Few can compete with Discovery’s luxury, off-road capabilities

Few can compete with Discovery's luxury, off-road capabilities

2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE

Buyers are going for the 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 due to its enticing styling inside and out, clever technology features that enhance family friendliness, and off-road capabilities that definitely exceed expectations.

The odds are good that you will find few obstacles off-road that the Discovery cannot handle.

The fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery is all new, replacing the LR4. Luxurious, bold looking, and highly comfortable with loads of space and compartments for everything. This unusual blend of luxury and all-terrain capabilities leaves the Discovery with few competitors outside of Land Rover’s own stable.

For 2017, the boxy shape is gone, replaced by graceful styling outside and a more luxurious interior. But don’t think the softer lines mean that the Discovery isn’t just as capable as ever.

With seating for up to seven adults, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery has a large, airy cabin that remains quiet even at highway speeds.

There are top-notch materials throughout, and the sophisticated design makes the Discovery’s cabin a nice place to spend your time.

Available in three trim levels — SE, HSE and HSE Luxury — the Discovery I tested was the latter. All models have seating for seven, but stepping up to the HSE Luxury gets you the 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, and a navigation system offered in the mid-range HSE package, but adds a panoramic sunroof, an air suspension, premium leather, and power-folding third-row seats.

Also available is a smartphone app that can reconfigure the seats and activate the climate control remotely, a power inner tailgate to use as a bench or assist in loading bulky items, a waterproof activity key that looks like a fitness tracker bracelet and locks or unlocks the vehicle, and a trailer assist system that takes the guesswork out of reversing with a trailer. It also offers the typical advanced safety features found on other luxury SUVs, along with an automated parking system.

The Td6 HSE has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 diesel putting out 254 horsepower, with 443 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, and my model came with a two-speed transfer case for increased off-road capabilities.

Acceleration is seamless, as the transmission shifts quite smoothly and quietly. Steering is precise and responsive, handling well for a vehicle of its size and weight.

The Td6 weighs in at 5,582 pounds. But keep in mind this generation has dropped more than 1,000 pounds over its predecessor. The Td6 tows up to 7,716 pounds.

A nice feature is that the lane-keeping assist is selectable, separate from lane warning, and remains on even if cruise control is not active.

Off-road, the Discovery has few peers. The auto terrain response automatically adjusts to the terrain, such recognized it had moved to deep sand.

Inside, I really like the material choices that make the cabin feel premium. The graining and textures are sort of nontraditional. There is a pebble grain on a soft-touch leatherette type material. On the top there is what looks like a wire mesh under a gold tent varnish, which is an interesting replacement for wood, and then there is brushed metal trim surrounding the center console.”

There are three rows of quite comfortable seats, 21 seating configurations, and a number of motors to make the power adjustments. And with regard to the infotainment system, while it is much improved, the volume button is situated on the passenger side, making it hard to reach.

The base price for the Discovery with a diesel is $66,945, but the sticker on our test model was $79,950. Fuel economy comes in at a respectable 21 city and 26 highway.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at grant@communitynewspapers.com.

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