Land Rover Discovery – our new seven-seat 4x4 on long-term test

Erin Baker
Land Rover Discovery Sd4 HSE long-term test - Erin Baker - christopher jones

The all-new Discovery has a hard act to follow - the previous version was adored by large families and serious off-roaders alike. Does a move to a smoother, less rugged look make it any less of a workhorse?

Our car: Land Rover Discovery Sd4 HSE List price when new: £56,995 Price as tested: £60,980 Official fuel economy: 43.5mpg (EU Combined). 

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October 5th, 2017

Fuel economy this week: yep, still in a courtesy car...

Our new Discovery is still at the garage, writes Ed Wiseman. Considering this is a brand new example of the most advanced 4x4 on the market, we're not impressed with the fact it's been out-of-action for a month. Granted, more complex cars tend to have more problems, but not to this extent and not at this stage of ownership. 

"It was on its way back to me when they discovered the parking camera still wasn't right," explained Erin, who's been running the Disco as a family car. She's been given an Evoque as a courtesy car, which has now been on her drive for longer than the Discovery. Erin has access to a number of cars by virtue of the fact she's a road-tester - most families who buy the Discovery will not. 

September 9th, 2017

Fuel economy this week: still in a courtesy car!

Land Rover has taken our long-term Discovery away to be thoroughly looked at. For readers who missed the sorry introduction to our new six-month test SUV, the list of things that went wrong in the first fortnight of ownership read something like this:

  • Reversing camera not working
  • Parking sensors warning beep distorted
  • Car not recognising when it was in Park
  • USB connection to iPhone for music not working
  • DAB radio intermittent
  • Satnav intermittent

Apart from that, it was a joy to have in Cornwall for a week, with four boys aboard the seven-seater. It made mincemeat of the mile-long unpaved track to our holiday house, the sumptuous suspension travel soaking up the deeply rutted surface.

But that's about all I can report for now; we're pottering around in an Evoque until Land Rover rings with more news. Already I'm missing the space and three-row layout of the Disco.

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August 24th, 2017

Fuel economy this week:  34.5mpg

This new Land Rover Discovery, with its 2.0-litre diesel engine and automatic gearbox, is going to be a brilliant family car, I know it is. I did the international launch of the SUV in Utah a few months ago and it was a phenomenal off-roader and long-distance cruiser.

I had planned to spend the first review waxing lyrical about our family summer holiday to Cornwall in it. But that will have to wait until next week, because the first report is sadly a litany of problems with the car. They're mostly minor, but, if I'd just spent 60 grand on this car and it was my pride and joy, I'd be beyond annoyed.

Bloody Land Rovers and their bloody electrical/software problems. A family next to us in Cornwall last week had to get up at 6am and drive to Truro to pick up a replacement hire car for their two-year-old Discovery which was malfunctioning all over the place. As did our new one.

First off, on the drive down to Cornwall, the reversing camera gave up the ghost which, when you're fully laden with four boys and luggage, is inconvenient. When we arrived at our holiday house, and I turned off the engine and opened the driver door, the car pinged at me to inform me I hadn't left the transmission in Park. I had. It did that most of the week, but sometimes not.

Fairly early on in our holiday, the infotainment system wouldn't recognise our iPhones connected via the USB port to the audio so we had to play music via Bluetooth, until that packed up too and would only take phone calls.

On the way back, the DAB signal stuttered and gave up the ghost, so I drove the last 100 miles in silence, and following my nose, because the satnav system also announced it was unavailable. Luckily I was on the M3 at that point and any fool can follow a motorway.

Oh, and the key has snapped off in the Land Rover top box but I have a feeling that may have been borne out of sheer frustration at not being able to shut it properly, so mea culpa there...

As I say, Land Rover will get to the bottom of it all, I know, and I also know this is, at heart, an excellent car mechanically; we had a few similar software glitches with our Volvo XC90. But my, you pay many tens of thousands of pounds for a premium new car these days, you don't expect any bloody problems, small or large.

How I longed for an analogue car last week, without any clever software or creature comforts.

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