The Land Rover Discovery has never been as good as it is today. An old high school schoolmate just recently walked through several car dealerships in Rancho Cucamonga, California to trade-in his old Honda Pilot for a new model or another alternative in its class. After advising him on several brands and models to suite his needs and budget, I had thought that I gave him all the information he needed to make his next big purchase. Then I read his post a couple of days later on his personal Facebook page about the final result of his exploratory new vehicle exercise. “Time to upgrade our old Pilot to the new Land Rover, with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, it’s the most solid and complete vehicle that I’ve ever driven with the best balance of comfort, luxury, performance, and off-road capability together with the pride of ownership!”
I was shocked about his buying decision not because there is anything wrong with the new Discovery, but because it wasn’t even on his short list to choose from to begin with, until he decided to brave it all, walk into the more daunting showrooms and paid well over what he originally planned for without any regrets. What I’ve been reminded about in this short story is that however great many vehicles are, often it’s about the combination of timing and capacity that triggers the buying decision. Take our Silicon Silver colored test unit here, it is bursting with equipment, style, and substance. It isn’t cheap; it is a thirsty beast (the more frugal variant with an additional 103 lb-ft of torque, the Td6, is more expensive and not as brisk but makes up for it with a more relaxed driving and riding experience under 120 km/h), but the moment you step in and sit on the driver’s seat, you know that you are in for something very special. And within minutes, the confirmation is already clear that you are in a very superior multi-purpose, all-terrain people mover with everyday drivability. My buddy chose well!
The new interior design is really elegant especially with the tasteful blue double-stitched Light Oyster Windsor leather seats, and the proportions genuinely allow 7 adults in the cabin; yes, including the third-row. With the third-row seats up though, you have about 255 liters of rear storage, which isn’t so bad, but if you have a complement of 7 adults onboard on a weekend trip to the mountains you won’t have enough stowage room for all the baggage. Thankfully, the trunk swells up to 1,274 liters when the powered-seats are folded flat, but that would also mean traveling with only five people.
Even with the potent engine, 15% better aerodynamics, and the abundance of aluminum, the new Land Rover Discovery is still quite a hefty machine considering it is already 1,000 pounds lighter than before, but you appreciate why. A huge amount of its bulk goes to the healthy all-wheel-drive drivetrain with adaptive electronic air suspension that gives the Discovery the real ability to climb and explore the deep unknown aided by its 11.1-inch ground clearance and 850 mm wading depth. Though I wouldn’t want to scuff the handsome 21-inch alloys wrapped with 275/45R21 110W Good Year Eagle F1 Asymmetric SUV 4×4 tires. When it is not on adventure mode, the Discovery drives like a luxury sedan on stilts. The Discovery was never meant to be a road scorcher but it does drive spiritedly with impressive handling though it oddly gets wallowy at highway cruising speeds. There is no Sport mode but the new adaptive Terrain Response 2 system continually monitors driving conditions and automatically selects the optimal driving mode.
Other standout features include the 12.3-inch high-definition Interactive Driver Display instrument panel, Head-Up display, panoramic sunroof, full-LED lights, power liftgate, almost full 360° Surround Camera system, 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a sensational 825-watt 14-speaker Meridian Surround audio system to back it all up. The list of standard and optional equipment is gloriously extravagant and does help justify the lofty price, IF you can afford it.
|Engine||V6, 2995 cc, dohc 24V, Direct Injection Intercooled Roots-Type Twin-Vortex Supercharger, VVT, 8-speed AT|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||340 bhp @ 6500 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||332 lb-ft @ 3500-5000 rpm|
|Top Speed||210 km/h (130 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||6.7 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||16 mpg City / 21 mpg Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||US$ 82,694.00|
|What's Great||Exceptional luxury, versatility, and space. Outstanding equipment and design.|
|What's Not So||On-road wallow, thirst, and price of admission.|
|C! Editors Rating||9.5/10|