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.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Luxury SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Land Rover range

Driven this week

  • Aston Martin DB11 V8
    First Drive
    22 November 2017
    Aston's decision to utilise AMG's 4.0-litre V8 struck us as an inspired one initially, but will a drive on UK roads change our minds?
  • Volvo XC40 cornering
    First Drive
    21 November 2017
    Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style
  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class