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Land Rover Discovery 4 2012 Review

Compared with rougher off road vehicles, like Land Rover’s Defender, the Disco stands proud.
EXPERT RATING
8

At an isolated country pub, we felt right at home parking beside heavy duty, battle-scarred 4WDs. Sure, our Discovery 4 was new, it didn’t have a roo bar, or a snorkel to extend our 700mm wading depth -- but it could if we wanted it to. In fact, with great capability on road and off, plus a heap of optional extras, Land Rover’s Discovery 4 gave the impression it could probably do anything we wanted it to.

Price and Equipment

RRP is $68,900, though with a smorgasbord of optional extras the price tag can soar with the whims of your desire. Coming standard with the TDV6 are 18-in alloy wheels, independent front and rear suspension, Terrain Response, eight speakers, front automatic climate control, wheel-mounted cruise, Bluetooth and audio, TFT display, CommandShift, EBA, HDC with GRC, DSC, ABS, RSC, ETC, active roll mitigation, rear park distance control, electronic park brake, trailer stability assist, push button start, iPod connectivity, electric heated and adjustable mirrors, and full size spare wheel.

Our test vehicle came with extras such as a complicated rear seat entertainment and HDD navigation system, a console cooler box, and a wise addition for those wanting two extra seats - the $2,500 seven-seat pack.

Technology

The 2.7-litre TDV6 engine, six-speed adaptive automatic transmission, permanent four-wheel-drive Discovery 4 brings 140kW/440Nm.

The official fuel figure is 10.2L/100km and our trip on and off road found a comparable 11.9L/100km. With 0-100km in 12.7 seconds, pickup isn’t great pulling onto the motorway, but once you get going the Discovery 4 zips along, and with the comfort and off road abilities afforded in this size of vehicle, a slower take off speed is well worth it.

Design

Reliable enough for adventurers, stylish enough for cosmopolitan eyes, and practical for the entire family, the Discovery 4 TDV6 ticks a lot of boxes.

The luxurious interior makes you doubt the Discovery will ever want to get its wheels dirty. A sophisticated console, leather steering wheel, and plenty of storage keep passengers in pure, refined comfort. 

Externally a tungsten finish air intake, two new exterior colour options, halogen front lighting, and colour coded front bumper, tailgate lift handle, and mirror caps, dress up the Disco.

The tall profile gives plenty of headroom, while stadium seating in the back and command driving position up front gives great visibility, and iPod connectivity lets you repeatedly play Ride of the Valkyries as you shred trails.

The seats in back fold flat, making 2,558 litres of storage – good room for transporting large items, or a decent bed if it’s pouring during your camping trip. If you decide to go on safari, the two-piece asymmetric tailgate drops down to provide a standing viewing platform that can take the weight of two adults.

Though a bit big for crowded parking, the Discovery 4 TDV6 is capable on city streets, but that’s not where it belongs. In our opinion purchasing a Discovery for city life is akin to keeping a greyhound in an apartment. It can manage just fine, but you’re obliged to take it into the open so it can stretch out and do what it was born for.

Safety

With an Integrated Body-frame, ARM, HDC, RSC, ETC, DSC, EBA, four-channel all terrain ABS with all round ventilated disc brakes, as well as front and side airbags upfront, and curtain airbags in each row, the Discovery 4 TDV6 will protect you from your wild destinations. Incase the bright yellow diesel labeled fuel cap isn’t enough of a hint, the unnecessary diesel misfuelling device will prevent you from filling your diesel vehicle with petrol . . . in case you’re easily confused . . . in which case we suggest you take up cycling.

Driving

With Discovery 4’s five Terrain Response modes, and the electronic air suspension allowing you to raise the ride height up by 125mm or down by 50mm - all at the turn of a dial or touch of a button, the Discovery makes child’s play of finding the optimum settings.

Over gravel and potholes it handled great, slipping only a little when we tackled a muddy field, but then picked right up when we drove through a creek and onto a rock trail and the independent front and rear suspension kept a steady cabin.

There’s no hiding the fact that it’s a heavy vehicle, but for the size steering is light and the engine has very little NVH, giving the cabin a quite ride. A kerb to kerb turning radius of 11.45m makes hairpin turns on road a bit tough, but if you’re off road it’s not a problem as you can just drive off into the grass/gravel/sand/snow/rocks with hardly an extra bump.

Compared with rougher off road vehicles, like Land Rover’s Defender, the Disco stands proud. Wider than the Defender, you may brush against a few branches on narrow tracks, but if you’re a true off roader you’re not going to cry over a few scratches.

While the Defender wins extra notches in the bush, in unmodified vehicles the Discovery comes close in ground clearance (310mm with air suspension), it matches the Defender’s 3.5 tonne towing capacity, and surpasses its wading depth by sloughing through 700mm of water (with air suspension).

Where the Defender and many other SUV’s can’t compare is in the Discovery 4’s versatility.  It can happily accommodate the brazen bushranger or a suburban-tied parent. Push the Discovery 4 down trails, pull it onto the bitumen, brush off the accumulated dirt for the city, and regardless of the situation this SUV takes charge.

Verdict

Tougher than the Freelander and cushier than the Defender, Land Rover’s Discovery 4, 2.7-litre TDV6 is perfect for the adventurer seeking a beast born from the mating of oomph and awe.

Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6

Price: $68,900
Warranty: 3 years/100,000km roadside
Safety Equipment: EBA, HDC with GRC, DSC, ABS, RSC, ETC, active roll mitigation, rear park distance control, electronic park brake, trailer stability assist
Crash rating: N/A
Engine: 6 Cylinder, 2.7 Litre Diesel, 140kW/440Nm
Body: 4 Door SUV
Dimensions: 4838mm (L); 2176m (W); 1837mm (H); 2885mm (WB)
Kerb Weight: 2486kg
Transmission: Sports Automatic, 4X4 Constant
Economy: 10.2 / 100Km; 270g/km CO2

Pricing guides

$35,990
Based on 28 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$26,997
Highest Price
$48,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.7 TDV6 2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $25,000 – 33,110 2012 Land Rover Discovery 4 2012 2.7 TDV6 Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 HSE 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $32,700 – 42,790 2012 Land Rover Discovery 4 2012 3.0 SDV6 HSE Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 HSE Luxury 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $38,000 – 49,170 2012 Land Rover Discovery 4 2012 3.0 SDV6 HSE Luxury Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 SE 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $30,900 – 40,480 2012 Land Rover Discovery 4 2012 3.0 SDV6 SE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.