Land Rover’s all-new, fifth-generation Discovery has arrived in Australia. Following its official local unveiling at Uluru, the new ‘Disco’ is available here in four different model grades, as well as a special ‘First Edition’ version.
Common to all variants, bar the First Edition, is a choice of diesel engines, eight-speed automatic transmission, permanent four-wheel drive and a range of updated safety and driver-assist technologies.
While a five-seat capacity is standard, the new Discovery can be upgraded to seven-seats for an extra $3,400, with power operation and heating for the third row seats also carrying an additional cost. Land Rover claim these rearmost seats are comfortable for adults, and not the kid-sized pews found in other seven-seaters.
Model grades for the new Discovery cover S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. The entry-level Discovery S starts at $65,960 for the five-seat version with the 132kW 2.0-litre Td4 diesel and $71,560 for the seven seater. The S is also available with a 177kW 2.0-litre Sd4 twin-turbo diesel (new for this generation), or a 190kW 3.0-litre Td6 V6 diesel, with the seven-seat version of the latter the most expensive Discovery S at $84,671.
The SE starts at $77,050 and offers the same choice of engines as the S, but adds a twin-speed high/low transfer box as standard, as well as features like LED headlights, power-operated leather front seats, gloss black interior finishes, automatic climate control air con, an enhanced sound system with sat nav, power-folding heated mirrors, 3 x 12V charge points and towing equipment, to name a few.
Step up to the HSE and you get the same spread of engine options with the same power outputs, but additional or improved standard features, including 20-inch alloys, memory function for the power-operated first and second-row seats, keyless entry, power tailgate, three-zone climate control air, power-adjustable steering column, Meridian sound system and Land Rover’s Navigation Pro system. Pricing for the Discovery HSE starts at $87,150 and extends to $103,661.40.
The top-of the-line Discovery HSE Luxury breaks the six-figure barrier, starting at $100,950 and extending to $117,461.40 for the 3.0 Td6 seven-seater.
Above the other model grades, the HSE Luxury adds an electric sunroof, 10-spoke 20-inch alloys, Windsor leather seats with more power options (including 16-way adjustment and climate function on front seats), additional in-cabin leather trim, hands-free tailgate, centre console cooler, surround camera system, Meridian surround sound and digital TV.
The Discovery First Edition is largely equipped as per the HSE Luxury, but adds some unique trim and badging. Limited to only 2,400 units worldwide and only available with the 190kW Td6 and seven seats, the First Edition is priced at $131,871.40
NOTE: All prices listed above are recommended retail prices only. See your dealer for full drive away pricing.
For all its high tech and luxury trimmings, Land Rover claim the new Discovery is still capable off-road, following comprehensive testing undertaken in all conditions and climates.
Notable improvements include a 283mm ground clearance and 900mm wading depth; up by 43mm and 200mm, respectively, compared to the previous Discovery.
The multi-mode Terrain Response 2 system is driver-adjustable to suit a number of vehicle characteristics and can also adjust throttle and steering response, suspension and traction control settings automatically.
To suit low-speed driving (2km/h to 30km/h) in extremely tough terrain, All Terrain Progress Control adapts throttle response and braking without the driver having to touch the pedals, and adds a Low Traction Launch feature for smoother getaways on slippery surfaces.
Land Rover also claim class-leading approach, departure and breakover angles (34/30/27.5 degrees) for the new Discovery, with up to 500mm of wheel articulation to scramble over uneven terrain.
Additionally, the air suspension available on most model grades offers a two-stage off-road function that can raise ride height by 40mm or 75mm, depending on vehicle speed. Land Rover says this system has also been tuned to prevent bottoming out on ruts or lowering during wading.
Supporting the latter is a real-time Wade Sensing function that monitors depth via the 4x4i infotainment screen.
The two-speed transfer box provides a 50/50 torque split front-to-rear in most instances, but can vary torque distribution to suit differing conditions. Additionally, high-low range can be selected on the fly at speeds of up to 60km/h. A single-speed transfer box is also available, biasing torque to the rear axle for road use, but is also adjustable.
On top of this, standard assistance tech with off-road applications includes Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control and Roll Sensing Control.
Able to tow a class-leading 3,500kg, the new Discovery also adds Advanced Tow Assist, which makes tricky manoeuvres like reversing caravans easier by automatically controlling counter steering.
The fifth-generation Disco is significantly lighter than its predecessor, with Land Rover claiming a massive 480kg has been shed, thanks mainly to extensive use of aluminium in the construction.
Obviously, the weight reduction improves on-road efficiency, with a claimed best fuel economy of 6.3lt/100km from the 132kW/430Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder Td4 diesel. The new 177kW/500Nm twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel is rated at 6.5lt/100km, while the 190kW/600Nm V6 Td6 is rated at 7.2lt/100km. Choosing the seven-seat upgrade marginally reduces economy in the four-cylinder engine models, but the V6 is unaffected.
Amongst the new features debuting on the latest Discovery is Intelligent Seat Fold Technology, which enables automatic adjustment of the second and third row seats via buttons in two different locations, the centre console touch screen and even your smartphone using the InControl Remote app.
Also new on the tech front - and a claimed first in the large SUV field - is an Activity Key. This waterproof and temperature-resistant wristband-like device enables vehicle locking and unlocking without using the conventional key.
In variants equipped with the air suspension, an Auto Access Height function automatically drops the ride height by 40mm to make vehicle entry and exit easier.
Finally, Land Rover’s Electric Power-Assist Steering has been recalibrated to provide what’s said to be a more natural and responsive driving feel, while also working with the Terrain Response 2 to vary the steering feedback depending on the road surface.
Previewed in the form of the ‘Discovery Vision Concept’ from 2014 and taking several cues from the styling of the current Discovery Sport, the Discovery’s design is all-new, but retains some signature Disco cues, like the off-centre rear number plate holder and stepped roof, although that signature kink is barely noticeable now.
Measuring 4970mm x 2200mm x 1846mm (LxWxH), the new Discovery is longer than the previous generation, but narrower and lower, while wheelbase length has increased to 2923mm. A shallower windscreen angle and re-profiled body results in what Land Rover says is the most aerodynamically-efficient Discovery ever. The lighting design, along with treatment of areas like the grille and rear bumper, reflects current Land Rover styling features.
The tailgate is now a one-piece unit, but there’s an inner fold-out tailgate for use as seating. A larger overall boot opening contributes to what Land Rover says is best-in-class cargo capacity – 1,231 litres with the third row seats folded, or 2,500 litres with the second and third row folded.
Inside, there’s a greater feeling of luxury, with leather and timber trim available in most model grades, while the new 10-inch touchscreen for the InControl Touch Pro infotainment system reduces console switches by a third. Functional touches like 12V and USB outlets, as well as storage options, increase in quantity depending on model grade.
Amongst the many option and upgrade packs is the Dynamic Design Pack, which adds different bumper designs, contrast-colour roof and sports-inspired controls.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer said: “New Discovery redefines the large SUV. Land Rover’s design and engineering teams have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV. We truly believe the result is a radical departure in design that will introduce the Discovery Family to a new, wider customer base.” The all-new, fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery started arriving in dealerships from 1 August.