​Land Rover Discovery offers high-end drive with small-capacity engine​

​What is it?

The Land Rover Discovery is capable of seating seven and tackling any terrain so it’s no surprise that it’s been popular amongst consumers.  

Initially available with traditional diesel and petrol engines, the Discovery recently introduced a new powertrain - the 2.0-litre petrol ‘Ingenium’ unit. 

In an attempt to cut down emissions, small capacity petrol engines have already been used by Jaguar and Land Rover and now the Discovery has joined in.  

Elsewhere, it shares a lot of the features of its previous iteration. The Discovery still gets seven comfortable seats that can fold flat, as well as a full suite of driver aids to ensure that you can drive confidently and comfortably, whatever track you’re on.

​What’s under the bonnet?

The Ingenium engine is the smallest capacity drivetrain available on the Discovery, at only 2.0 litres. It’s paralleled by a diesel version – though it’s the petrol that we’re looking at. It produces 298bhp and an impressive 400Nm of torque, which allows the two-tonne Discovery to reach 60mph in a reasonable 7.3 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 125mph.

Of course, a by-product of a smaller engine working hard to power a heavy body is the impact on economy and it has to be said, this isn’t the most emission friendly vehicle. Land Rover claims that it will return 29.4mpg on the combined cycle, though in daily driving we achieved closer to 22mpg. Emissions are sitting at 222g/km CO2 which is what you’d expect from a large SUV.

What’s it like to drive?

The Discovery is at its best when you sit back and soak up the comfort rather than put your foot down. It’s not as weighty as you might expect, though, and will certainly perform at a speed to rival most similarly-sized SUVs. 

The Discovery flattens out potholes and makes mincemeat of choppy road surfaces, plus the air suspension takes off all the hard edges with ease.

How does it look?

The Discovery’s looks have caused debate since it was first released. Some love its rounded, softer look – particularly compared to the previous model – while others aren’t as keen and have thrown much criticism at the off-set placement of the rear licence plate. As for us, we don’t mind it.

It makes an impact out on the road – though any car of this sheer size is going to – and the large alloy wheels are just the right size to counteract the huge amount of metal that makes up the Discovery’s body.

What’s it like inside?

The interior of the Discovery is an impressive blend of prestige and practicality. The technical offerings include heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and an extensive heads up display. Up front, it’s comfortable and spacious, with the seats providing plenty of support, while those in the middle row are equally well-off for space.

The rearmost seats are roomy too, though taller passengers will likely be best sitting there for shorter journeys. Children will be just fine here though, as well as the majority of average height adults as there’s ample legroom. If you’re needing as much luggage space as possible then both the second and third rows fold completely flat, offering up a massive 2,406 litres of luggage room.

What’s the spec like?

Our test car came in Luxury trim, which meant that it was packed with plenty of equipment as standard. A full 10-inch colour touchscreen came fitted as it does on all Discovery models. This includes tools such as satellite navigation and media. It’s not a bad system, with clear and easy to understand icons, and straightforward instructions to pair your phone or media devices.

Optional extras heavily add to the car’s overall price. That heated steering wheel? £200. Grey metallic paint? £850. The Discovery comes relatively well specified as standard, but start ticking too many boxes and you’ll quickly find the price creeping skywards.

Verdict

Although the fuel economy could be improved, the 2.0 litre petrol engine packs a powerful punch. The Discovery offers an impressive on and off-road performance as well as a spacious and prestigious interior. For extra power and performance, we’d recommend trying the diesel engine, but as family SUVs go, they don’t get much better than this.

To find out more about the Land Rover Discovery, to find your nearest Lookers Land Rover dealership and to book a test drive, click here.