IT’S the go anywhere, do anything SUV that scores its nickname from a certain 70s dance craze. The 2020 Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE commands attention as the noble chariot that’s capable, both on and off road.
Affectionately known as the Disco, this Land Rover has some serious dirt track credibility, and offers real fun in the rough stuff. But don’t think it’s sacrificed on road comfort, because there’s plenty of that on offer too.
Presented in Portofino Blue, our test vehicle was riding on exquisite 21-inch 10 split spoke gloss black rims and featured elegant LED signature DRLs and headlights, with auto high beam assist.
We really like the styling of the rounded front end of the Discovery. It’s a face that is certainly more grown up than previous blocky incarnations, with the sweeping side profile, with cut through look C-pillar adding to the modernised feel.
There’s a hint of retro in the raised roof line and the tail gate’s rear swoop design. It’s a throwback to the heritage of the Discovery 1, 2 and 3, delivered in a refined way. It may polarise some fans, but we love the look it creates.
Our version was fitted with the Black Pack, providing an additional look of menace, with its gloss black grille, side vents, and badging, as well the lower bumper sporting some dark silver highlights. Rubber comes from the good people at Pirelli.
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE is the second model in a five model tier, that starts with the S and moves on up from the SE to the HSE, HSE luxury and special Landmark Edition.
The interior has an incredibly modern design, with authentic premium leather finishes, and there are some six different colour combinations to choose. It’s selection central when you’re buying a Land Rover actually.
There’s also four individual wood veneer options on the list, and different chrome accent features within the cabin space. That’s without mentioning the 20 and 22-inch wheel options to dress up the outside and change the look of your ride.
Back to the inside of our test vehicle though, and we loved the two pop up control dials that elevate out of the centre console to gain access to the drive mode and off road capabilities. It’s a cool touch.
There’s plenty of tech on board too, with a Touch Pro 10-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system that’s intuitive to use and versatile, with split screen functionality, and multiple vehicle customisation options.
Our 2020 Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE came with a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control and heated and vented front seats, but missed out on the sublime Meridian sound system and satellite navigation, both of which are optional extras.
Not to be put off, we jumped into the included Android Auto functionality (Apple CarPlay is on board too) and mapped our way from there. We couldn’t find a way to exit it though, without closing the app on our phone.
The driver’s instrument cluster is a 12.3-interactive digital offering, providing all the car’s information in direct line of sight. There’s a selection of display options, and you can choose from different tachometers and such things as full screen maps.
All the essential driving information is also readily available on the head-up display. It’s a pretty comfortable space up front, but while there’s plenty of room in the back seats, they lack form to keep you in place.
That’s fine on the black stuff, where it’s quite comfortable, or if it’s just you and a mate getting dirty up front, but climb it over a few rocks or even down your average rugged dirt road and the rear passengers are in for somewhat of a bumpy ride.
Fuel economy from the 177kW 2.0-litre Ingenium turbo diesel is pretty impressive at 7.2-litres/100km, although it’s a little more thirsty in suburbia when you’re stuck in stop/start traffic. Maximum torque sits at 430Nm, more than enough to tow up to 3500kg.
On the road, it feels very responsive, and there’s plenty of power when you put your foot down to overtake or climb a steep hill. Stability is good through corners and on rougher road surfaces too. It’s definitely an enjoyable car to drive.
For the purists, it can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and can wade through water up to 900mm deep. Electronic air suspension keeps it stable on the road, and the Disco can clear ground obstacles up to 207mm high.
Standard driving aids include emergency braking, lane keep assist, front and rear parking aids, front and rear cameras, and adaptive cruise control and speed limiter. Additional add-on packs are available to enhance your driving experience.
The 7-seat Discovery offers a total of 2,068-litres with all five rear seats folded flat, with 1,231-litres when only the back row is folded flat. With all the seats up, you can access 258-litres. That said, there’s storage pockets everywhere.
Device charging will be a dream too, with up to nine USB ports (depending on options) available. There’s even ISOFIX child seat points in the third row of seating, which parents of multiple munchkins will love.
Delivered with a 3-year 100,000km warranty, the 2020 Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE is available in a multitude of colours, including Narvik Black and Fuji White, Santorini Black, Indus Silver, Byron Blue, Yulong White, Eiger Grey and Portofino Blue.
You can also choose from four premium colours, including Namib Orange, Farallon Pearl Black, Carpathian Grey and Silicon Silver. It’s priced from around $120,000 plus on-road costs.
Our test vehicle was provided by Jaguar Land Rover Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Land Rover Discovery SD4 SE, contact your local Land Rover dealer.