The folks at Land River reckon that size really is everything. Take a look at the new Discovery for instance, a SUV so big that it could well have its own pincode. But that’s not a bad thing. The company knows that Indians love their SUVs big and bulky. Not only does the car look bigger than an army tank, its also built like one, but more on that later.
Chances are that you have started to struggle with identifying or telling the difference between the Evoque, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Velar from a distance. That’s because the designers at the company wanted to retain the company look for all these cars. From a distance you will mistake it for the smaller Discovery sport. The front end looks similar with its rectangular lamps and large squarish grille. The side profile with its chunky wheel arches with a prominent bulge gives it a tough look. The rear though simple in design looks elegant too. Overall, the car doesn’t stand out, especially when compared to the Volvo XC90 or even the Audi Q7, but still looks menacing enough on the road.
The cabin is a classy place to be in and the sense of solidity is absolute inside the cabin. Plush materials abound all across, and the upholstery simply shouts class. The cabin has benefitted from fresh thinking on the inside too. The dashboard design has been tweaked to make it easier to operate. The big touchscreen is easy to operate and has good legibility too. The knobs and buttons have a nice feel, while the leather and brushed aluminium bits have a sense of high quality. The only odd bit is the steering which is on the larger side.
Rear occupants will appreciate the generous width on offer inside the cabin, which ensures that three can sit abreast without any issues. The last row of occupants have decent head and legroom too and should not find any reason to complaint.
Engine, performance and gearbox
We drove the 3-litre petrol version with over 355bhp of power. 0-100kph comes up in under 8 seconds on this car. These figures are very good considering that the car weighs well over 2 tonnes. The eight-speed automatic gearbox does a fabulous job of shifting gears and only when you need brisk acceleration will you ever want to shift gears yourself. While the engine refinement is more than adequate, we would rather prefer that you choose the diesel option. The petrol version simply has a nasty habit of sipping too much fuel.
Ride and handling
900mm of water wading depth and 283mm of ground clearance clearly showcases this cars keen interest towards off-roading. If you want a pure off-roader then nothing beats this one. By building the new Discovery in less of an SUV way and more car-like way than before, Land Rover has cut its weight by a well over 450kg, an achievement in itself. This shows in its agility as well. While the older version of the car felt like manoeuvring a heavy tank this one feels as light as a compact SUV. The steering has plenty of feel and the dynamics of the car all generally all good.
If you have the cash with you then the new Discovery is worth the price. Its excellent fuel economy, brilliant posh cabin and unbeatable off-roading prowess make it one of the best large sized luxury SUVs on sale in India.