NOW in its fourth generation and considered one of the journeyman models of the 4WD sector, the Land Rover Discovery is one of those vehicles that just seems to live on for ever and ever.
The ‘4’ as it’s sometimes known has been around since 2009, and will ironically be replaced next year by the ‘5’ – a completely new look Land Rover Discovery set to hit Australian shores in July of 2017.
But even though it’s chunkier, drinks more fuel and is as rugged as an elephant wandering on the African Savanna, there is pretty much nothing on the market that matches the Discovery for being the genuine complete package – good off-road, comfortable, and seriously practical.
You might be thinking the humble Discovery sounds dated and it is, but new to the range however is the 2016 Land Rover Discovery SDV6 Landmark Edition – an improved luxury version of the ‘disco’ that enthusiasts of the brand and the model will love, and so will everyone else.
The Landmark is different from the rest of the Discovery range in a number of ways, including Titan Silver bonnet and tailgate badges, exclusive Bright Finish Full-length Roof Rails and Narvik Black Mirror Caps.
It also has 20-inch five split-spoke silver alloy wheels, and what we think is one of the stand-out design features – gloss black grille vanes and fender vents – while inside, it’s fitted with Windsor leather seats and comes with an extended leather pack as standard.
It also features Xenon adaptive headlights with daytime running lamps, keyless entry and start, electric front seats with memory and stacks of adjustment options, ambient interior lighting, reversing camera, digital radio, 825-watt Meridian sound system, SatNav, a heated steering wheel, windscreen and front and rear seats.
As you would expect, there are loads of modern safety and driver aids, including Active Roll Mitigation, Hill Start Assist, Gradient Acceleration Control, Hill Descent Control with Gradient Release Control, Front and Rear Axle Open Differential, Electronic air suspension and Terrain Response, Centre Electronic Locking Differential, and Electric Parking Brake.
It also comes with Emergency Brake Assist, ABS and Electronic Traction Control, as well as Roll Stability Control and Dynamic Stability Control. Oh, and it comes with a 5-star safety rating too.
It’s powered by a 3 litre twin turbo diesel V6 which delivers a tidy 183kW of power and 600Nm of torque, which is hooked up to a tidy 8-speed auto transmission, and with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and trailer assist functionality, there’s a lot to like about using the Disco to pull your boat or caravan around the countryside.
The fuel economy is good too at 8.8L/100km, and the 82 litre fuel tank will keep you going and going. It’s not the quickest thing out there at 0-100 in 9.3 seconds, but that’s still better than a number of players in the 4WD and SUV markets.
On the downside, the Disco is genuinely getting old, and there was turbo lag here and there as we put the seriously modernised version of this old girl through its paces in all sorts of environments, both on and off-road.
It’s up against the likes of the Toyota Prado Kakadu for that combined rugged luxury package, but we honestly can’t recommend this car enough if you want luxury and style in a bullet proof 4WD (let’s face it you can take a Discovery wading in 70mm of water – what’s not to love).
Hitting the road at a little over $106,000 plus on-roads, the 2016 Land Rover Discovery SDV6 Landmark Edition gives you the best of everything Land Rover can offer on a Discovery, while still harnessing all that is the ‘beast’ at the heart of every Discovery since the dawn of time.
Our test vehicle came in this rusty brown/orange colour known as Zanzibar (a premium metallic colour), which on first impressions we disliked a lot, but by the time we gave it back, it had grown on us to be one of the colours of choice in the range.
But if Zanzibar is not for you, the Landmark also comes in Indus Silver Metallic, Santorini Black Metallic, Yulong White Metallic, and Waitomo Grey Premium Metallic. There are also three interior colour choices (all quality Windsor leather), and two surface finishes, and four different steering wheel options.
Our test vehicle was provided by Land Rover Australia. To find out more about the 2016 Land Rover Discovery SDV6 Landmark Edition, contact your local Land Rover dealer.
Road Test: 2016 Land Rover Discovery SDV6 Landmark Edition
Pros – powerful powerplant; great suspension on and off-road; feature-packed.
Cons – the colour (initially); ageing model; turbo lag.