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2018 Land Rover Discovery: is the Discovery as good on the road as it is for off road?

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The Land Rover Discovery is a versatile crossover SUV that’s as good at carrying passengers as it is for off road adventures. There is plenty of space with three rows of seats and the vista up ahead is clear as is the trail side and roadside. And if you opt for the optional adjustable suspension you get up to 11.1 inches of clearance.

Design

The 2018 edition comes with automated forward collision warning, emergency braking, a 10.2 inch display screen and InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Pedestrian detection is built in too. The HSE and HSE Luxury trims have a revamped heads up display and you can use gas or diesel in all trims.

Engine and Transmission

Whether it is diesel or gas the Discovery provides excellent towing. The 8 speed automatic transmission runs smoothly and is ideal for on-road driving. Its off-road properties are just as good with hill descent control, low range gearing and a locking rear differential.

Those with the Si6 mark have a 3.0 liter V-6 340-hp supercharged engine.  The Td6 are powered by a 3.0 liter V-6 254 HP diesel engine. Both are notable for having very little vibration and work well with the 8 speed automatic. You handle the automatic via the center console rotary knob.

An all wheel drive system is provided for all Discovery models. The gas engine packs more power and has quicker acceleration. The diesel engine has a lower torque but is perfectly suited for off-road adventures.

If you’re going to spend most of your time towing heavy loads get the V6 gas, as it has an 8201 lb towing capacity vs 7716 for the diesel. If your main objective is fuel economy then the diesel is the better option.

Driving and Performance

The Discovery offers excellent driving performance both on and off the road. The diesel is also good but its acceleration is more relaxed. The 2018 Discovery retains the brake, steering and handling components from the 2017 edition and that’s not a bad thing.

The Discovery weighs 5498 lbs and when on heavy throttle you’ll hear it in the cabin. The noise isn’t too bad though and simply tells you how much power the Discovery has.

Steering, Handling and Ride

Once you’re in the Discovery you’ll realize that it’s as much for adventurous off-road driving as well as cruising to the shopping mall. This isn’t the most versatile crossover SUV and handling still feels a bit heavy. But it is more manageable and less top heavy during turns compared to the previous version.

The ride, steering and handling qualities are good considering this is a large SUV. If you get the air suspension you’re not going to encounter problems going over bumpy roads.

Brakes

This isn’t one of the stronger points of the SUV as it feels kind of soft. Even so the brakes do work and that’s what matters.

Passenger Space and Interior

The cabin is plush and spacious, and all three rows provide the driver and all passengers a clear view of the road and trails ahead and around. Headroom is sufficient. The first row seat offers adequate space as the second row.

For the third row you’ll need to move the second row seat forward to get in. While it’s a bit awkward you’ll still feel comfortable when you’re sitting down.

The interior materials are high quality, in particular the Td6 HSE Luxury two-tone design. The dash accents and ivory leather complement one another. There are open-pore wood trims, dashtop soft touch black plastic, brown leather on the door and center console and heated, power adjustable seats.

There are ten cup holders, climate controls, lumbar support and side boosters. The overall impression you get is full luxury.

Audio and Infotainment

The Discovery comes with Wi-Fi support, navigation and an intuitive interface. The 2018 edition has discarded the InControl Touch infotainment system and now has the InControl Touch Pro which has more features.

With the Pro you get a 10.2 inch display, 4G LTE data connection, Wi-Fi hotspot as well as real time traffic and real time weather updates. There is also AUX input, USB ports, Bluetooth audio, Bluetooth phone and voice control.

The features depend on what kind of trim you bought. The base SE for instance, comes with an 8 inch screen only, with the 10.2 inch display optional. The HSE trim have a 10 speaker setup while the HSE Luxury has 14 speakers. The more high end the trim the more features you’ll get.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a crossover SUV that’s as good on the road as it is off-road, the Land Rover Discovery is as good a bet as any. With a ground clearance higher than most pick up trucks, safety features and infotainment, it is easy to give this a thumbs up.

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