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Land Rover Discovery


Range Rover Evoque

Summary

Land Rover Discovery

I know what you’re thinking; this new Land Rover Discovery has gone a bit soft.

It’s built on the road-focused Range Rover Sport platform now. It’s lighter. And safer. Better equipped. Less, well, square. Hell, it’s even offered with a choice of two tiny four-cylinder engines, along with the traditional V6 unit.

And all of that surely means it’s just a little less rugged than the cars that have gone before it, right?

But Land Rover assures us that is actually not the case, declaring this all-new, fifth-generation car the most capable Disco ever.

So have they gone stark Rovering mad?

Safety rating
Engine Type3.0L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency8.8L/100km
Seating5 seats

Range Rover Evoque

For the all the downsides that you'd imagine come along with being a vampire (you know, all the blood-sucking, coffin-sleeping stuff, as well as the fact it’s just about impossible to get a decent tan), one of the biggest negatives must surely be never being able to see your own reflection.

Think about it; without being able to see yourself, you’d still think flared jeans look good. Or that the bowl cut was still in fashion - two looks you really should never be caught undead in.

The reason I’ve come across all Nosferatu is that I’ve just climbed into the cabin of the all-new Range Rover Evoque, and my reflection has suddenly disappeared.

See, one of the key complaints about the outgoing car was the fact that, owing to what Range Rover describes as its “falling roof, high belt line” design philosophy, you could never see much out of the rear window.

This time around, though, Range Rover has an answer, having replaced the glass in the rear-vision mirror with a new high-tech screen that streams a live feed from a camera mounted at the rear of the car. It’s clever tech, and it means rear vision is better than you could ever expect from a traditional mirror - even if you can no longer see yourself reflected in it.

But it’s also a solid indication of what’s to come from the new Evoque, with Range Rover amping up the cabin technology and ambience as its once Spice Girls-inspired SUV - the brand's fastest-selling vehicle of all time, with more than 800,000 sold since 2011 - finally grows up.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency5.1L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Land Rover Discovery7.6/10

It's a hell of a job, keeping the purists happy. But on first impressions, this new Disco should just about pull it off. Comfortable on the road, and capable of tackling anything its owners are likely to throw at it off it. Be prepared to spend up if you want a well-optioned one, though.

For us, though, the equipment of the HSE trim level blended with the power of the V6 engine is the pick of the bunch.

Are you keen to dance in this Disco? Tell us what you think in the comments below


Range Rover Evoque7.9/10

The Range Rover Evoque might have only grown slightly, but more importantly, it feels all grown up. No longer offered as a three-door convertible oddity, it's a plush and premium-feeling SUV that feels at home in the city, and even more so off-road (should you ever want to take it bush, which you won't...).

Is the Evoque your luxury SUV of choice? Let us know in the comments.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel and meals provided.

Design

Land Rover Discovery8/10

Land Rover has attempted a sleeker, more urban design this time around, only without losing all of its boxy heritage, and the results are, well, a little confusing.

Viewed front on, this new Disco looks smooth and powerful, with a narrow bonnet that drops into the flared arches of the front wheels adding instant road presence. And from the rear it looks good, too.

Some will argue that the offset numberplate is an over-indulgence, or that it looks a little fridge-like with its narrow and tall dimensions, but we like it.

But it’s the three-quarter view that’s a little hard to stomach, with the smooth lines of the front end meeting the squared-off rear with all the subtlety of a wave meeting the shoreline.

Inside, though, it’s a picture of premium, with soft-touch cabin materials and a stylish, unfussy dash setup oozing a sense of considered quality.


Range Rover Evoque9/10

If you’re one of those people who still believes that SUVs can’t be sexy, I’ve got a ton of evidence here that will prove you wrong. In fact, it’s more than a ton; the new Range Rover Evoque is around 1800kg of sleek and sexy metal that takes the traditional boxy SUV formula and dumps it on its head.

Honestly, if you don’t think this thing is handsome then it’s time for a thicker set of glasses. 

Those barely there headlamps are, according to Range Rover, the narrowest of any production vehicle, while the pop-out handles, swept back grille and the clean, unfussy body lines all combine to produce a vehicle that is seriously striking in the metal. 

“This is probably the greatest manifestations so far of our modernist approach. And modernism means reduction. Look how clean the body is - there’s no line on that vehicle which isn’t doing a job,” says Range Rover head designer Gerry McGovern.

The cabin is a study in high-end class; the materials (a choice between traditional leathers or vegan-approved sustainable materials, including Eucalyptus-sourced seat materials and plastic-derived dash padding), and it's luxurious and modern-feeling at every touchpoint.

The cabin has undergone a tech overhaul, too. A new digital screen replaces the old air-con control centre with a touchscreen that controls the car’s key functions, while the angled infotainment screen sits flush with the padded dash, only angling toward the cabin when you start the car.

It’s a seriously plush, wonderfully useable interior, let down slightly by some strange fit-and-finish oversights.

The electronic control unit for the sunroof is clearly visible from the cabin, for example, and for mine, the traditional giant steering wheel used by the brand doesn’t work with the more compact dimensions of the Evoque.

Practicality

Land Rover Discovery9/10

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given it’s the size of small apartment block, the Disco’s people-and-cargo-carrying abilities are first rate. The official dimensions are 4970mm are long, 1846mm high and 2220mm wide, but that translates most simply as bloody massive.

Up front, there’s plenty of space for front-seat riders, though the super-wide central unit that runs from the dash to the centre console and houses everything from the touchscreen unit to the 4WD controls does eat into knee room a little. Front seat riders will share two central cupholders, and there’s room in the all doors for bottles.

Climb into the massive second row (it’s three-adults-across-the-middle big) and you’ll find your surroundings hinge on what trim level you’re in, with top-spec models adding climate control functions, dual USB points and two cupholders housed in a pulldown divider.

Opt for a seven-seat model (and you probably should) and you’ll find access to the third row a little tricky, but once there the space is genuinely impressive. At 176cm, I’m far from the tallest tester, but I do consider myself adult-sized, and I had clear air between my knees and the seat in front, and between my head and the ceiling.

Flatten the second and third seat (which you can do remotely via an app, should you so wish) and you’ll be able to squeeze 2,500 litres of cargo on board, helped by its two-metre load length and 1.4-metre load width. But drop only the third row and you’ll still get 1,231 litres. And you can add to that up to 21 separate storage areas that can add another 45 litres of space.

There’s also two or four ISOFIX attachment points, with two in the second row in all models joining another two in the third row for seven-seat cars.


Range Rover Evoque8/10

It might not look much bigger, but an increase in wheelbase and some clever packaging ensures the Evoque feels far more spacious inside. 

The offical numbers are 4371mm in length, 2100mm in width and 1649mm in height, and it sits on a 2681mm wheelbase.

The tangible result of all those figures, though, is a backseat in which you can comfortably spend a couple of hours, with enough leg and headroom behind my own 175cm driving position to ensure even taller passengers won't do much complaining.

The boot, too, is a usable space, serving up 591 litres of luggage swallowing space with the rear seats in place.

Speaking of rear seats, there's a ISOFIX attachment point in each corner, as well as two cupholders in a pull-down divider - matching the two for up-front riders. 

You get rear vents but no temperature controls, and a single power source, too. 

Price and features

Land Rover Discovery7/10

It’s a complicated lineup, with three engines available in any of the four trim grades, which in turn are offered with five or seven seats, plus there’s a launch special called the First Edition to further muddy the waters.

And that means you can technically climb into a pared-back Discovery S for a low $65,960 for a five-seater, or stretch to $131,870 for a full-fruit launch edition, with the vast area between those two numbers populated by everything else. 

The entry-level S ($65,960 - $84,671) is a fairly simple offering, with 19-inch alloys, cloth seats, a leather-wrapped wheel with paddle-shifters and two-zone manual climate control the pick of a sparse standard inclusions list. Cruise control is also standard fit, as is a raised inner-boot guard that stops your luggage falling out when you open the boot.

Step up to the SE ($77,050 - $94,701) and you’ll add standard air suspension, with fixed height settings for off-road, normal and access (which lowers the car if you need to pass under a low roof, for example), along with rain-sensing wipers and powered and heated wing mirrors.

LED headlights (with an undeniably cool Nike Swoosh-style design) and leather seats also join the party at the SE level, as does ambient interior lighting and front parking sensors, while your eight-inch touchscreen is now nav-equipped, and pairs with a better, 10-speaker stereo.

Next is the HSE trim ($87,150 - $103,661), which adds some cool design elements, like LED taillights, 20-inch alloys outside, along with winged headrests, quality woodgrain highlights and even more ambient lighting inside. Your climate is now three-zone, too, and some bonus hiding holes appear (like a clever storage compartment under the front cupholders that only appears when you slide the unit forward). Your stereo is upgraded to a 10-speaker Meridian unit, too, and is controlled through a bigger, 10-inch touchscreen.

At the top of the regular Disco family tree, is the HSE Luxury ($100,950 - $117,461), which is a not-insignificant amount of money no matter which way you shake it. For that spend, though, you’ll add a powered sunroof, unique 20-inch alloys and finer leather on your seats, which are now also heated and cooled in the front. You’ll also add a surround-view camera and get the pick of the sound-systems; a 14-speaker Meridian unit. 

On the 4WD front, everything but the entry-point S models get a low-range-equipped 4WD system (the S is high-range only), and Range Rover's Terrain Response (which allows you to select traction settings based on the whether you're driving one mud, rocks, sand etc) is standard across the range. The newer Terrain Response 2, which automatically senses the surface and adjusts accordingly, is a cost option.


Range Rover Evoque8/10

The Evoque will span seven trim levels with a choice of six engines when it arrives in Australia in May, but it’s actually not quite so complicated as it sounds. 

Range Rover has abandoned the old entry-level Pure spec (which means a $6090 price jump - a number the brand squares away with an increase in standard spec).

You can now opt for the new entry-level S cars in diesel or petrol guise (D150 - $64,640, D180 - $67,040 in diesel, or P200 - $62,670 and P250 - $68,840 in petrol), or you can step up the mid-spec SE trim, with also unlocks new engines (D150 - $70,580, D180 - $72,980 and D240 - $85,000 in diesel, or P200 - $68,610, P250 - $72,780 and P300 - $83,000 in petrol).

Finally, you’ve got the top-spec HSE trim, which arrives with just the two engine choices; the D240 diesel for $92,220 or the P300 petrol for $90,230. 

Not enough options? Right, then maybe the sportier R-Dynamic body style is for you. It’s available on all the above trim/engine variants, and will set you back somewhere between $2970 and $3870 above the standard pricing. 

Still not enough? Then you could always shoot for the feature-packed First Edition cars; available with the D180 ($91,550) or P250 ($91,300) engines. 

Ok, I take it back; it’s every bit as complicated as it sounds. 

Rather than run you through the long and varied list of standard equipment, we'll instead talking you through some of the key equipment of each grade.

Base-model cars, for example, arrive with leather seats, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, a leather steering wheel and a 10-inch multimedia screen that pairs with a six-speaker stereo, and that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a second digital screen that replaces the old climate-control centre and controls most of the car's functions.

Step up to the SE, HSE or First Edition, and your wheels grow to 20-inch alloys, and you get auto headlights, very cool LED DRLs and a powered tailgate. HSE and First Edition cars also make use of a 10-speaker Meridian sound system. 

Engine & trans

Land Rover Discovery8/10

There’s three diesel power plants on offer, and each pairs with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that channels power to all four wheels. 

The entry level (and destined to be unpopular) option is the lesser of the two four-cylinder engines, 2.0-litre “Ingenium” unit that will deliver 132kW and 430Nm.

We’re yet to test the low-output option, to be honest, but we’d be shocked if buyers found it ample to shift the Disco’s bulk, even if this new model is a staggering 480kg lighter than its predecessor. Land Rover says that engine will help produce a 10.5-second sprint to 100km/h.

Better, then, to step up to the more powerful version of that engine, which produces 177kW and 500Nm thanks to some tuning tweaks. As a result, a far more palatable sprint time of 8.3 seconds can be achieved. 

But for ours, the best-suited option remains the powerful 3.0-litre diesel V6, which will fire 190kW and 600Nm to the tyres on demand. And the result of all this extra grunt? A slightly improved sprint claim of 8.1 seconds. But those numbers don’t tell the full story of an engine that feels more urgent and eager when you prod the accelerator.


Range Rover Evoque7/10

There’s a total six engines on offer here; three diesel and three petrol choices, all spawned off a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder powerplant that pairs with a nine-speed automatic and that feeds power to all four wheels. 

The least powerful options are the D150 diesel (110kW and 380NM) and the P200 petrol (147kW and 320Nm), before you step up to the D180 diesel (132kW and 430Nm) and P250 petrol (183kW and 365Nm), all of which form the only engine choices in the entry-level S trim.

The SE shoppers can choose from all of the above, but also add the D240 diesel (177kW and 500Nm) or the P300 petrol (221kW and 400Nm). HSE shoppers can choose between only the D240 and P300 engines. Finally, First Edition cars are equipped with either the D180 or P250 engines.

Annoyingly, we're once again victims of our own poor fuel quality. While international markets make use of a mild-hybrid system designed to plug any torque holes on take-of, it's been deleted on all petrol engines for our market, with the exception of the P300. Happily, the diesel engines do get the tech here, thanks to their diesel particulate filters.

Fuel consumption

Land Rover Discovery8/10

The lowest-output diesel will drink 6.3-litres per hundred kilometres on the claimed/combined cycle, with that number climbing to an only slightly worse 6.5 litres for the more powerful four-cylinder unit. 

Opt for the V6, though, and your fuel use climbs to 7.2 litres per hundred kilometres (claimed/combined). 


Range Rover Evoque8/10

We spent time with two engines. The first was the D240, for which Range Rover claims a combined fuel figure of 6.0-6.2L/100km, and Co2 emissions of 163g/km.

Next up was the P250, which ups those same numbers to 7.9-8.0L/100km and 180g/km.

Driving

Land Rover Discovery7/10

Land Rover is faced with the most impossible of challenges with this new Disco. For one, it’s filling in for the legendary Defender as the brand’s most capable offering, and that means it needs to be able to go places and do things a Range Rover simply can’t. Anything less will have the purists frothing.

But equally, Land Rover knows that the overwhelming majority of its customers are unlikely to tackle anything more challenging than a suburban speed bump, and so they needed to soften its image and improve its road manners, without sacrificing capability.

So Land Rover pointed the Disco’s nose towards Australia’s red centre, putting its fleet through their paces on the sealed roads and red dirt tracks that encircle Uluru. And on a custom-built track consisting of moguls, water crossings and angled climbs sharp enough to put some articulation pressure on the wheels, the Disco conquered all before it with ease. 

It must be said, though, that there was nothing on offer that would genuinely challenge it, but equally, the Disco always felt like it had plenty in reserve, too. And with a maximum 283mm ground clearance, 500mm of wheel articulation and a wading depth of 900mm (which is 200mm more than outgoing model), along with air suspension on all but the entry-level S, it does point to some genuine off-road potential.

On our brief tarmac drive we were surprised by the smooth and steady power delivery of the bigger four-cylinder diesel, which propels the two-tonne-plus Land Rover along with surprising ease. It’s not fast, but it never feels underwhelming.

But the pick for us was the six-cylinder option, which unlocks its 600Nm low in the rev range and feels a far more natural fit for the big Disco. It’s louder and little more gruff than its four-cylinder sibling, but it feels faster, too. And for us, that’s a fair trade off.

The Disco happily switched from tarmac to rutted tracks with ease, and while the super-smooth tarmac of the Northern Territory wasn't much of a challenge, it sorted out the worst of the off-road stuff with little bother.

Australia’s outback famously offers up very little in the way of cornering, but the few we did encounter had us a little concerned with the top-heavy nature of the Discovery, with sharp direction changes sending passengers into a noticeable wobble. 

Still, our limited wheel time means we’ll be reserving final judgement until we can spend more time with each variant, but our taste-test sample reveals a car that does appear to straddle that line between capable and comfortable.


Range Rover Evoque8/10

It's might not exactly the kind of thing you'd expect owners to be attempting in an urban-focused SUV, but we can confidently tell you the all-new Evoque can tackle all sorts of challenging off-road tasks. 

From crossing rivers before suddenly driving up them (yep, driving along an actual river), to tricky rock climbs and even following disused railway tracks like an automotive version of Stand By Me, the Evoque handled it all with easy aplomb. 

The point Range Rover is undoubtedly hammering home here is that this new Evoque is a little different to the Spice Girls-inspired city car that came before it. You’ll find no Victoria Beckham signatures here. And there are no silly convertibles or utterly impractical three-door versions, and no front-wheel-drive option, either.

Instead, this Evoque has finally grown up, slotting neatly into the rest of the brand’s off-road-ready line-up.

Now the brand says it isn’t sure exactly how many Evoque owners will ever actually take their cars off-road, but we expect it’s a number so small you’d need a microscope to spot it. So the good news is that it’s pretty handy on the road as well.

The interior is beautifully crafted, awash with leather or vegan wrapping and high-def screens, and the Apple CarPlay integration works beautifully, too.

It’s not the sportiest feeling drive. The steering doesn’t tell you much and there’s some pause in the acceleration, but are you looking for tightly-strung performance from an SUV in this segment? Probably not.

What you do get us a car that feels solid and solidly put together, and spacious in the cabin, and which is quiet and comfortable, and offers more than enough urge to shuttle you around the city. 

The standard suspension, combined with the overall weight of the car, doesn’t inspire too much confidence - especially on a downhill run, where the weight feels concentrated over the front axle and there's plenty of movement in the body.

Adaptive dampers make a world of difference, eliminating more of the body roll and just helping the Rover feel more sorted and dynamic. The diesel engine, too, is a boon, helping shift the considerable bulk with its rich wave of torque.

The ride is more settled and composed than the outgoing car, too.

The short version, then, is that Range Rover has developed an SUV that is as perfectly suited to the city as its sleek and stylish looks suggest - and one that will surely rattle some premium cages when it arrives in Australia in May.

Safety

Land Rover Discovery7/10

The Discovery range has been awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, six airbags (front, front-side and curtain), a reversing camera, AEB and Lane Departure Warning fitted on every model, joining  the usual suite of traction and braking aids.


Range Rover Evoque8/10

Standard safety kit here includes AEB, a reversing camera, cruise control, driver-fatigue detection, lane-keep assist, front and rear parking sensors and traffic-sign recognition.

The very clever rear-view mirror/camera is standard from the SE trim on up, as is blind-spot monitoring, a park assist system and rear cross-traffic alert.

The new Evoque is yet to be ANCAP tested, but the company says it's confident of a five-star result.

Ownership

Land Rover Discovery7/10

The Discovery range is covered by a three-year, 100,000km warranty, but you can extend that to five years at an extra cost. You can also pre-pay your service costs for the first five years of ownership.

The four-cylinder engines get genuinely impressive service intervals of 24 months/34,000km, while the V6 requires a trip to the dealership every 12 months or 26,000km.


Range Rover Evoque7/10

Expect Range Rover's standard three-year, 100,000km warranty here, with servicing required every 12 months.

The brand will sell you a five-year service plan at the point of purchase, allowing you to bundle those costs into your finance package.