We look back at the four generations of Land Rover's popular off-roader ahead of the all-new 2017 model's arrival
31 May 2016

The new Land Rover Discovery has been revealed; it's now in its fifth generation since the model's launch in 1989.

As we meet the all-new model, take a look back at the four generations that preceded it.

The 2017 Land Rover Discovery has been revealed – read more here:

History of the Land Rover Discovery

Discovery Series I (1989-1998)

The Discovery arrived in the late 1980s to counter growing SUV sales from Japanese brands such as Toyota and Mitsubishi. The Range Rover had also been gradually pushed upmarket, leaving space for a more mid-market, practical, family-friendly vehicle.

Discovery Series II (1998-2004)

The Series II was a heavily overhauled version of the Series I, with Land Rover owner BMW sticking to the formula that had made the first car a success. New engines featured, as did a more practical cabin with improved luggage space.

Discovery Series 3 (2004-2009)

The third-generation Discovery was all-new, complete with a new look that ditched the external spare wheel at the rear and a new chassis featuring the cabin and engine bay constructed as a monocoque, with the gearbox and suspension built on a super-tough ladder frame chassis.

Discovery Series 4 (2009-2016)

An overhauled Discovery 3, the Discovery 4 brought with it a whole host of engineering changes designed to improve reliability and refinement. The cabin was made more luxurious, while off-road ability was improved further with a modified Terrain Response system. 


Discovery Series 5 (2016 onwards)

The new Discovery marks a departure from the Discovery's formerly boxy design, with a subtle nod in the asymmetric boot-lid to its forebears. It's a thoroughly modern iteration of the car, demonstrating all the latest tech Land Rover has to offer. Despite its glossy new look though, Land Rover claims that none of the off-road ability has been lost. 

Our Verdict

Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery has an unbeatable combination of practicality, off-road ability and on-road manners

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out