While the long-wheelbase Range Rover and impressive new Range Sport hog the headlines, Land Rover has lavished a bit of TLC on its second-oldest model: the Discovery. New for this iteration are redesigned lights, a more economical engine, and a handful of extra techie options.
Certainly doesn’t look like a nine-year old car, the Discovery…
Strictly, this is an updated Discovery 4, which has only been on sale since 2009, but the 4 is essentially a heavily facelifted version of 2004’s Discovery 3: it retains the dual chassis unibody/body-on-frame construction responsible for the 2570kg kerb weight.
That said, the boxy Disco still looks remarkably fresh – consider BMW has introduced two new X5s in the time the current Discovery has been on sale. This new version gets new headlight clusters which at last bin the fairy-light LEDs in favour of a Range Rover-style light motif. There’s also engine badging on the doors rather than the tailgate (which has been stripped of its ‘4’ designation, and there’s now prominent ‘DISCOVERY’ badging proudly atop the bonnet).
Taillights clusters have switched to dark surrounds, and two fresh alloy wheel designs complete the nip and tuck. Still a handsome old brute, no?
What’s mechanically new for the 2014 Disco?
The only engine option available in the UK, the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, has been to eco-camp and now returns a claimed 35.3mpg, up from 32.1mpg before. CO2 emissions have tumbled from 230g/km to 213g, dropping the Discovery a tax bracket (and saving its owner £195 annually). The sole transmission remains ZF’s eight-speed paddleshift automatic.
A full suite of safety gadgets is now available, from wade-depth sensing to blind-spot monitoring, closing vehicle sensing and front-mounted cameras to help peek out of oblique T-junctions.
As per the new Range Rover, there’s also a choice of two Meridian speaker systems. The 380W, eight-speaker system should just about handle nursery rhymes on the school run, while the ultimate 17-speaker, 825W version is enough for the complete Glastonbury-on-wheels experience (minus the sweat), with enough off-road ability to pull you out of Worthy Farm’s infamous mud to boot.