Photos: Afsar Baig | Courtesy: Land Rover
The all-new Discovery looks like a sophisticated vehicle with an extended body, which gets you thinking whether it is a capable on and off terrain vehicle like all other Land Rover vehicles. But all doubts about its pure Land Rover DNA are put to rest the moment you get inside the vehicle and take it out for a spin. I was handed over the keys to the V6 3-litre petrol new Discovery HSE variant and I took it through a rugged jungle path on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Like a Discovery has always been, this one too comes with a lot of magic to its performance. There is no denying the fact that the Discovery Terrain Response System optimises the vehicle performance on different terrains. With the twist of a rotary knob, you can select different drive modes such as General Driving, Sand, Rock Crawl, Mud & Ruts and Grass, Gravel and Snow. Coupled with a permanent four-wheel drive system and an electronic air suspension, driving is a lot more comfortable with the new Discovery.
The electronic air suspension comes in handy on tough terrains. With buttons on the console, you can automatically lower the ride height by 40mm when the vehicle is parked. Also, by using switches in the load space or on the key fob one can lower the rear ride height and this is useful when loading or unloading luggage.
Features such as stop/start, electronic power assisted steering and innumerable cameras make this vehicle easy to manoeuvre in city traffic too.
Photo: Afsar Baig | Courtesy: Land Rover
In fact, an interesting feature in this Discovery is its cameras that are used to view every angle around the car, be it surround, rear, front or sides. The touch screen doubles up as a screen to show you the different angles and, in fact, one can see two different angles with these cameras. The screen simply splits into two parts showing two different angles at any given time.
The front of the vehicle is a lot more charming than the rear with its wrap-around headlights, LED lights, a slim, yet elegant grille and “Discovery” sprawled over the tip of the bonnet and the tail gate. The front end is clean and sculpted.
The side profile is what makes you wonder whether it is an estate in disguise or a blue-blooded SUV. Beyond the B-pillar, the bulge on the roof is evident, a design made necessary to ensure more head room in the third passenger row and the stadium seating within. As you move on to the rear, the wrap-around tail lights and the prominent skid plate make it look purposeful. It’s a lot more rounded at the rear. The vehicle sits on a set of 20 inches, 5-split spoke wheels. The integrated spoiler at the rear with a shark fin antenna adds a chic element.
It’s the inside of the Discovery that really is the clincher. It is not just good on and off the road but it can seat seven adults in full comfort. I hopped on from the driver’s seat to the second row and then to the third row, and the comfort the seats offered was almost unbelievable. No other passenger vehicle in my memory offers so much comfort for so many people and yet drives like an SUV and offers superlative levels of driveability. In fact, I would say the USP of this Discovery is the seating space that has been created within the cabin with its umpteen permutations and combinations. It’s truly amazing.
Photo: Afsar Baig | Courtesy: Land Rover
I won’t delve too much on the large infotainment touchscreen, the good use of materials like premium leather, wood and metal finishers. The electrically adjustable steering for rake and reach, the touch screen functions for anything from navigation to audio (controls the 380W Meridian sound system with 10 speakers and a dual-channel subwoofer) to seat adjustments, USB ports and charging points — all of this uplifts the car’s profile. If seating is a great plus point in this car, so is the storage spaces built into this vehicle.
There is space in the upper and lower glove box, central armrest stowage with an optional chiller compartment and space for multiple tablets, space in the door bins to accommodate 1-litre bottles in front and 0.5 litre bottles in the second row. This is a brilliant all-rounder, to say the least!
Land Rover Discovery HSE
Si6 2,995 cc petrol, V6
450Nm @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
Front: 2X48 sliding fist caliper; rear: 43mm sliding fist caliper
Price: Rs 77.86 lakh
Report: Motown India; www.motownindia.com