Accepting life in a Land Rover Discovery may for some customers come down to straight-line performance: specifically, how much of it you really need in everyday driving.

If this sounds like the exposure of a terrible flaw in the Discovery’s armoury, then it certainly shouldn’t be considered that way.

Hilton Holloway

Associate editor
It can tow and carry an impressive amount, deal with all kinds of road conditions and seat seven. SUVs don't get more useful

Quite simply, this car has such an exceptional spread of abilities in every other area – be it on-road, up to its axles in mud, carrying a family of seven or providing a soothing ride home from work on a wet winter’s evening – that it perhaps casts an unfair light on just about the only area in which the car doesn’t excel: sheer pace.

As we’ve said, so much of this shortcoming is neutralised by the wonderful mechanical refinement that it isn’t nearly as big an issue as it could have been. But we’re still slightly concerned that people accustomed to a BMW X5 – or even a Volkswagen Tiguan – may initially think the Disco too slow.

However, were they to dismiss this car on those grounds, they’d be missing out on a superlative all-rounder: a car as interesting to look at as it is rewarding to use every day, with the potential to do useful things you never thought possible of a passenger vehicle.

Even though we have our reservations about the social acceptability of something this big and heavy, it is almost impossible not to be swayed by the Discovery’s compelling blend of character, refinement, practicality and – next to the latest breed of brash, super-sporting 4x4s – its quiet classlessness.

The next generation Land Rover Discovery has some rather large tyre tracks to follow in, and while it may not have the blocky character of its outgoing sibling, it is built on some pretty solid foundations.

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