In the real world, favourable first impressions of the Ingenium are enhanced by recalling the particulate waft and gnawing vibrations its predecessor produced on start-up. The new engine isn’t whisper quiet (we’ll come back to that) but the fact that you can’t feel it through the control surfaces - or, indeed, smell it - is a significant advance.
With the start-up shudder gone and at low speeds, the all-aluminum unit spends its time convincing you of its better manners. It doesn't take long to be persuaded, given that one of the old engine’s worst vices was its inability to get underway without suffering chronic hesitation. Despite still defaulting into second gear (first being saved for towing or the muddy stuff), step-off is now seamless.
The nine-speed transmission is a big improvement on the old system. Inevitably, it favours a prompt downshift or two but, this time, the endless foraging for the torque band seems cleverly prearranged, rather than irritatingly ad-hoc.
This is important because, knowing that many of its buyers would never dream of troubling the rev limiter, Land Rover has spent its time extracting as much low-end tractability as possible. Consequently, at middling to high speeds, and with only shallow throttle input, the Discovery feels urgent with a pleasingly immediate, crest-of-a-wave kind of momentum.
True, the 2.2-litre motor was not short on twist either but this is a much sleeker brand of impetus delivered without any nasty swell, or surge or splutter. This progressiveness feels well connected to your right foot, too; an important quality given how the rest of the vehicle does such a sterling job of making you feel well connected to the road.
The Ingenium’s biddable urgency matches perfectly the car’s fabulous primary ride, effortlessly extending its handling advantage over the opposition, despite the secondary control's remaining bittiness. If that’s the chassis’s one deficiency, the engine’s is its irrepressible volume.
The toneless, bustling churn of the four-pot identified elsewhere hasn’t been eradicated by the Discovery’s thicker skin. While you’re not going to notice at the kind of low revs the nine-speed 'box quickly tidies you into, you will when you’re accelerating. Being noisier in this phase than the modest, much older 1.6-litre TDI VW Golf that I drove to Eastnor probably isn’t where a £40,000 SUV of the Discovery's calibre ought to be.