Plusher cabin for new Discovery
8 April 2009

The Land Rover Discovery is set to move closer to the Range Rover than ever before.

Land Rover has moved to soften the Disco 3’s ‘brutal’ exterior. The new model gets a complete front end redesign in a bid to reduce visual bulk, particularly by knocking the corners off the bumpers.

For the full Range Rover Sport revisions, click Big revisions for Range Rover Sport

Changes to the Range Rover are outlined at Revised Range Rover revealed

Much of the contrasting black plastic that adorned the old model has also been removed.

But the biggest changes are inside, where the old cliff-face dash design has been replaced by something much closer to the luxuriousness of the Range Rover.

Land Rover is now keen for the Discovery 4 to be considered alongside the forthcoming Mercedes E-class estate, calling it “an executive estate”.

It points out that the Discovery is “shorter [than the E-class], can carry seven full-size adults, tow 3.5 tonnes and handle 40-degree slopes” while now also offering driver appeal on the road.

The new car adopts JLR’s new twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel engine. The new unit is Euro5-compliant but it delivers 242bhp and a massive 443lb ft of torque at just 2000rpm.

Land Rover says 359lb ft of that will be available just half a second after acceleration begins.

Even so, despite being 30 per cent more powerful and offering 36 per cent more torque, the new unit should be about nine per cent more economical, returning 30.4mpg.

Major changes have been made to the Disco’s chassis to enhance its ride and handling.

The roll centres have been moved up by 42mm at the front and 62mm at the rear, and component changes include new suspension knuckles, a fatter anti-roll bar, new bushes and a new variable-ratio steering rack. The car also gets a recalibrated centre differential.

Like the two Range Rovers, the Discovery gets a roll stability set-up, reduced understeer, upgraded brakes and a trailer assist program that uses selective wheel braking to prevent fishtailing while towing.

A 5in TFT screen is fitted between the instrument dials; it can display information such as turn-by-turn sat-nav guidance. Mapping information is stored on a 40Gb hard drive.

The five-camera, 360-degree road view set-up is an option that will, Land Rover says, be useful for drivers who want to hitch up a trailer.

New York motor show

New York cars: news and images

Acura ZDX, BMW X6 M and X5 M, Jeep Grand Cherokee, GM and Segway, GMC Terrain, Honda's dog accessories, Kia Koup, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes' clean diesel concept, Mercedes E63 AMG, Mercedes ML450 hybrid, Mercedes S-class, Mercedes SLS, Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype, Nissan 370Z Roadster, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Scion iQ, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, VW Golf GTI

Our Verdict

Land Rover Discovery

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

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