Glen Hill
3 minute read
12 Mar 2014
2:30 pm

Land Rover Discovery has a change of identity

Glen Hill

Before climbing into Range Rover Evoques for a day long dash to Zambia from Botswana, we spent a while travelling in the latest incarnations of the Land Rover Discovery.

Given that this was off road stuff, it was perhaps a bit unfair on the Evoque.

The Discovery has reached quite extraordinary levels of comfort and ability, when fitted with the air suspension at least, and it is hard to imagine needing or wanting anything more in a vehicle. At R900 000 imagining is all it will ever be for me, but if you can afford it, the Discovery is a great choice.

The most significant advance is probably the change to a supercharged V6 petrol engine. The new mill is rated at 250kW and 450Nm which is down a bit on the outgoing engine, but it boasts a more than 2l/100km improvement in fuel consumption.

The Discovery continues to be available with the 183kW/600Nm 3.0 SDV6 and the the 155kW/520Nm 3.0 TDV6.

Given the Discovery’s Terrain Response and High/Low ratios there really isn’t much one might want to traverse that the Discovery wont be up for. Like the Evoque it gets an Extended Navigation system, as standard, and the Tracks4Africa suite can really be put to good use in this machine. For the urban environment, the mapping software is Nokia HERE.

The rest of the changes are a mixture of pretty and practical, spearheaded by a new “face” and numerous detail exterior changes. The grille, front bumper and headlamps are all new while new daytime running lights with an LED signature and a more premium execution to the foglamp surround further enhance the Discovery’s appearance.

Two new alloy wheel designs have been introduced and, to give vehicles a heightened level of distinction, the optional ‘Black Design Pack’ remains available for 2014 models, featuring revised detailing and a choice of 19-inch or 20-inch black alloy wheels.

In a change driven by form and function, the 2014 Discovery has redesigned exterior mirrors. They’re more aerodynamic than before but also support the introduction of new technologies: they house the cameras for the surround camera system, and the sensors for the all-new Wade Sensing system. Wade Sensing is an optional extra exclusively on the top-flight HSE grade, and tells drivers, via the TFT screen, how close to the maximum wading depth of 700mm they are. The system is activated when water hits the bottom of the lowest Parking Aid sensor, projecting a graphic of the vehicle in profile onto the screen, with a real-time indication of the water level relative to the maximum wading depth, with warning chimes that sound as this figure approaches. Information to calculate water depth is supplied by sonar-based sensors in the mirror housings.

In recognition of the Discovery’s established identity, the refreshed exterior design for 2014 also incorporates a change of identity. For the first time, the “Discovery” name replaces ‘Land Rover’ on the bonnet and the number 4 will be removed from the tailgate, leaving just the word “Discovery.'” The oval Land Rover logo is in a richer shade of green.

To align the 2014 Discovery with Range Rover vehicles, the SE and HSE models will now be fitted with Meridian premium audio.