Arguably, the most telling demerit in Land Rover’s quest to build the world’s best family SUV is that the Discovery remains virtually unattainable to most households.

Its origins as an ‘affordable’ alternative to Gaydon’s other full-sized SUVs is at least discernible: an entry-level S model with the 2.0 diesel is £43,495, more than £15k cheaper than the lowliest Range Rover Sport.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Discovery is likely to slip behind Range Rover Sport values eventually but should remain sturdier than an Audi Q7’s

Nevertheless, given the spartan, cloth-seat nature of that version, Land Rover will be expecting most buyers to start shopping at SE or HSE level – comfortably more than £50k.

Opt for the 3.0-litre engine tested and you’ll need to factor in a £1500 walk-up. The running costs will be slightly higher, too.

Its CO2 output of 189g/km places the car on the 37 percent benefit-in-kind naughty step.

At 39.2mpg combined, the V6 isn’t that far adrift of the 43.5mpg claimed for the 2.0-litre motor – but as the 26.3mpg average recorded in True MPG testing shows, it’s radically thirstier than the equivalent engines found in the Q7 and BMW X5

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