Off-road Vehicle Test: Geared Up – Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 8-Speed

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VIEWS

Words & Pictures by Andrew Middleton

With the new Range Rover line-up having consumed all things new at Land Rover, we were hardly expecting different from the Discovery range − but we were mistaken. A raft of updates is set to keep the (now 10-year-old) shape alive, without compromising any of its renowned off-road abilities.

Exterior
Gone are the tacky individual LED fairy lights of last year’s model, along with the Land Rover badge on the front of the bonnet. A new ‘Discovery’ badge stands proud, helping to separate the brand’s identity from the agricultural offerings of yesteryear.

Our HSEmodel tester, the top model in the range, gets the new adaptive xenon headlights – which swivel to illuminate the road when going around corners and dip to avoid blinding oncoming traffic at night. The number ‘4’ disappears from the rear, while engine spec badging moves from the rear to the front doors.

Two new wheel patterns are available in either 19 or 20 inch sizes, which look the luxury part; but for off-road use, smaller remains better. New side mirrors now also house sensors and cameras for the Discovery’s new surround-camera system and ‘wade sensing’ function, which measures water depth during deep crossings.

Interior
Unlike many competitors (which claim that there is space for seven people regardless of cramped accommodation), the Disco’s third row is ample for six-footers.Passengers furthest back even get their own sunroof, although I found its perforated black sunblind radiates too much heat from our African sun. The most significant interior update this year is the new navigation system, which now includes the full Tracks4Africa map series.

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