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First Drive

Land Rover Discovery

2017 Land Rover Discovery
The story:
Land Rover’s new Discovery makes a big design statement and shaves off considerable weight, which helps efficiency and the driving experience
Category:Large 4x4
Key rival:Audi Q7
Land Rover Discovery
On sale:February 2017

The Land Rover Discovery has always been a car that really can do it all; where luxury meets family practicality meets capable workhorse. 

The new Discovery is designed to enhance all of those characteristics. It’s lighter, so therefore more efficient, more practical and has a much more modern family design. 

It’s 480kg lighter than its predecessor through use of lightweight aluminium, which has made a real difference to the driving experience, so the Disco now feels more nimble than a large seven-seat off-roader has any right to be. 

Land Rover says it has thought about how families use such a vehicle, which has led it to offering heated seats across all seven seats, five of which can be fitted with Isofix and all seven of which offer decent comfort for adults. The back two are a bit tricky to clamber into, and the mechanism for shifting the middle row out of the way could make it easier. Still, the five rear seats can even be configured upright or folded via a smartphone app on higher trim levels.

Inside, the Discovery is as plush and welcoming as a £58,000 Land Rover should be. The only blight is an infotainment system that isn’t quite as user-friendly as those in some German rivals. 

Storage is vast, and the boot will take 1137 litres behind row two, while the powered tailgate features a drop-down section that doubles as a bench, making up for the loss of the previous car’s split tailgate. 

The styling is a big step forward, with the exception of the lopsided rear, which is supposed to hark back to previous Discoveries but actually just looks uncomfortable. Still, that’s a small criticism on what is a deeply appealing luxury car.  

The verdict

Much better to drive, superb off-road, stylish (rear apart), plush, clever and family friendly, the new Discovery is a very successful renewal of an icon.