“2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury”
Iconic Discovery models all-new for 2017
The latest iteration of the Land Rover Discovery (2017) represents the launch of the model’s fifth generation and displays a smoother, more futuristic design form. It moves away from the earlier boxy design forms of the old LR3 and LR4 images to a combination of new styling cues that some admirers may even consider sexy.
Engineered and manufactured in the UK, the new Land Rover Discovery models have been designed from the inside out with added versatility and usable interior space for up to seven adult passengers. The new Disco lineup incorporates the latest in technology and convenience features and is based on an advanced all-aluminum platform architecture.
The Land Rover Discovery will be available in two seating configurations – 5-passenger, and 7-passenger, and power will come from either a diesel or gasoline engine. In the US, the all-new Discovery is available with a powerful 3.0-liter, 254 horsepower turbocharged V-6 diesel engine, which is badged Td6, and is shared with both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation, a two-stage oil pump and revised fuel-injector nozzle for improved responses, refinement and efficient operation. The 254 horse engine provides healthier performance than before and traveling 0-60 mph takes only 7.7 seconds The diesel’s torque rating is a significant 443 lb. ft. available from just 1,750 rpm, the new Td6 diesel delivers relaxed cruising characteristics and stellar capability over a variety of terrains.
The alternate Gasoline engine is a 3.0-liter Si6 Supercharged V6 engine with auto stop/start that delivers 340 horsepower at 6,500 rpm while developing 332 pound feet of torque in a range from 3,500 to 5,000 rpm. The gas engine’s 0-60 mph time is 6.9 seconds.
Both engine variants are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which has been engineered by the powertrain experts at Land Rover to combine smooth shifts with sharp responses and optimized fuel efficiency.
All Discovery models deliver enhanced capability both on and off-road, and there is also available advanced towing technology.
Getting back to the new design, Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “The Discovery Vision Concept set the tone, alluding to a radical departure in design for the new Discovery family. Now, we have turned that concept into a production reality, and this beautifully proportioned vehicle is a highly versatile family SUV that makes a compelling statement to our customers.”
Even though the all-new Discovery looks very different, it is still instantly recognizable as a Land Rover Discovery. The distinctive stepped roofline, which has identified each of the four previous generations of Discovery is still in evidence, providing an elegant solution to a practical interior occupant spacing need.
Beginning up front, the sculpted surfaces, jewel-like headlamps and the sharply raked windshield break with the model’s tradition, while the daytime running lamps deliver a modern appearance along with a distinctive new light signature.
In profile, the side of the new model highlights the optimized volumes and proportions of the Discovery; the wheel arch design is similar to that of the Discovery Sport, featuring pronounced, smoothly contoured wheel arches, giving the Discovery a more planted and dynamic appearance.
The streamlined design makes the Discovery the most aerodynamic yet, with a drag coefficient from 0.35 contributing to improved efficiency and NVH reductions.
In the rear, the LED lamps display a horizontal emphasis, giving the Discovery a sportier look. Breaking from the last four generations of Discovery styling, the all-new model features a new one-piece tailgate that allows for a more athletic rear design that would not have been possible with the previous split arrangement. The rounded profile of the new tailgate’s integrates seamlessly with the body sides, providing a number of practical benefits. The larger opening makes for easier loading and unloading than before, and the larger tailgate provides enhanced shelter from the elements when raised. The rear spoiler – perfected in the wind tunnel – which has been integrated into the tailgate, plays a significant role in minimizing dirt accumulation on the rear glass, for better rear visibility without impacting aerodynamic performance.
The traditional stepped roof is synonymous with previous generations of Discovery, allowing for increased headroom in the third row seats, while a choice of panoramic roof options is designed to establish a feeling of spaciousness and light inside. The fixed panoramic design in the rear includes two separate sections – the largest glass area ever for a Land Rover roof – while forward there’s an opening section that accommodates both tilt-and-slide functions. Twin independently electrically controlled sunblinds provide shade and privacy when desired for both front and rear occupants.
Stylish side fender vents incorporate a horizontal, blade-like treatment that flows into the new Discovery’s ‘V’-grooved feature line; another strong Discovery family design cue.
While the tailgate design has changed to a one-piece opening, the asymmetric mounting of the license plate in it is a visual link to Discovery models of the past. Once the one-piece tailgate has opened, an innovative new optional 11-inch Powered Inner Tailgate delivers the enhanced versatility Land Rover is noted for.
When so equipped, this design solution includes an additional fold-down panel inside the rear load space that fits snugly against the tailgate when shut. It can be used to retain luggage when the tailgate is opened, or folded down to provide event seating and easy access to the large rear load area.
There are three standard trim ranges: SE; HSE and HSE Luxury. My test 2017 Land Rover Discovery was in HSE Luxury trim with the gasoline engine. The base sticker price was set at $63,950., while the final tally came to $82,300. After factoring in the options, which included: the Drive Pro Package; Dynamic Package; Capability Plus Package; 16-way Memory seats with Windsor leather; Vision Assist Package; full size spare wheel; Ebony Headliner; Load space partition net; Rover Tow Package; 21-inch 5-split-spoke alloy wheels; 360-degree Parking Aid; Front center console cooler compartment; Head-Up Display; Roof Rack; Load space cover; Autonomous Emergency Braking; Activity Key; Black Contrast Roof; Activity Key; Park Assist; Rear-Seat Entertainment; Silver metallic exterior paint; and Inland Transportation.
SUMMARY: Connectivity and infotainment are paramount in this newest Land Rover Discovery. The central infotainment and climate control panels are highly refined, intersected by a strong vertical pillar that’s both clean and user friendly. In the rear, The interaction of design and engineering is showcased by the new optional Land Rover Intelligent Seat Fold function, which allows the powered re configuration of the second and third row seats, utilizing switches just inside the tailgate, on the C-pillar, via the infotainment touchscreen, or even remotely using a smartphone.
The available Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system provides greater connectivity than ever before including access to a range of apps through its updated 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen display. , InControl® Touch Pro also manages the satellite navigation, heating and vehicle controls along with all other entertainment functions.
For advanced connectivity, InControl® Touch Pro Services includes InControl WiFi™ connectivity for up to eight devices. InControl Apps also allows owners to use selected apps from their smartphone on the 10.2-inch touchscreen. Bluetooth is standard throughout the range. In addition, InControl Touch Pro also provides updated satellite navigation functions, including door-to-door routing.
For the ultimate in all-terrain capability the fifth generation Discovery is available with a two-speed transfer box, providing selectable high and low range gears for optimum on-road and off-road performance. The intelligent system provides a standard 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels, but uses a range of sensors to distribute torque between the wheels depending upon the conditions.
For those who don’t want or need low range, there’s a Torsen differential and single-speed transfer box. The innovative All-Terrain Progress Control technology is optionally available and allows the driver to set a crawl speed ranging from 1.2mph (2km/h ) up to 19mph (30km/h) allowing the driver to use the cruise control functions to adjust the speed when the system is in operation, and an icon in the instrument cluster shows the existing setting and mode.
Terrain Response and four-corner air suspension are both invaluable features for off-roading, and piloting the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury on-road is akin to driving a luxury sport sedan, with instant acceleration response, on center steering feel and confidence-building stability. The ride quality is just firm enough without entering the intrusive range.
In the final perspective, this latest Land Rover Discovery has essentially moved onto territory formerly occupied by it larger sibling Range Rover models, in size that may be more appealing to many potential consumers. There are tons of other features on this impressive SUV, but not enough space to cover them all. It is not inexpensive, but it certainly seems worth its salt.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury
Base Price: $63,950.
Price as Tested: $82,300.
Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter Si6 Supercharged V6 with auto stop/start.
Horsepower (bhp): 340 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 332 @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
Transmission: ZF (8HP45) 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Permanent four wheel drive with standard locking center differential and Terrain Response® – optional locking rear differential.
Suspension: Electronic Air Suspension
Front – SLA suspension with twin lower links, air or coil springs, passive dampers and passive ARB.
Rear – Integral link suspension with air or coil springs, passive dampers and passive ARB.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, HDC, ETC, HAS, DSC and RSC.
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion 275/45 R21 A/S mounted on 5-slasnted “V”-spoke grey painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 115.08 inches with Air suspension / 115.04 with coil suspension.
Length Overall: 195.67 inches
Width: 87.4 inches-with mirrors
Height: 73.46 inches
Approach Angle: 29.5 degrees
Ramp Breakover Angle: 25.5 degrees
Departure Angle: 28.0 degrees
Ground Clearance (axle): 11.18 inches – front/rear
Wading Depth: 35.4 inches
Curb Weight: 4,751 lbs.
Turning Circle: 40.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 23.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 16 mpg city / 21 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: 6.9 seconds / Top speed=133 mph
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.