An age of Discovery Attend any agricultural event and the chances are that the car park will feature a large number of Land Rover Discoverys. The latest all-new version has attracted its fair share of comment from potential and early users so Farmers Guide spent a week finding out if it’s as good as Land Rover claims. David Williams reports. Changing the iconic Discovery shape which has become such a common sight on UK farms was always going to be controversial, but Land Rover has put a lot of effort into smoothing the edges and rounding off the corners making the Discovery 5 blend with its Discovery Sport and Range Rover stable-mates. Key performance statistics had to be retained including extreme off-road ability, towing and load carrying capacities and an ability to transport up to seven adults in relative comfort. The new Discovery range starts from £43,995 and official specifications suggest performance standards have been maintained and even improved upon. The established V6, 3.0-litre diesel engine and well-proven 8-speed automatic transmission continue to be available, but new 4-cylinder 2.0-litre 240hp diesel, and V6, 3.0-litre 340hp
petrol engines are new options. Five months after UK dealers launched it to customers, feedback from some of those serving agricultural users suggests farmers updating from previous Discoverys won’t sacrifice the smoothness of the V-6, while many moving from other brands are opting for the 4-cylinder. For our test Land Rover supplied the top-of-the-range HSE Luxury specification with the 6-cylinder diesel engine. Standard equipment is comprehensive including 4-zone climate control, electric folding second and third row seats controllable from a phone App, cooled and heated front seats, a surround camera system, ‘gestureoperated’ tailgate and a large touchscreen. In case we became bored there was also a massage system for both front seats (very effective), plus second and third row heated
The interior is well finished and practical and the large touch-screen makes it easy to access and set up most comfort and operational functions. The test car had head-up display through which the speed and sat-nav directions appear on the windscreen in direct view of the driver, avoiding the need to squint at the new smaller speedometer while driving.
seats, a head-up display, park assist, television, an electric deployable towbar, plus several other features taking the price to £76,400, optional extras making up more than £12,000 of the total.
Comfort There is no doubting the new Discovery’s more comfortable interior. Every inch of space is well utilised and leg and knee-room is better in all three rows. The old Discovery had leveroperated seat folding which worked perfectly well, but new electric folding adds convenience and saves time, and will be appreciated by those who previously waited outside in the rain while seats were adjusted one at a time.
Occupants sit lower in the new vehicle and it feels larger inside. Taller drivers will appreciate considerably more legroom and the steering wheel has plenty of adjustment for drivers of all heights and sizes. All available spare space has been allocated for useful storage. Everyone who travelled in the test vehicle commented on how quiet it was, compared to the previous model. Land Rover’s engineers have done a great job with the soundproofing and, even at higher engine revs off-road, chatting was possible at normal volumes.
Performance and handling As usual for a Farmers Guide testdrive, time was spent off-road on continued over...
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