Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 18 Dec 2017
The Land Rover Discovery has widely been acknowledged since its inception as one of the most capable family SUV’s both on and off the road. Now Land Rover says that the new Discovery 5 is the best SUV on the planet! Quite a bold claim, especially when you consider how tightly packed the SUV market has become, to test their claim I spent some time driving this, the TD6 HSE model which combines the best of luxury, efficiency, off-road prowess and technology.
While the fifth-generation follows many of the characteristic styling lines which have carried through the discovery family throughout the generations, this latest model features a more curvaceous jaw-line with many styling touches carried across from the likes of the Range Rover Sport.
While the back of the vehicle appeals to some, but not as much to others, it is very much in-keeping with the lines which have always made the Discovery so very distinguishable and functional, especially when off-road scenarios are considered.
There are two engines available on the South African market, the supercharged petrol-driven V6 motor with its 250 kW and 450 Nm of torque and then the turbodiesel six-cylinder motor which delivers 190 kW and a whopping 600 Nm of torque, power which really comes in handy in terms of the vehicles off-road grunt and ultimate city efficiency.
Luxury On So Many Levels
The Discovery has always had the ability to blend true off-road prowess with luxury. This fifth-generation ultimately delivers the highest levels of luxury ever presented throughout the Discovery family. With a cabin space which is a wash of premium-grade leathers and wood veneers, the interior is beautifully well appointed, but this is before you become aware of the levels of technology on offer.
The centre stack contains the Jaguar-Land Rover based multimedia centre, with its large, bright and vibrant touch-screen display. The system features media from pretty much every imaginable source and includes more USB’s and HDMI ports than other vehicles I can think of! With 9 individual USB ports (including quick-charge ports) and HDMI media inputs, you literally can display almost any kind of media whether seated upfront, in the middle or third row of seating.
The seats are also incredibly clever and the first of their kind, with full-electronic controls and an adjustment panel for easy access within the boot area, as well as the option the control the configuration via your smartphone. Space can be limiting with all seven-seats folded-up, however, interior space is overall large and can be assembled as required, with a total utility volumes of 2,500-litres available as a maximum offer, more than anything within this segment.
New & Better
With its advanced and lightweight monocoque construction, the fifth-generation Discovery is as much as 480 kg lighter than any of its predecessors with the ladder-suspension setups. The wealth of technology on offer and ultimate luxury males this vehicle easily the best Discovery ever and worthy of Land Rovers bold claim. The Disco 5 certainly has the ability to give its closest competitors such as the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 a serious run for the money.
Discovery HSE TD6 R1 232 918 – As Tested
Discovery HSE Si6 R1 256 802
The Land Rover Discovery is sold with a 3-year/100 000 km and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.