What is it?
Land Rover likes to imagine the Discovery as the ideal conglomerate of its split personality: absorbing just enough of the Range Rover’s prestige to counteract the blunt-force utilitarianism of the dearly departed Defender - with the prospect of seven exceedingly family-friendly seats lobbed in for good measure.
In some parts of the world, where the Range Rover symbolises Land Rover to the exclusion of practically everything else, the Discovery hardly features. But in the UK, it is automotive manna to the upper-middle-class, muddy boot-wearing white collar types, landowners, horsebox enthusiasts and anyone with a lingering affection for ‘proper’ 4x4s.
We adored it, too. The outgoing Discovery 4 was, by rights, too heavy, too thirsty and in possession of far too many right angles for something intended to move through air - but it drove softly and superbly, could not be stopped by anything short of a tank trap and would easily accommodate a five-a-side football team, plus kit.
Its replacement does all of these things too, except it does them while being lighter, less thirsty and with all the sharp edges of a stormtrooper’s helmet. The blurrier look is intended to help broaden the car’s appeal, and better locate it in the current Land Rover line-up. A new four-cylinder engine – the 237bhp 2.0-litre twin-turbo Ingenium unit – ought to do likewise, with an official combined economy of 43.5mpg.
We’ve delved deep into the technical detail previously, so now, with the car finally in the UK, it’s time to double-check what seemed like impeccable credentials at the international launch. Elsewhere, we’ve tried the 3.0-litre diesel V6; here we concentrate on the four-cylinder in HSE trim, a combination which costs from £56,995.