Car tested: 2012 Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 76,39,640/-
Land Rover is one of the oldest four-wheel drive vehicle manufacturers in the world, developing one of the most capable SUVs that money can buy. The British automaker first launched the Discovery in 1989, which shared underpinnings with the flagship Range Rover. Today the Land Rover Discovery is in its fourth generation and is called the Discovery 4 (LR4 in the US). The vehicle has got several awards including the best large SUV in the world. This 7-seater SUV is quite capable and benefits from Land Rover design and technology. It is available in India with a TDV6 diesel engine, making it an formidable alternative in the full sized SUV space.
Exteriors – The styling of the Land Rover Discovery 4 is very similar to the Discovery 3. The vehicle uses the same integrated body frame structure but the lights are now altered to give the Discovery a more smooth appearance. The rounded styling is very Range Rover like and makes the Discovery look modern yet retro. Even though the overall styling of the Discovery is true to the original model, the latest version is significantly more aerodynamic than its predecessors.
The front grille is very prominent and the wheel arches have a massive bulge. The headlights and tail lights are LEDs and the massive 19-inch wheels give the Discovery 4 a purposeful stance. The subtle lines on the body are very neatly executed. This Land Rover is menacing in size and measures 4838 mm long, 2176 mm wide (with mirrors) and 1837 mm tall. The ground clearance of 185 mm can be increased to 310 mm with a touch of a button. With such massive dimensions, the Discovery 4 is almost unmissable on the road at attracts a lot of attention.
The Discovery 4′s cabin is impressive. Not only is it luxurious, it is highly practical too.
Interiors – Quality levels of the Discovery 4′s cabin is absolutely top notch. Everything has been well put together and the attention to detail is simply mind boggling. The beige interiors are extremely roomy and the large glass area gives an airy feeling to the passengers. The high seating gives an excellent view of the road ahead and everything falls in place, like the perfect positioning of the power window switches and the highly adjustable front arm rests (there are no rear arm rests in the Discovery 4). The steering wheel is big and has quite a few buttons to control audio, telephone and cruise functions. We love the way the horn buttons are placed.
Clean and easy to read instrument cluster features a rectangular screen to display vital vehicle information on the move. One can toggle between vehicle set-up (speed warning, alarm sensors, reverse dip-mirror, drive-away locking, 2-stage unlocking, etc) to audio system, etc. Distance to empty and a digital speedometer is displayed too.
The Discovery 4 has keyless entry with the push button start button located on the left side of the steering wheel. The stalks feel solid and the premium materials are very soft and feel good to touch. The round AC vents have silver surrounds and the use of silver, wood and beige is very tastefully done. The center console houses a touch screen system which carries vehicle information and various other features including audio, phone, etc. The terrain response system sits right below the AC controls, while the gear lever is a stick shift and the hand brake is electronic.
Land Rover have made the Discovery 4 very practical. This vehicle is a 7-seater in the true sense and offers oodles of versatility. There are two glove boxes and the amount of storage locations in this SUV is truly worth noting. Even the last row of seats have good storage areas and you can always find a bottle holder in the Discovery 4. The second and third row of seats fold flat to give an enormous amount of luggage space. Charging points and AC vents are present on all rows of seats. There is even an AUX port for rear passengers!
The first two rows of seats are comfortable and offer excellent amount of legroom and headroom. The last row of seats offer decent legroom and the jump seats are more suited to kids. The split tail gate lends the Discovery 4 an easy way to store and retrieve luggage. The parcel shelf is adjustable. All three rows of the Discovery 4 have a sunroof, although only the first row one opens. The Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround audio system offers very good sound quality. There is even a small refrigerator right below the front centre arm rest.
Performance – Powering the Land Rover Discovery 4 in India is the same 3.0-litre, twin-turbo diesel engine which does duty in the Jaguar XF S. However the Discovery 4 is a much heavier vehicle but this motor copes up very well. Producing 245 PS of power (XF produces 275 PS) and most crucially 600 Nm of torque, the Discovery 4 is very drive-able. The best part about this TDV6 powertrain is the ability to offer 500 Nm of torque in 500 milliseconds from idle. That is an 83% of maximum torque available instantly. Performance is very good from SUV standards and the Discovery 4 responds to throttle inputs briskly.
This engine is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox. Shift the gearbox into manual mode and the instrument cluster conveys to you – ‘Command shift activated’. On full steam, the Discovery 4 will sprint to 100 km/hr from standstill in 9.6 seconds. That is very comfortable for a vehicle which weighs almost 2.6 tonnes! Engine is refined and revvs all the way to a shade above 4500 RPM.
Land Rovers are very capable off-road and the Discovery 4 carries the same genes forward, which makes it an extremely capable machine on the road less traveled. With an approach angle of 36.2 degrees, ramp break over angle of 27.3 degrees and departure angle of 29.6 degrees, the Discovery 4 is at home in every situation. The highly sophisticated Terrain Response System (with 5 settings), Hill Descent Control (with Gradient Release Control) and adjustable ride height makes it a cake walk to go off-road. The wading depth of 700 mm makes the Discovery the perfect vehicle for cruising through water logged roads.
Driving Dynamics – Even with all that weight and hefty dimensions, the Discovery 4 offers splendid dynamics. With so much bulk to move, the Discovery 4 does have body roll, although its well contained and handling is safe and predictable. A larger anti-roll bar helps in reducing the vehicle’s roll rates. Cornering is precise with steering giving ample feedback to the driver. Road holding is excellent and the Discovery doesn’t get unsettled at speed. The anti-drag lips on the front bumper are said to reduce aerodynamic lift at high speeds by up to 50%.
Ride quality is one of the best we have seen in this segment and the Discovery 4 absorbs everything in its stride with utmost zest. Potholes? What potholes? The Discovery simply glides over the worst of roads, soaking up everything without transferring even a hint to the occupants. We are thoroughly impressed with the braking performance of the Discovery 4, the vehicle stops right in line without any hint of uneasiness. Pedal feel is excellent and Land Rover has used aluminum in the brakes to reduce weight.
Verdict – SUVs are turning soft these days and no longer offer go-anywhere capabilities. In these times, Land Rover has successfully managed to give SUV lovers the best of both worlds. The Discovery 4 is luxurious but at the same time practical. It is splendid on the road and off it too, offering very good dynamics. The Land Rover badge further enhances desirability, making the Discovery 4 easily the best full sized SUV in the market today.
The Discovery 4 is a good blend of luxury, practicality and off-road performance, something which every SUV should be.
* Ride quality
* Off-road capability
What’s Not So Cool
* No paddle shifts
* CBU model
Land Rover Discovery 4 Specifications
* Engine: 2993 cc, LR-TDV6
* Power: 245 PS @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 600 Nm @ 2000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed auto
* Top Speed: 180 km/h
* 0-100 km/h: 9.6 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 6-7 km/l (City), 8-9 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Electronic Adjustable Independent Air Suspension
* Tyres: 255/55/19 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: 360 mm ventilated disc with twin-piston sliding calliper (Front), 350 mm ventilated disc with single piston sliding calliper (Rear)
* Safety: ABS, Electronic Brake Assist, Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, 8 Airbags, Parking Aid With Rear Camera
Land Rover Discovery 4 Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4838 mm X 2176 mm X 1837 mm
* Wheelbase: 2885 mm
* Ground clearance: 185 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.90-metres
* Boot Volume: 280-litres, 1192-litres (with rear seats folded)
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 82-litres
* Kerb Weight: 2583 kgs