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 £46,335, more than £15k cheaper than the lowliest Range Rover Sport.
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. The SE adds electrically-adjusted grained leather seats, LED headlights, a 250w stereo, front and rear parking sensors, and heated, power folding door mirrrors, while the HSE gains a Windsor leather interior, 380W Meridian sound system, panoramic glass roof, keyless entry, a powered tailgate and rear view camera.
The HSE Luxury trim includes rear seat entertainment, app-controlled folding seats, an electric sunroof and 360-degree parking cameras. 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.