So it looks good on the outside, but what’s the new Land Rover Discovery like on the inside? Shortly before its reveal we got the chance to clamber inside ahead of the Paris motor show and give it the once over.
The first thing that strikes you is how everything has been turned up several notches from the current car: it’s smarter, better finished and - thanks in no small part to the infotainment upgrades - considerably more modern looking.
That command driving position that sets Land Rover apart is present and correct and there’s an undeniable Land Rover look and feel to the cabin, despite the numerous updates. That seating position and the front end dimensions also mean that the view out of the window is great, and it’s no problem knowing where the front corners are.
Noticeable, too, are the small, clever touches that separate the cleverest cars from the also-rans - the secret storage area behind the ventilation controls, for instance, and the cavernous storage compartment that can hold four iPads and which is accessed by sliding back the cup holders in the centre console. Historians will delight that the infamous curry hook is back, there to hold up your Friday night takeaway and prevent spillages that will last long beyond your regret at a lost korma, while useful touches such as an easy-fit ISOFIX system abound.
One way of summing up the clever practicality is by considering that they've gone to the effort of having a headrest on the middle second row seat that can be dropped by the driver with three pushes of the touchscreen. Why? If you've ever driven along regretting your rear view being obscured by a headrest... and then got back in the car for the return journey and regretted why you forgot to put it down, you will understand. It's a small touch, but neatly sums up the attention to detail.
Land Rover says the panoramic roof is the largest it has ever fitted - I didn’t have the tape measure with me to check, but there’s no question the cabin feels light and airy. That’s true right in the back in the third row of seats, too, where it’s claimed that the Discovery can carry two 95th percentile adults - even if there are five more in the front two rows.
At 190cm (6ft 3) tall, I probably exceed that 95th percentile limit but with the middle row of seats set appropriately I would - just - have put up with a 50-mile journey back in the third row. As ever, if you’re buying one it’s best to try for yourself, but the claims around seven-seat practicality seem reasonable enough: headroom is good, kneeroom a bit tight and - in my far-from-nimble case, it was a bit of an effort to clamber in and tumble out.
The boot space is vast, especially with the seats configurable at the touch of buttons. The tailgate - or at least the absence of the split tailgate - is controversial on paper and in pictures, but less of a problem in reality. The drop-down boot seat does the job; the giant boot lid makes sense as a canopy.
On this early evidence, the claims of quality and practicality gains ring true. Let's hope the rest of the car lives up to it.