Land Rover Discovery 4 - iDrive

A school-run oil burner that’s hard to beat off-road

Price: from £37,995 (£51,195 as tested)
Engine capacity: 3-litre SDV6 255hp
Top speed (mph): 112
0-60 mph (seconds): 8.8
Fuel economy (mpg): 32.1
CO2 emissions (g/km): 230

Land Rover is having a bit of a moment in the sun. Sales are booming, it has just hired 1,000 new workers for its Merseyside factory and it has agreed a joint venture that should pave the way for production in the lucrative Chinese market.CO2 emissions (g/km): 230 Land Rover is having a bit of a moment in the sun. Sales are booming, it has just hired 1,000 new workers for its Merseyside factory and it has agreed a joint venture that should pave the way for production in the lucrative Chinese market.

It’s the baby Evoque (loved by WAGs – there’s a Victoria Beckham special edition) that has had the lion’s share of attention in recent months, but look beyond the glamour and the dependable Discovery has been refreshed. Last month the millionth one rolled off the production line. To celebrate, the company sent one to Beijing (it knows where its bread will be buttered in the future) on a 50-day journey, raising money for the Red Cross. To rather less fanfare, it dropped a sparkling new model off with me for the weekend to put to the test.

The Discovery is a school-run favourite near me in north London for its comfort, touch of bling and roomy interior, but to really test it a journey to its spiritual homeland is in order. So with my wax jacket and walking boots in the boot I’m off down the M4 to test it in its natural habitat – the chocolate-box villages and narrow lanes of the Cotswolds.

Leaving town the new Discovery smooths out bumps and potholes with ease and settles down as a more-than comfortable city and motorway cruiser. It even has lower emissions than the model it replaces – though it still belts out 230g of carbon per kilometre and I struggle to get more than 25 mpg from it.

It also gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox (operated by the Jaguar XF’s nifty selector dial) but it occasionally picks a duff gear and the wheel-mounted paddles are slow to respond. The steering is direct but not too light and it is only under heavy braking that you become aware of just how big the Discovery is – there’s room for seven people and their luggage.

It’s a great family car, but where the Discovery really stands apart from its rivals is its ability to handle virtually any terrain you throw at it. My off-road test (more thorough than most city Discoveries will ever endure, but far less than it is capable of) confirms it still rules off-road. It will slice through mud and broken ground like a Challenger tank on exercise, which is, er, useful if you're into that sort of thing. But back in town, where Discos spend the vast majority of their time, I could find much in the way of challenges for its Terrain Response System and massive wheels to tackle. At least it was the muddiest car around, though.

The Competition

If you don’t need to go off-road the BMW X5 offers greater fuel economy. The new Mercedes M-Class is flash and sublime on tarmac but isn’t cheap.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all