Last week, during a star-studded event near Land Rover’s birthplace of Whitley, Coventry, Bear Grylls and Ben Ainslie, among others, launched the new Discovery.
With prices starting at £43,395 and going all the way up to £68,295, this SUV is an investment, so what should you know about the latest addition to the Land Rover family?
1. It is the fifth iteration of the Discovery
The Discovery Series 1 launched in 1989 – to rave reviews. And, over the years, the car has conquered every continent, helping explorers, documentary makers and the emergency services the world over save lives and discover new frontiers. This, the third generation, is the fifth iteration of the car – launching 27 years after the original.
2. It is much lighter than its predecessor
Weighing in at 480kg lighter than the previous Discovery, Land Rover’s latest car is practically a featherweight compared to its automotive ancestors. This weight saving is thanks to a new monocoque body construction that is 83% aluminium. High-strength aluminium makes up the crash structure – 43% of which is recycled.
3. You have three engine choices
From a 2.0-litre SD4 turbodiesel four-cylinder, via a 3.0-litre Td6 turbodiesel V6 to a 3.0-litre Si6 supercharged petrol V6, there are three different engines available in the new Discovery. The first is a new engine specifically for this model, the second has significantly lower CO2 emissions than the previous Discovery and the last can achieve 0-60 mph in just 7 seconds. Choose wisely.
4. It retains an amazing ride quality
One of the most heralded qualities of the last iteration of the Discovery was its legendary ride quality. The new model promises to continue this tradition, using wide-spaced double wishbone front suspension, independent integral link rear-set up and second-to-none air suspension. Smooth.
5. It is connected
Powering forward, the Discovery has embraced tech like no other SUV. The interior can be configured using your smartphone or tablet – ensuring seat set-up and temperature are always just as you like it. And, with an in-car 3G wifi hotspot and nine USB charging ports, your passengers will never get bored.
6. It seats seven adults - allegedly
A big claim, and a first from Land Rover, the Discovery 5 is said to comfortably seat seven fully-grown adults – note we say comfortably. Granted, Ben Ainslie’s entire sailing team clambered out of the car at the launch, but who’s to say how comfortable they were inside?
7. It can virtually swim
The Discovery 5 boasts an impressive 900mm wading depth – a practical capability showing that the new Land Rover truly earns its name. This is also 200mm deeper than the old Discovery could wade, proving that for all the aesthetic modifications, the engineers are still making progress where it counts.
8. It may be practical, but it is also luxurious
With a 65 per cent increase in cabin storage, an optional chiller compartment in the centre armrest and the same quality of sumptuous interior as customers have come to expect from Discoveries, the 5 doesn’t disappoint inside. A reduced button count suggests a further technological step forward, but straightforward dials still make a welcome appearance. A waterproof key is also a nice nod to the clientele of adventurers – and will certainly be appreciated.
9. Towing technology has hugely improved
With an electrically deployable towbar – something of a first – the Discovery 5 has immense towing power in terms of both brains and brawn. New trailer stability assist detects potentially dangerous trailer sway on the move, and gently reduces your speed in order to bring it back under control.
10. This technology extends to all facets of your driving experience
The Discovery 5 also boasts optional All-Terrain Progress Control and Terrain Response electronics, alongside Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control (releases the brake slowly when you’re stopped on a hill), Roll Stability Control and Wade Sensing (a kind of automotive sonar, displayed via the infotainment screen). The Discovery has always been about making exploration easier, and these developments are no different.