Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Land Rover Discovery facelift: Test Drive Review
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Land Rover Discovery facelift: Test Drive Review

Date: 21 August 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Large 4x4
P11D price: £47,235
Key rival: Mercedes GL

As mid-life facelifts go, the Land Rover Discovery's changes are more than just some fancy new lights. The firm has listened to its customers and made some significant changes.

That customer feedback, mainly from the US, was one of the main reasons for the change to the distinctive front. It used to be very flat-fronted but the new nose looks much more in keeping with the Range Rover line-up. The result is a less distinctive front, but one that equally looks more elegant.

The interior, too, has been given the Range Rover treatment with the dashboard looking much cleaner and simpler, yet cleverly containing more technology than ever. Materials have also been improved with better quality plastics and leathers.

On the tough off-road course we drove Land Rover showed it was still a 4x4 class leader. The car was fitted with a £580 camera system to give a 360-degree view around it, which was very useful for off-roading as well as parking or reversing to a trailer.

However, the engineers maintain it's the on-road performance that has seen the greatest improvements.

While you can get the 2.7 V6 diesel for at least another year, the Discovery is also now fitted with the new 3.0-litre V6 from sister firm Jaguar's XF.

This means it's fast, smoother and more economical than the 2.7, although it's still at the maximum 35% benefit-in-kind tax level with a 244g/km CO2 rating. And it is also much more expensive. The new 3.0-litre V6 costs from just over £40,000. This is a lot of money, but you have to remember what you're getting. We've put this car up against seven-seat 4x4 rivals (see below), but only the Merc GL will get near the Discovery off-road while maintaining the same levels of luxury. The Audi Q7 is a luxury 4x4, but won't cut it off-road and the Toyota Land Cruiser is great off-road, but lacks on-road prowess. So while in our cost comparison the Land Rover comes third, it's still ahead of it's only real rival, the GL. Fleets have to decide if they need the all-round ability, or can sacrifice one aspect and go for a more cost-efficient vehicle.

However, for that extra money, the level of comfort and control is impressive and if you need to tow or go off-road, but also want a family car and great mile-cruiser, then the Discovery has it all pegged. Our only criticism, is that the throttle response is a little slow and seems to need more of a prod of the accelerator than you'd expect.

The outcome, though, is a car that looks and feels like a Range Rover, yet is still a seven-seat family car and ultimate off-roader to boot.

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TDV6 HSE auto
P11D price£47,235
Model price range£31,995-£47,235
Fuel consumption30.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 244g/km (35%)
BIK 20/40% per month£275/£551
Service interval16,000mls
Insurancegroup 17
Boot space (min/max)540/2558 litres
Engine size/power2993cc/245PS
Top speed/0-62mph112mph/9.0secs
On sale August 2009
VerdictPricey but excellent
all-round 7-seat car,
also stunning off-road


Pricey but excellent all-round 7-seat car, also stunning off-road