Originally introduced to bridge the gap between the utilitarian Defender and upmarket Range Rover, the Discovery found favour with many consumers who wanted the refinement of a Range Rover (at a far lower price) but the ruggedness of the Defender in one car.
Since then, the Discovery has grown into a distinctive model, with the third and fourth generation enjoying great popularity in South Africa. The fifth generation, known simply as Discovery 5, has been the recipient of a mid-cycle update.
While subtle, the nip/tuck has given the car a fresher, more modern appearance. This is courtesy of the redesigned LED headlamps up front and a revised bumper design. At the rear, LED taillamps give the Discovery a fresher look, while a reworked gloss black strip bearing the nameplate finishes everything off nicely.
An R-Dynamic model lends further aggression, with Gloss Black and Shadow Atlas exterior accents distinguishing it from other models.
Climb up into the cabin and you'll note that Land Rover has revised a number of bits and pieces in the interior. A new four-spoke steering wheel (similar to the tiller seen in the new Defender) is a welcome addition. It looks great and features the brand's "hidden-until-lit" switches and metal shift paddles. The Discovery 5 also receives a redesigned centre console, which houses an 11.4-inch touchscreen. According to the manufacturer, it's 48% larger than the screen which it replaces. Naturally, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Bluetooth are all part of the package.
A big part of the Discovery's appeal are the second row of seats, with space for up to seven passengers. Land Rover has redesigned the rear-most row, with the pews now providing better comfort and superior lateral support, courtesy of plumper, longer cushions which aids under-thigh support and improves posture for occupants.
Air suspension is standard on all models, providing the Discovery 5 with pothole crushing capabilities. If the pre-facelift - and indeed, Discovery 3 and 4 - are anything to go by, the 5 will have a superb ride, matched by only a few rivals. Of course, the air suspension comes in handy when heading off the beaten track. With the latest Terrain Response 2 tech, Land Rover says the latest Discovery is always ready to adapt to the driving conditions. A new Wade Mode also sets the car up for fording rivers and streams.
What's under the bonnet? Well, you have a choice of two new three-litre, straight-six Ingenium powertrains - one petrol and one diesel. The petrol model, now called the P360, produces 265 kW and 500 Nm of torque. Petrol derivatives utilise 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology, which aids performance and efficiency. The diesel D300 produces 221kW and 650Nm.
Pricing starts at R1 452 700 for the Discovery D300 S, while the range-topping Discovery P360 HSE R-Dynamic comes in at R1 710 900.
Discovery D300 S R1 452 700
Discovery D300 SE R-Dynamic R1 561 200
Discovery D300 HSE R-Dynamic R1 675 900
Discovery P360 S R1 487 600
Discovery P360 SE R-Dynamic R1 596 100
Discovery P360 HSE R-Dynamic R1 710 900
* Prices include VAT but exclude CO2 tax
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