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Next-gen Disco driven: Luxury meets off-road in SA

2017-07-13 08:57

Image: Motorpress

Sean Parker

Limpopo - While submerged in a river about a metre deep in the latest Land Rover Discovery it dawned on me how detached I felt from the experience. 

Cocooned in the tech-heavy cabin with massaging leather seats (that can be warmed and cooled) it’s possible to travel off-road in supreme luxury while your drinks chill in the optional centre fridge. 

And that in a nutshell is the new Discovery - a highly capable off-roader mated with superb luxury.

So, what’s new in the fifth-generation Disco? There’s adult-size third row seating, First Edition models, as well as the automaker's all-terrain technology, which encompasses a rotary dial offering various modes of ‘Terrain Response 2’ (normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; rock crawl). 

The Disco made mince-meat of the 4x4 course where we got to grips with steep, rocky inclines and a deep albeit short river crossing (The Disco has a wading depth of 900mm). 

Low-range can be engaged with the prod of a button utilising a lower gear ratio and locking the differential. Land Rover says this results in the axle spinning slower for consistent progress. 

Maximum ground clearance sits at a lofty 283mm (up 43mm) thanks to two off-road suspension height settings. Its double wishbone front and integral link rear suspension does a fine job of making sure the 4970mm long SUV rides supremely well on the tarmac and navigates off-road conditions. 

The optional ‘capability plus pack’ adds an active rear-diff as well as automaker's Terrain Response 2 system that includes a two-speed transfer box (with low-range) and terrain settings.

Watch: Technical tour of the Disco 5

Engines 

Powering this particular model is a 3.0-litre turbodiesel six-cylinder engine producing 190kW/600Nm via an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox (with low range of course). Bizarrely, our vehicle was fitted with paddle-shifts. 

A 3.0-litre supercharged petrol engine (250kW/450Nm) is also available. 

After driving close to 350km, the diesel impressed with its grunt. The new Disco tips the scales at 2230kgs despite its lightweight aluminium construction. 

Gallery: 2017 Land Rover Discovery 

The generous torque figure will come in handy when towing is required; maximum towing capacity is reportedly a class-leading 3500kg.  The Disco truly does offer a cushion-esque ride due to its optional four-wheel air suspension. 

Lots of toys

The new generation Discovery makes sense for the ‘connected’ family, with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for eight devices. 

Watch the video below in the story to see what the Discovery App offers owners, it’s truly a smart SUV.

As before, the Discovery is available with seven seats but now, is more spacious. This time all three rows are available with heated seats, while the front seats have a massage function for ultimate luxury.

Watch: InControl Remote App in action 

Load capacity is quoted at up to 2500 litres or up to 1231 litres behind the second seat row. An optional (R22 100) button panel in the boot offers the ability to fold out a ledge that can take a load of 300kgs. 

That same panel is used to drop and move seats and headrests with ease. 

The new Discovery showed its supreme capability off -road, and on tar, where it’ll probably spend most of its time. And, while it’s close to a million rand to get into one, the tech means it’s a perfect marriage of 'bundu' and luxurious smartness. 

Prices

3.0 TDV6 S R980 000
3.0 V6 Supercharged S R1 018 500 
3.0 TDV6 SE R1 109 250
3.0 V6 Supercharged SE R1 126 750
3.0 TDV6 HSE R1 223 000
3.0 V6 Supercharged HSE R1 240 500
3.0 TDV6 HSE Luxury R1 314 000
3.0 V6 Supercharged HSE Luxury R1 331 500 
3.0 TDV6 First Edition R1 440 000
3.0 V6 Supercharged First Edition R1 457 500

Discovery options list 

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Read more on:    land rover  |  discovery  |  sean parker  |  limpopo  |  new models

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