovery offers a great deal of luxury and capability for your money.”

It’s likely you’ll pay slightly more for a Discovery than its equivalent BMW or Mercedes rivals but in a number of ways you’ll get more. This is definitely true when it comes to seven-seat practicality and true off-road ability. The diesel-engined versions are the most efficient to go for unless you spend most of your time in town or going on shorter journeys.

Running costs are similar to all the Land Rover’s rivals when it comes to insurance and road tax, while servicing and maintenance prices are also going to be competitive.

The rear exterior of a silver Land Rover Discovery

How reliable and safe is it?

“The latest Discovery is proving reliable in its early days and is packed with safety technology.”

Land Rover is always low down in the reliability reports, but the company is working hard to improve this and so far the latest Discovery seems to be doing well. 

The latest generation received a maximum five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP and even standard models have lane keeping assistance and autonomous emergency braking.

Engine shot of the Land Rover Discovery

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 3.0 SDV6 SE

Best for family - 3.0 SDV6 SE

Best for fun - 3.0 SDV6 HSE

Equipment levels are good across the range. The entry-level S and the next model up, the SE, should suit most people, especially if they’re fitted with optional extras. The HSE trim provides the best all-round spec with most of the luxury and gadgets that you could wish for. 

All the petrol models aren’t the most fuel-efficient, but they’re responsive, quiet and smooth. The diesels are the best all-rounders with the 3.0 SDV6 being the most popular. It’s definitely the one to go for if you plan on towing.

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