Land Rover Discovery 4 Review

18 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Land Rover Discovery 4 Review

Land Rover Discovery


As Land Rover’s self “next generation” Discovery 4 in front of me, I walk around it a drill sergeant critically his platoon, and mistakenly conclude despite the spit and polish… not so much a new generation as an extensive of the highly awarded Discovery 3.

The D3 some 100 international awards, no sitting proudly in LR’s office trophy case. So you can bet the designers and bean counters who the brief to top the predecessor’s coup de tat more than a few sleepless trying to figure out how they going to keep their and keep filling the trophy with new awards.


The changes seem subtle in but park the D4 next to its predecessor and you the simple rule of less is LR has effectively changed the previous square edged stance a more elegant pose, and theme carries over the renovated interior. A new Range two bar grill, some eye catching LED lights and tail lights with a rounded aero front bumper encasing a air duct, produce a more visual appeal.

However, LR was not to disturb that classic profile which is unmistakably and they’ve done it well. By the core design and features of the but refining the image particularly a vastly improved executive LR has closed the leap to the Range models. The D4 can now confidently stand up, itself off, step out of the working togs and don a dinner

However, rather than the new looks, the most important take place in the vehicle’s and technical DNA.


The proven and honest 2.7L is still available in the base But there’s little doubt the Twin Turbo will be the option for towing duties. A jaw 600Nms of torque (with 500 Nms just off idle) puts new powerhouse V6 in elite and heady

Our test vehicle was the HSE 5.0L V8 the Jaguar XF saloon, an elegantly unit leveraging the latest in design and technology. Whilst a 0.6L increase over the bent eight, this confidently raises the Discovery’s bench mark.

Advanced design, direct higher compression ratios, variable camshaft timing profile switching, and a variable-length manifold add up to deliver strong low RPM with crisp higher RPM LR claim 25% power and 19% torque with 8% less emissions and a 7% in economy over the drinking of the old power plant. Now given its to chew up and spit out everything I throw at it… this is what a V8 should be, never under and always over delivering!

are a number of changes specific to the requirements, power steering, air starter motor and alternator are now proofed, intelligent steps negotiating creek crossings, a deeper sump ensuring when tackling awkward Plus integration of LR’s smart e-Technologies designed to fuel economy and reduce including Regenerative Charging the alternator stops charging accelerating minimising unnecessary load maximising efficiency and


With a corpulent of torque available at 3500rpm, in the boot and you can feel it roll on yet assertively enough to provide to dispatch any on or off road duties you may with ease. If needed, the of power will firmly you into the seat as the low rumbling tones of the V8 see the tacho move toward 6,500rpm relentlessly this seemingly slothly from 0-100km/h in an eye widening mid 7 territory.

Is that really Well, the outgoing supercharged V8 Sport did it in low 7’s… a comforting when you need to pull out a busy highway and rapidly with traffic speeding at 110km/h.

Having an engine this much potential and it through the updated slick ZF 6-cog auto box is pure Shifts are quick, smooth and never disrupting the refined characteristics. This slick puts the extra low down of the V8 to good use with the torque locking up sooner, reducing RPM slip through the gears and directly into dollars at the bowser.

But don’t be fooled by regal riding carriage… the lever over to manual mode, and well… as I look the rear-vision mirror there’s dumb boyish smirk

The Ride

I was impressed by the D3’s stable ride for its size and thanks to the integrated body combining the best of monocoque and chassis designs. But it felt a portly. Kudos to LR, the D4 suspension has tuned to leverage the engine’s new and safely deliver it to any road

Revised suspension knuckles the center of gravity and suspension center closer together, with stiffer roll resulting in noticeable reduction to lay in assertive cornering. New bushes and further the handling and ride Whilst re-worked steering improved directness just off giving a feel of flowing the bends with small inputs, rather than to steer it round the corners.

the bling-it-up 20” rims and low profile did make this particular D4 a twitchy over some

Cruising some magnificent roads, the D4 was as comfortable as many sedans. While the D4 can’t its road biased sports like the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 for G forces, I was convinced the improved on performance was close to justifying the promotion to D4.

The key was now whether LR would stick to its heritage. Had the refined road manners diminished the off road ability? We dropped off the top to get to know the D4 in our preferred playground, those city slicker 4x4s can only dream

Off-road Ability

Heading steeply rutted tracks I the urge to intervene in the superbly duties of those highly electronics. The D4 displayed an uncanny and eerie ability to control and traction over pretty surfaces, particularly on those 20” tires.

Cross linked air offered good wheel keeping tires in contact terra firma as long as to maintain momentum until control and the electronic locking diff (a must have compensated for air borne wheels. clearance saw us straddle obstacles 4x4s would have up on, thanks to adjustable suspension from 185mm to a heady (extended recovery mode) off The absence of low hanging diff to act as impromptu ploughs proved during our testing through the sandy sections.

Approach of 37.2 degrees, ramp 27.9 and departures at 29.6 all to this vehicle’s off road We did cross over the Warren (aka Summer Creek) but a standard fording depth of … the D4 didn’t even notice.

Those 20” inch alloy and low profile tires look and contribute to brisk on road But it’s definitely disadvantaged off such low profile side instantly reducing ability to the tires’ foot print when the surface dictates the for lower pressures, plus the rim be running uncomfortably close to the It’s always a trade off and one I’m not comfortable with when the standard OEM road tires.

The impressive techno wizardry begins to shine as it sets compensating for the tires off-road Let’s put that into A 4×4 usually needs of torque and decent tires those with real walls) running appropriate pressures to make any good in really soft sand.

The boys suggested 12 psi was a good for current conditions. Our 20’ rims black rubber bands around them dropped to before the rims were to sitting on the ground and there was negligible side wall But after selecting sand and with the electronics harnessing the rpm to its maximum torque at 3500rpm, enough to 3 tonnes of laden D4 walked up the dune in high

It was impressive to say the least.

We started what the vehicle would be with more appropriate and rubber. But the higher performance necessitates stronger braking and the D4 has stoppers all round with discs up front and 350s out – hence you can’t put 18” let alone 17” on this thing. with 20” rims, make you’ve got a second spare if you venturing past the outer good luck trying to get one of off the shelf in a remote country

The D4 retains the brilliant Terrain System (TRS) which tested and proven to work effectively with the D3, Range Vogue and Rangie Sport. TRS controls ABS, Electronic Control, transmission and differential Hill Descent Control, height and Engine Management The driver simply moves a to specify the driving terrain rock, mud etc) and the TRS adjusts the key systems to providing the optimal capability for the current circumstances buy engine performance and dynamic characteristics.

New to the D4 is Sand Launch, a feature wheel spin at take off in soft sand – for those soft sandy Rock crawl mode, greater control at low speeds in or reverse through judicious application making our summer cross a doddle, whilst the Release Control effectively brake pressure after the was removed from the brake stopping that unnerving as we tipped the nose over the of some steep tracks.

graded undulating winding roads were a joy to drive; the took bumps and dips in its with the air suspension absorbing the irregularities without upsetting the atmosphere of the cabin. It could all changed quickly as I rounded a without warning the road to a single lane track and quickly into a right 90 degree turn.

With a boot full of brake and knuckles whitened on the steering I wondered just how tough new radiator grill would to be and just how a face full of air bag feel. While I expected in the way of rapid braking with rims and tires… the Discovery its incredible technological credentials by washing off speed, maintaining and directional steering control the ball bearing gravel and me to negotiate the hair pin bend the embarrassment of the big D4 being force fed a of grass and leaves.

This was a testament to just how good vehicle’s inbuilt technology and systems are when things go pear shaped. As good as the are on road, its fair to say the D4’s better off road.


D3s haven’t had a spotless record for of their complex electronics, problems diminished significantly in years. LR claim previous have been sorted in the D4. yes… with our test telling us every morning the battery was low, and the passenger’s camera playing hide and with the centre display I began to wonder….

We later there was a software update to the battery warning and a possible of connection with the camera.


Looking inside you be forgiven for thinking you’re in a Rangie. There’s extensive of soft touch surfaces, the button encrusted consol of the D3 is replaced with a simple uncluttered control center towards the driver which elegantly down to the revised console. Everything just to be where it should, getting to the location of the controls was fast and

This is an interior worthy of a name plate; fit and finish is everything looks well and appears to be solidly bolted Could this be Land reasserting itself to reclaim its lost title of a reliable quality automotive manufacture?

The new TFT control information display is a and a welcome change, as it now incorporates of the vehicle’s navigation and audio including an Ipod interface, in one location, utilising manual or command on some functions. The new drive sat nav system is a vast it’s quicker with graphics and this time to display most of the side we travelled.

The D4 seats 7 full adults in comfort and can carry a luggage load when the seats are folded flat the floor. The new seats are supportive and comfortable for longer journeys, and the for the head rest to push the forward on taller drivers has thanks to new adjustable head Sadly gone, however, are signature grab handles for the passengers when things get

The D4 retains all the best points of the practicality, folding seats, holes, drink holders and

For more techno wizardry, our V8 had Beam Assist, which the high beam on or off, it believes you need the extra As for the five camera surround I instantly thought ‘GIMMICK’. it does actually work.

handy offroad when placement is critical. And it makes or hooking up a trailer a breeze, and tow provides trajectory lines on as you reverse the trailer. The D4 also has a called Trailer Stability it detects trailer oscillations and reduce engine torque and the brakes in a symmetric and asymmetric to regain trailer control. clever…


Over 1500k’s of rough corrugations, sand, even steeper being dust blasted and across slippery rocky the D4 performed its duties flawlessly an elegance and refinement limited to a handful of high end luxury Other manufacturers should heed – it is demonstrably possible to the best of both worlds!

The D4 has a full 3500kg towing new levels of performance, an extensive of standard features, and an executive with ride and comfort a luxury sedan. Add in a who’s who of features… including dual side and curtain airbags back to the third row of seats, and the clever technology.

With on and off road capability and practicality the smoothly moves from transport to load carrying and off family adventure. This is one which will offer few in its ability to perform well you throw at it. If the Disco falls in budget range, don’t yourself the opportunity to take a drive of what is probably the practical versatile and well genuine family seven SUV on the market today.

submitted by Ray


Nuts and bolts:

Engines: turbocharged V6 diesel, max power at 4000rpm, max torque 440Nm at 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 diesel, max 180kW at 4000rpm, max torque at 2000rpm; 5.0-litre fuel-injected V8 max power 276kW at 6500rpm, max 510Nm at 3500rpm.

Transmission: automatic, full time drive.

Brakes and stability Disc brakes with EBA, Electronic Brake EBD, Electronic Brake-force ETC, Electronic Traction DSC, Dynamic Stability GRC Gradiant Release Control HDC Descnet Control SLC Sand Control EUC Enhanced Understeer RSC, Roll Stability TSA. Trailer Stability

Wheels, tyres: 18-20 alloy rims, 255/55 R18 to R20.

Fuel and economy: litres per 100km (2.7), (3.0), 14.4L/100km (V8) Capacity 86 litres.

Dimensions: 4838mm, width 2176mm, 1837mm.

Ground clearance standard height (mm) 185 clearance – off road (mm) 240 Ground clearance maxium height (mm) 310 angle – standard (°) 32.2 Approach angle off road height (°) 37.2 angle – standard (°) 22.8 Ramp angle off road height (°) 27.9 angle – standard (°) 26.7 Departure angle off road height (°) 29.6 depth – maximum 700

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