Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Discovery has a starting price that undercuts many of its key rivals, so it makes sense if you’re looking for a big, seriously capable off-roader without much luxury kit. The trouble begins when you start adding extra creature comforts, and even stepping up one trim level to SE pushes up the price considerably. In fact, doing so makes the Discovery more expensive to buy than an equivalent Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90.
On the plus side, the Discovery is several thousand pounds cheaper than Land Rover’s similarly sized – albeit faster and more luxurious – Range Rover Sport. PCP finance deals are also competitive, so the Discovery might actually end up costing you less per month than many of its key rivals.
Just remember, the Discovery will be more expensive to run that the majority of its rivals. Even the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel emits a high 197g/km of CO2 and fuel economy is far from impressive. In fact, in our real-world True MPG tests, our favoured Sd6 engine could only manage 26.3mpg. In comparison, the Audi Q7 45 TDI managed a far more palatable 32.3mpg.
Equipment, options and extras
Depending on trim level, the amount of equipment the Discovery comes with ranges from surprisingly sparse to seriously lavish. We recommend avoiding S trim, which isn't very generously equipped at all.
SE trim is a far more useful package, even though it adds a few thousand to the price. It adds leather seats (heated in the front), automatic lights and wipers, and LED headlights, along with the infotainment upgrades we covered earlier.
Our favourite trim is HSE, though, which adds keyless entry, a fixed panoramic glass roof, electric third-row seats and heated second-row seats. If you choose this trim, it’s worth thinking about paying a bit extra for the intelligent seat-folding feature (read more about this in the seating flexibility section).
Then there’s the range-topping HSE Luxury trim. You get lots of standard creature comforts, including the intelligent seat folding, an electrically operated sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, four-zone climate control and a surround-view camera system. However, it’s too pricey to recommend.
It’s tricky to say how reliable the Discovery will be since it was too new to feature in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Land Rover as a brand came a shocking 30th place (out of 31 manufacturers) in the overall brand league table. Electronic glitches are a notable weak point on other Land Rover models.
A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty – which also includes UK and European roadside assistance – should provide some peace of mind. This is about standard for the class, and actually slightly better than the cover you get on the Q7.
Safety and security
All trim levels come with eight airbags and lane-keeping assistance, and an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system that will also automatically hit the brakes if it senses that a collision is imminent – it can even recognise pedestrians crossing your path.
Upgrade to HSE trim and you get a driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition (the speed limit of the road you’re driving down is displayed on the dashboard), a blindspot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter warns you of approaching vehicles when you’re backing out onto a road.
All three rows of seats have Isofix mounting points – a feature noted by Euro NCAP when it awarded the Discovery the maximum five stars in its crash test. If you look at the individual categories, the Discovery doesn't score as highly as the XC90 or Q7 for adult or child protection, but it does outscore them both when it comes to protecting pedestrians.
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