The 2018 Land Rover Discovery has finally gone the up-market way. The new SUV is now more sophisticated and features a softer-edged stance compared to the predecessor model. It is no longer blunt. I bet some enthusiasts will be put-off by the up-market design. The new model has adopted most of its new exterior features form the smaller Discovery Sport. The new styling is a huge departure from the all-terrain monster we have known it to be for the last 27 years.
However, in defense of their new strategy, Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s design chief argued that the model was undergoing a transformation that would see it adopt a premium and more refined look. He noted that people now want a well blend of luxury and off-road capability. Read along for more information:
2018 Land Rover Discovery Exterior
The new SUV is 14cm longer than the outgoing model at 4970mm but it is lower at 1846mm compared to the predecessor’s 1912mm. The model is based on an aluminum-intensive architecture, which has helped save a whole 480 kg from its curb-weight. This has helped designers add extra safety features and more premium materials.
For the last 27 years, this SUV has built a high reputation as a highly reliable off-roader. Therefore, in addition to the exterior refinement for a more premium look, designers have also improved the model to tackle the off-roads even better. The model in fact features double-wishbone suspension and air springs as standard. This means one can extend the SUV’s ground clearance when needed up to 283mm.
In addition, the model has an impressive approach angle of 34 degrees and a departure angle of 30 degrees. What’s more, the SUV can wade into water with a depth of 900mm. The SUV aerodynamics has also been improved, as the body shell is now smoother. The SUV also features an air suspension, which lowers its self at high speed, as well as active grille shutters, which help improve the SUV’s aerodynamics.
2018 Land Rover Discovery Interior
At the front, the SUV feature a new infotainment screen that is as much as 10-inch wide in some models. Buyers can also opt for an In Control Touch Pro that integrates Smartphone apps. It also features a 4G WiFi hotspot that can support up to 8 devices. Further, the model can support 9 USB ports and four, 12V charging points. The cabin also comes with numerous storage spaces including a hidden compartment behind air condition controls; there is also a center bin and a ‘curry hook’ to supports shopping bags.
The new model’s interior has been revised for more convenience and practicability. To begin with, Land Rover has revised the seat configuration for easier access to the third row as well as to accommodate child seats. For the new model, you can have ISOfix child seats mounted on the second or a third row in the SE trim and higher trims. The second and third row seats are adjustable electrically via a touch-screen on the dash or via a Smartphone app.
At the rear, designers of the SUV haves dropped the split tailgate in favor of a single-piece hatchback. To ensure buyers who like to sit at the boot-lid are not left out, the automaker has added a powered inner tailgate that comprises a 285 mm panel that flips out from the floor. It can support as much as 300kg. The seven-seat SUV offers 258 liters of cargo space when the third row seats are in place, which expands to 1,137 liters when the third row is folded, and a whopping 2,406 when the second and third row seats are folded.
The automaker also retains the SUV as an ideal towing vehicle, a feature treasured by many enthusiasts. New technologies have been added to help in this regard; they include Advanced Tow Assist to help reverse a trailer more easily via a rotary controller and pedals; there is also a Trailer Light Test, which pulses trailer lights from within the SUV.
Engine Specs and performance
In the US, the discovery will be offered in two power-trains. The first engine is a supercharged 3.0 L, gasoline mill good for 340 horses and450 Nm of torque. It propels the Land Rover discovery to accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is the fastest in the lineup. The engine is however, the least efficient with a fuel economy of 26.0 mpg on combined drives.
The second engine is a turbocharged 2.0 L, V-6 that produces 254 hp and 600 Nm of torque. This diesel mill powers the model to make the 0-60 mph dash in 7.7 seconds. In terms of fuel efficiency, it is rated at 39.2 mpg on combined drives.
However, in the UK, buyers will get an additional 2.0 L ingenium diesel mill capable of 240 hp and 500 Nm of torque. This engine powers the model to run from 0-60 mph in 8.0 seconds, 0.3 seconds slower than the turbocharged diesel mill. This is the most fuel-efficient engine rated at 43.5 mpg. It will be the base engine in the UK market.
All engines will be mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission system that comes with an option for either single-speed or two-speed torque vectoring center gearing. This feature allows low-range gears during tricky off-road drives. The All-Terrain Progress Control allows the driver to cap crawl speed at 19 mph to allow him/her to focus on the steering while the vehicle itself controls throttle and braking functions.
Price and release date
According to credible sources, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery will have an MSRP of $49,990 in the US. In the UK, the SUV will start at £43,495. Only 600 units will be delivered to dealerships in the UK and 529 in the US during the first deliveries starting next spring in the UK and mid next year in the US. Others will follow later on.
There are a number of competitors in this market segment. However, two standout, they are the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC90.