What we can tell from our drive is that the Discovery remains pretty much unbeatable off-road. It has a kitchen sink’s worth of Land Rover’s off-road technology at its disposal, including diff locks, a low-range gearbox and the Terrain Response 2 system, which itself incorporates a brilliant new All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) function that acts as a low-speed off-road cruise control, taking over the pedals and leaving you to steer.
As impressive as the ATPC system is - its control and reaction times feel better than your own on the really slippy stuff - so is the Discovery’s ability to conquer a rock crawl, both up and down, using most of the 500mm of wheel articulation, or dive nose-first into water close to its 900mm wading depth limit.
On the rest of the purely off-road route, the standard all-weather tyres and height-adjustable air suspension combine with all the electronic trickery to find grip and control over any given surface where there has no right to be any. There is nothing dramatic to report about conquering this terrain, such is the ease with which the Discovery goes over it.
While we can’t drive on road, the test does allow us a chance to have a nose around the interior. The Range Rover impressions are felt strongest of all in the front cabin: this is an interior of high quality, and now one at last of high technology thanks to the introduction of JLR’s InControl Touch Pro widescreen, touchscreen, HD infotainment system.
The driving position is as commanding as ever, and there’s a real feeling of solidity built up around the driver. The seat is comfortable and there’s an armrest on each side of the driver.
The flagship way of controlling the rear seats is through a smartphone app, but we had to make do for now with the electronic buttons on the seats, which were all straightforward to use. You can also use the touchscreen to control them. Have all the seats upright and there genuinely is room for seven adults.
There’s also a usable 258 litres of boot space at the back with all the seats up, and you can still make a seat out of the boot with a powered loading platform sliding out that can handle up to 300kg of weight, even though the split tailgate has gone. The rear of the car can be lowered to allow easier access for dogs and make it easier to attach things to tow.
All the seats can be easily folded flat individually, which results in a maximum of 2406 litre boot space and a load space that allows you to slide, say, a flatpack IKEA wardrobe in without catching on anything, as the flat seats’ leading edges are kept above the trailing ones.
Each person in the cabin will be able to keep their backside warm with a seat heater, charge their phone, find a space for their water bottle, keys, wallet, and other oddments, and connect to the wi-fi hotspot. There’s not much that hasn’t been thrown at the rear cabin of this car. Even the curry hook has been brought back.