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Land Rover Discovery 4 vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE and Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

Wagons roll! The swanky big off-roaders combine plush with punch. Craig Duff weighs them up.

value

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

from $84,430

The Disco starts to look dowdy here against a more contemporary upstart. Standard fare ranges from an 11-speaker Meridian audio to leather seats, air suspension, auto xenon headlamps, seven seats and Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth audio streaming — taken for granted in mainstream models — adds $850, adaptive cruise control is $2300 and satnav adds $3240. Warranty is three years/100,000km and service interval 12 months/26,000km. Capped-price servicing isn’t on the agenda.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

from $80,000

The features list isn’t out of place on a six-figure car, from adaptive cruise control and dual-pane sunroof to powered, heated and cooled front seats wrapped in leather, air suspension and active noise cancellation from the 19-speaker Haman Kardon audio. It all looks and feels as plush as many European rivals. The warranty is three years/100,000km and service intervals six months/12,000km.

design

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

The boxy cabin has a terrific ability to ingest bodies or bags. The Popemobile looks ensure good outward vision in traffic. Rear sensors and a camera take care of reversing. Erecting and stowing the third row seats isn’t as flip-friendly as in some rivals.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

The big seven-slot chrome grille lets everyone know you’ve bought a Jeep. Visibility isn’t as good as the Disco but the cabin layout is every bit as well composed, capped off by an 8.4-inch touchscreen that’s still one of the easiest to operate. The absence of third-row seating pushes cargo space to almost 800L.

technology

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

A 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel, good for 183kW/600Nm, is plugged in to an eight-speed auto and a dual-speed transfer case. Fuel economy is 8.8L/100km. It has five-mode Terrain Response software to adapt engine, braking, air suspension and transmission to the surface. There’s an electronic centre diff lock but an active rear diff is a $1060 option.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

The Jeep's 3.0-litre turbo diesel is rated at 184kW/570Nm. As with the Disco, there’s a two-range transfer case and eight-speed automatic with official combined fuel use of 7.5L/100km. Jeep's Selec-Terrain software tweaks the drivetrain depending on the surface and there's a separate sports mode in the transmission itself.

safety

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

ANCAP and EuroNCAP haven't tested a Discovery 4, so there's no data to disclose. The Disco 3 earned four stars in 2006. Depending on your point of view that's good news — this model rides on the same chassis — or slightly disconcerting, given that crash-test standards have come a long way in nine years.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

A poor front crash score limited the Grand Cherokee to a four-star score and a rating of 29.95/37 when tested at launch in 2011. A seat slider failure, contact with the dash by the driver's knee and an airbag "bottoming out" from a head impact all cost it points despite the structure staying stable.

driving

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

The drive is impressive for what should be a lumbering SUV, especially the lack of body roll and its composure over large hits like speed bumps. It helps make the Land Rover a comfortable city bus with decent steering and a responsive engine. In the bush the Disco is more impressive than most owners will ever need it to be and it backs that up with 3.5-tonne towing capacity.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

With the big turbo diesel weighing down the front, the Grand Cherokee pitches more than we'd like and isn't the fastest to change direction. Interior ambience is first-rate and acceleration is brisker than the Disco, if not by much. The steering has a softer, vaguer feel though the wheel itself is more reassuring to hold. Those 20-inch wheels, while filling out the arches, won't help the Summit in off-road duties. Towing is rated to 3.5 tonnes.

Verdict

Land Rover Discovery 4 SDV6 SE

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Platinum

The Jeep wins on price and the fact its safety can be assessed. It fails to match the Disco in some areas but comes close enough. The other factors push it in front.