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

  • 2017 Range Rover Velar
    First Drive
    23 July 2017
    The Range Rover Velar is the most road-biased car Land Rover has made. So does it still feel like a proper part of the family?
  • Seat Ibiza
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    A model upon which Seat has staked its future, the new Ibiza must now deliver
  • Honda Clarity FCV
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    Honda’s fuel cell flagship reaches its second generation, but is the world ready?
  • Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-Connecta 2017 review
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    A UK drive in Nissan’s crucial crossover shows an update has not cost it any of that which makes it sell so well
  • Seat Ibiza 1.0 MPI
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    The Seat Ibiza has wowed in other iterations, but how will the entry-level 1.0-litre MPI version stack up in the UK? We've been to north Wales to find out