The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is a departure from the squared off shape of its LR4 predecessor. Sophisticated surface areas and sultry lines give this full-size SUV a seductive look, even when it gets filthy from its extensive off-road exploits.
The streamlined design makes this year’s model the most aerodynamic yet, helping the Discovery take you 21 miles down the highway on a single gallon of fuel. If you opt for the diesel version, you’ll go 26 highway miles on a gallon of fuel.
In the U.S., the Land Rover Discovery will be offered in three trims: Se, HSE and HSE Luxury. Engine choices include a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 or a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel.
The 2017 Discovery can carry up to seven passengers in its three rows. Three rows are standard in the upper trim, but optional in SE and HSE trims, which seat five.
Land Rover vehicles have grown to become status symbols, and most of them will never fully use their considerable off-road capabilities. But Land Rover owners can rest easy knowing that if they ever need to ford a three-foot-deep bayou, slog down a rutted deer camp trail or even escape the Zombie apocalypse, they’re in the vehicle that can get the job done.
Several years ago, I attended a Land Rover Driving School at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and was amazed at what these vehicles can do. The Discovery has ground clearance of more than 11 inches. Combine that with an approach angle of up to 34 degrees, a breakover angle of 27.5 degrees and a departure angle of 30 degrees and you get a vehicle that can conquer some pretty treacherous terrain.
The Land Rover Discovery uses sophisticated terrain response systems that allow the driver to optimize the vehicle’s performance in varying conditions. With the newest generation Terrain Response system, the driver can set the vehicle to perform best in normal driving, grass, gravel and snow, mud and ruts, sand and rocks.
The Discovery also has Land Rover’s All-Terrain Progress Control system, which is sort of a cruise control for off-road. The driver can set a crawl speed ranging from 1.2 mph up to 19 mph. Other on- and off-road driver assists include hill descent control, gradient brake release, electronic traction control and roll stability control.
The Discovery can tow up to 8,201 pounds, and the optional Advanced Tow Assist makes the job of backing a trailer easier. There’s also a rear height adjust that allows the driver to lower and raise the height of the rear of the vehicle.
On the road, the Discovery’s engine choices provide plenty of power for this nimble SUV. In our test vehicle, the gasoline V6 developed 340 horsepower and sent 332 lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels. The diesel V6 develops 254 horsepower, but delivers a whopping 443 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic.
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery is luxurious and upscale. One really cool new feature is a powered inside tailgate, which lowers when the outside tailgate is opened. It makes an impromptu tailgate seat or just an easier way to load heavy objects. The inside tailgate can support up to 661 pounds.
Sophisticated driver and safety assist systems include parking assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, speed limit sign recognition, auto high beams, a surround sound camera, lane departure warning and lane departure assist.
The base Discovery SE with the gasoline engine starts at $49,900, The HSE starts at $56,950, and the HSE Luxury starts at $63,950.
2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury
3.0-liter supercharged V6
$63,950 ($82,100 with options & freight)
EPA mileage estimate:
16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg combined
Estimated highway range: