It’s to Jaguar’s credit that Land Rover’s loss of BMW petrol and diesel engines at the beginning of the last decade actually granted it access to even finer in-house powerplants for this car.

Essentially the same engine as fitted to the XF saloon, and revised once again in 2011, the 2993cc V6 turbodiesel in the Discovery now produces 252bhp at 4000rpm and 442lb ft at 2000rpm. It is the only engine available in the UK market and comes with a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Chief tester
The latest Discovery has as much accelerative thrust as you'll ever need for towing and for open-road driving

Mass inflicts large compromises on the Discovery’s straight-line performance potential. This isn't a quick car, or a quick-responding one. You won't, for example, be squirting it into gaps in traffic with abandon.

All is not lost, though. Land Rover has countered by providing unparalleled refinement and a transmission capable of wringing maximum efficiency from the last turn of the crank. 

So despite taking 9.6sec (claimed) to hit 60mph, the impression is of a car that has enough grunt if not an indulgence of it, combined with impressive deportment for one so large. The gearbox choses ratios intelligently, too, making what performance is available feel more ample than it might.

At idle the Discovery’s engine emits only the faintest noise and no vibration. It is occasionally perceptible on the move, but only as the pleasant hum of a cultured V6. Throttle response is good and, crucially, it has much more step-off thrust than the original 2.7-litre car.

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